(To read more on the multifamily market, click here.)

PHOENIX-A mortgage broker is living his dream as a real estate investor with his first acquisition, spending $14.4 million for the 160-unit Desert Terrace.

Plans call for investor Brandon Caffrey of Scottsdale to convert the five-year-old, class A complex into condominiums. Estimated conversion costs for the 6515 W. McDowell Rd. property will run $5,000 to $10,000 per unit. The average per unit cost will be $151,000 or $181 per sf.

“Because of the property’s age, there is little need for renovations and rehab work. The previous owner took excellent care of the building and property,” says Bobby Bull, managing director with Transwestern Commercial Services’ multifamily group in Phoenix, who represented the buyer and seller, the Robert and Karen Walker Trust from Bellevue, WA, which also developed the property.

Bull tells GlobeSt.com that the complex, which had no ask, was first marketed in summer 2005. While there was a lot of interest, actual offers were scarce. “Not many people were believers in the West Valley and a lot of buyers weren’t high on the infill location. This buyer was,” Bull says. “This is an underserved market from a condo standpoint.”

The transaction is the seller’s last multifamily holding in the area. The trust, though, does own office buildings and retail complexes in and around Phoenix, Bull says.

Caffrey isn’t stopping at one acquisition and conversion, but is looking for additional condo opportunities. “This is what he’s been wanting to do all along, to move into real estate,” Bull says. “He’s excited about doing this deal.”

Situated on 4.95 acres, the 98%-occupied Desert Terrace offers one-, two- and three-bedroom units, ranging from 716 sf to 1,117 sf. Monthly rents are $650 to $850.

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