What is a Land Lease? – Marina City Club

Good Info to know about Land Leases: 

Quick answer: In a land lease deal… you’re purchasing just the dwelling and paying rent on the land to the landowner.

Who owns all of the leased land in Marina del Rey?  Good question!  

According to Behindthedeals here’s what happened:  The County of Los Angeles was the largest source of funds to the completion of the marina, contributing over $15 million for land acquisition plus 50% of certain specified infrastructure costs.  Upon the Marina’s completion, the County would ultimately own hundreds of acres of waterfront land plus the right to earn rental income from thousands of boat slips in the harbor.

Thusly, the county leased large parcels of water front land to developers and biz owners.  Here are a few examples: Marina Harbor, Mariners Village, Waves, Dolphin Marina etc.  These are essentially corporate type rentals…. including the new Marriott Hotel and Residences that’s almost completed.  The one exception is the Marina City Club complex.  This complex is a mix of both (Leasehold) condos and a few apartment units.  

I’ll work on a history of the Marina post next.  There is so much to talk about including the huge boom the peninsula is going under!

Here’s part of what to expect when purchasing a condo that is on a land lease: 

  • In addition to the monthly HOA dues, you will have a Land Lease fee that is pretty close to the HOA monthly amount.  
  • Property taxes work the same (1.25% approx. of the purchase price).
  • Monthly Land Lease fee is not tax deductible. 
  • You do not pay taxes on the land that is leased.  
  • There is a 3% Transfer Fee (to be negotiated before escrow).
  • Specific Lenders will fund on Leasehold properties.  You must check with your lender (or, I can refer you to one). 
  • There’s only one condo complex in all of Marina del Rey that is on a land lease. 

The huge draw of Marina City Club is the community and clearly the location.   It may not appreciate as quickly as some other complexes… but it’s a built in beach lifestyle and you practically never have to leave.  

Here’s a great blurb I just read on Investopedia that sums up things really well:

Buying a home on leased land can be tempting when you see the low sale price, but the purchase involves many complexities that traditional home buying does not. Traditional home ownership probably creates the greatest financial security for most people, but buying a home on leased land may be a viable alternative for those whose major priority is buying into a particular community at a lower price than a traditional home or condominium, rather than building equity.


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