Senior communities are sometimes "market rate" rather than "affordable". The market rate leases, even for active senior communities, are higher than for family tenanted market rate multihousing because there may be additional services available -- transportation, dining room meals, organized recreation, apartment cleaning, a la carte assistance services such as personal laundry, nutrition evaluation, etc. The tenants pay a premium for the availability even if they don't use and pay for the services directly. But those extra services throw off extra cash flow.
Look at any real estate investment from several perspectives: current cash flow, stability, potential for increased value of the property and increased cash flow. Only after that look at tax advantages. My advice is never to invest in property just because of tax advantages -- it has to be strong on its own to survive over the long term. Oh, and BTW, HUD-insured multifamily loans are non-recourse. No personal guarantees required.
Dec 11, 2009