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Investing in Storage Condominiums

By Hamish Bell

With the rapidly growing market for boats, RVs, classic cars and other “toys,” developing or investing in the building of storage condominiums can be lucrative for both the investor and buyer of the individual units. These types of storage units appreciate in value due to the low supply and high demand, allowing owners to capture a full return on investment and more. Plus, there are many tax breaks because it is commercial real estate (The Storage Guy, n.d.). 

What is a storage condo?

A storage condo, like it sounds, is much like a residential condo except it is a storage unit that you own. These units are designed primarily for the rapidly growing market for boats and RVs, but can also be used to store items like classic cars, business inventory and more. Each storage condo unit is part of a storage complex that has some shared amenities for which owners typically pay monthly dues to maintain in a similar manner as a traditional Homeowners Association.

While these types of condos share the same basic purpose as other storage units, condo-style vehicle storage differs in significant ways from the standard rental model. First, vehicle-storage condos share many characteristics with office-warehouse or flex condos, including high and wide doors, high ceilings, wide aisles between buildings, climate control, and security features. They may also be in an industrial park or on land zoned for light industry. A big difference is that the storage condo complexes usually offer services specific to boats and RVs, such as dump stations, wash stations, maintenance, and repair.

Irrespective of market conditions, storage condos appeal to buyers and developers for a variety of reasons (Stratton, 2007):

  • Tax considerations of depreciation and other deductions 
  • Asset ownership 
  • Appreciation potential 
  • Cash flow (for investors)

What do they cost to the buyer of individual units?

In today’s market, most storage condominium units range in cost from $55,000 to $200,000. They sell for around $125 to $150 per square foot. In addition, owners can expect to pay $30 or more each month for maintenance fees such as snow removal and lawn care. Also, like other real estate properties, the storage condo is also subject to local property taxes (Roberts, 2023).

How large are they?

Storage condos are built primarily with the owners of large RVs, boats, and classic cars in mind. They typically range between 35 to 50 feet in depth and 10 to 25 feet in width. They also typically have 14-foot-high ceilings. The average storage condo covers about 600 square feet in total.

What else do they have to offer?

Because owners typically store their boats, RVs, and classic cars, storage condos are usually very well-insulated, climate-controlled, and outfitted with electrical service. They also usually offer dump stations and wash areas for RVs, along with 24-hour access, and enhanced security features (due to the cost of the boats and RVs being stored). 

Is a storage condo worth the investment?

There are many factors to indicate that the storage condo business is worth the investment, including local market conditions. Many areas of the country lack vehicle storage or places where boats and RVs can be stored securely. Limited inventory equals a great investment opportunity for both the developer and buyer of the individual unit.

There are currently over 25,000,000 boat and RV owners with another 9,000,000 expected to join the market in the next 3 years. Economic and social trends indicate that this is likely to continue throughout this year and beyond. As the sales of RVs and boats increase, the demand to store these vehicles is also likely to grow. Traditional self storage facilities have limited space and amenities to store RVs and boats, which means that demand for RV/boat condos will likely grow as RV and boat sales rise.

Owners of other types of vehicles, such as collectible and antique cars, motorcycles, and commercial vehicles, may also be in the market for storage condos. Owners of all these vehicle types will not only want a unit for storage, but for maintenance and light repairs as well – a secure place where they can pursue their hobby.

Want to know more? Check out our latest video with LuxeLocker to learn more about the Storage Condominium market and why they chose to work with Forge Building Company. Then let’s connect.

Hamish Bell is president and co-founder of Forge Building Company. The company was founded in 2007 and is headquartered in Boise, Idaho. Forge offers steel buildings for self-storage, RV and boat storage, car washes, airplane hangars, large warehouses, fish hatcheries and craft breweries/restaurants. Other offerings include pre-engineered metal buildings for industrial and commercial applications. With a strong portfolio of partners and clients, the Forge team has completed over 500 jobs. built over 50 million square feet, has over 200 employees, and remains privately owned. 

Get a Class A education in RV and boat storage developing, operating and investing!Opportunities await! Learn about developing, operating and investing in RV and boat storage, at the upcoming Toy Storage Nation Executive RV and Boat Storage Workshop in Fort Myers, Fla., Dec. 1, 2023. This exclusive, one-day workshop provides the A-to-Z compendium of RV and boat storage knowledge you need to accelerate your success in this rapidly growing, prosperous industry. Register today. 

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