A storage condo is pretty much exactly what it sounds like—it is a storage unit that you own.

Just like a residential condominium, a storage condominium is a piece of real estate that you own. Each storage condo unit is part of a complex that has some shared amenities, for which owners typically pay monthly dues to maintain in the same manner as an HOA.

So why exactly would someone want to own a storage condominium instead of just renting a self-storage unit? How much does a storage condominium cost? Let’s dig in and find out, shall we?

How Much Does a Storage Condominium Cost?

Most storage condominium units range in cost between $55,000 up to $200,000. They sell for as much as $125 to $150 per square foot. In addition, owners can expect to pay $30 or a more a month for maintenance fees. Maintenance fees cover things like snow removal and lawn care, for example. And like other real estate, don’t forget your condo is subject to local property taxes.

How Big Are Storage Condominiums?

Storage condominiums are primarily built with the owners of large recreational vehicles in mind, so most provide ample storage space. Storage condos general range between 35 to 50 feet in depth and 10 to 25 feet in width. They also usually have 14 foot high garage doors—tall enough to accommodate the grandest of land yachts on the road today. A typical storage condo covers abut 600 square feet in total.

What Else Do Storage Condos Have to Offer?

Compared to a typical storage facility, storage condos offer an abundance of amenities. Many are finished with bathrooms or small kitchens. At the very least they are well insulated, climate-controlled, and outfitted with electrical service. They also often have dump station and wash areas for RVs, along with 24-hour access and enhanced security features. Some are even complete with a clubhouse that serve as a meeting place for condo owners who appreciate the community aspects of storage condo ownership.

Why Buy a Storage Condo? Is It Worth It?

Considering the cost of a storage condominium, you might be wondering if it is really worth it. Developers would argue that a storage condo unit is an investment that will appreciate in value due to the principles of supply and demand. Storage condominiums are still a niche real estate type, which means their availability is limited.

Buying a storage condominium is often seen as an alternative to building a freestanding garage on your own property. Remodeling Magazine reported in 2013 that the average return on investment for a freestanding garage is just 63.7%, which means you won’t make back as much as you spent to build it. With a storage condominium, you might be able to make back what you bought it for, and then some.

Which Is Cheaper, Renting or Buying a Storage Unit For Vehicle Storage?

For those with an RV, boat, jet ski, classic car, or other vehicle they don’t have room for at home—owning a storage condo seems like a smart idea. But how does it compare to renting an RV storage unit? Let’s find out!

Let’s use a 600 square foot storage condominium unit sold for $75,000 as an example. If you put $15,000 down and take out a 20 year loan at an interest rate of 5%, your monthly payments would be $395.97. Over the course of the loan, you’d pay $110,032.80 for the storage condominium. Keep in mind that doesn’t include maintenance fees, let alone property taxes.

Now let’s consider the cost of renting an RV storage unit instead. A large 10′ x 30′ storage unit costs on average $84.99 a month according to SpareFoot data. Of course, that is only half the size of our storage condo unit example above. So, let’s double the rate to $169.98 a month. Over 20 years, that adds up to $40,795.20.

While your rent might increase over that 20 year period, it is still more than twice as expensive to buy a storage condo unit. Of course, the benefit of the storage condo unit is that you could sell it and recoup that money (hopefully!). Or you could pass it along to your heirs. Plus the time you spend in your high-end man cave with your best friends is priceless right?

However a storage condo unit requires a pretty heft investment up front, and disposable income to keep up with payments. If you just need a place to stash your RV when you aren’t conquering the road, rented units are an economical solution that requires no longterm commitment or outlay of capital.

Final Question, Can You Live in a Storage Condo?

Of course not! Occupancy laws in most places would make it illegal to reside in a storage condo. But you can probably take a nap in one and no one would bother.

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Alexander Harris