Storage condos are becoming an increasingly popular real estate investment for owners of boats, RVs, classic cars, and other large items. But how much do storage condos cost?
This comprehensive guide will walk you through everything you need to know about storage condos, including cost, amenities, and whether they are a smart investment.
What Are Storage Condos?
A storage condominium, or storage condo, is essentially a storage unit that you own.
Similar to a residential condominium, a storage condo is a piece of real estate that you own individually. The storage condos are part of a larger complex that has shared amenities, like a residential condo complex. Owners typically pay monthly maintenance fees to the homeowner’s association (HOA) for upkeep of the shared amenities.
So why would someone want to buy a storage condo rather than just rent a regular storage unit? Let’s break it down.
How Much Do Storage Condos Cost to Buy?
The cost of a storage condo can vary greatly, but generally ranges from $55,000 up to $200,000. The price per square foot is typically $125 to $150.
In addition to the purchase price, owners can expect to pay around $30 or more per month in maintenance fees. These fees cover amenities like snow removal, landscaping, parking lot maintenance, and more.
And just like other real estate, storage condo owners must pay property taxes to their local municipality.
So while the upfront cost of a storage condo is significant, many buyers consider it a worthwhile investment.
Storage Condo Size and Amenities
Storage condos are primarily built with owners of boats, RVs, classic cars, and other large vehicles in mind. So most units provide ample storage space.
The typical storage condo ranges from 35 to 50 feet deep and 10 to 25 feet wide. They also usually have 14 foot tall garage doors, which can easily accommodate even the largest RVs.
Total square footage for a storage condo is around 600 square feet.
Compared to a typical self-storage rental unit, storage condos offer many upgraded amenities:
- Fully climate controlled – Heating and AC regulate temperature
- Bathrooms – Some units have full baths
- Kitchenettes – Small kitchens in some units
- Electrical service – Outlets for plugging in appliances
- Drive-up access – No need to unload gear
- RV dump stations – For emptying holding tanks
- Wash stations – For washing vehicles
- 24-hour access – Come and go anytime
- Enhanced security – Cameras, alarms, etc.
- Community clubhouse – Social gathering spot
With storage condos, owners get access to all the amenities of a luxury storage facility in a unit they own. Many are well insulated and have optimal climate control for protecting your stored belongings.
Is Buying a Storage Condo a Good Investment?
Considering the high upfront cost, you may be wondering if buying a storage condo is really worth the investment. Developers market storage condos as an appreciating asset, for a few key reasons:
- Limited supply – Storage condos are still rare, unlike traditional storage units. Limited availability makes them potentially more valuable.
- Appreciation – As demand rises for storage condos, values should increase over time.
- Alternative to custom garage – Building a garage for an RV can cost $50,000 or more, with a low return on investment.
- Chance to recoup cost – Storage condos can be resold to recoup some or all of your initial investment.
While there is no guarantee with any real estate investment, storage condos have the potential to gain value and can be a smarter choice than constructing a custom garage.
Renting vs. Buying – Which is More Cost Effective?
For RV, boat and classic car owners debating between renting and buying, cost is often the deciding factor. So which option is more economical in the long run?
Let’s compare costs over 20 years:
- Storage condo purchase price: $75,000
- 20% down payment: $15,000
- Interest rate: 5%
- Monthly loan payment: $395.97
- Total paid over 20 years: $110,032.80
This does not include maintenance fees or property taxes.
Now let’s look at the cost to rent an RV storage unit for 20 years:
- Average monthly rent for 10×30 unit: $84.99
- For a 600 sq. ft. unit, estimated rent per month = $169.98
- Total paid over 20 years renting = $40,795.20
The total cost of buying is over 2X more expensive than renting the equivalent storage unit over 20 years. While rent costs may rise slightly, they probably won’t come close to the cost of buying.
However, the main advantage of buying is that you own the storage condo and can potentially sell it to recoup costs down the road. Renting provides more flexibility.
Key Takeaways on Storage Condo Costs
- Storage condos range from $55,000 to $200,000 to purchase
- Expect to pay $125-$150 per square foot
- Storage condos are 600 sq ft on average
- Monthly maintenance fees are around $30+
- Buying a storage condo has higher long term costs than renting storage
- But owning provides potential appreciation over time
Knowing the true cost difference between renting and buying can help you make the best decision for your needs. Connect with a storage condo specialist to learn more about buying a unit.
Frequently Asked Questions
Below are answers to some common questions about storage condos.
What are the main benefits of owning a storage condo versus renting a storage unit?
The main benefits of owning include the potential for the property to appreciate in value over time, as well as having guaranteed access to your unit. You can also customize it more since you own it. However, ownership involves paying property taxes and higher upfront costs. Renting provides more flexibility since you can change units or move out anytime.
Are utilities like electricity separately metered for each storage condo?
In most cases, yes – utilities like electricity are separately metered for each storage condo unit. So owners will pay for their own electrical usage rather than splitting it evenly among all units. However, policies can vary between storage condo complexes.
Who is responsible for paying property taxes on storage condos – the owner or the homeowner’s association?
The owner of the individual storage condo unit is responsible for paying any applicable property taxes, not the homeowner’s association. The HOA fees cover maintenance of shared amenities, while property taxes are levied by the local government and must be paid by the owner.
Can you live in a storage condo?
No, occupancy regulations prohibit living in storage condo units. They do not meet building codes for residential dwellings. However, some units include small kitchenettes and bathrooms for convenience when accessing stored items. But storage condos are not intended as living spaces.
How much does it cost per month to maintain a storage condo after purchase?
Expect to pay around $30 or more per month in maintenance fees. Fees vary between complexes but often cover snow removal, landscaping, parking lot maintenance, and general upkeep of the shared grounds and amenities. Maintenance fees ensure the facility looks its best for all owners.
Storage condos offer RV, boat, classic car and other large item owners a way to invest in their own private, high-end storage facility. While buying a storage condo has a significant upfront cost, it can be a smart long term investment for some owners.
Be sure to understand all the expenses involved before purchasing a storage condo – not just the purchase price, but maintenance fees, property taxes, and insurance costs. Comparing renting versus buying can give you a better sense of the long term costs.