When to hold a rental, when to flip a house.

You invest in property. You’re approaching it as either a residence, retreat, rehab, or Anibal-Affiliates-RealtyNetWorth-LakeShannon-why-I-sell-lakefront-young-couple-at-sunsetrental. But which came first, the property or the label? And more importantly, why did you choose one over another?

With such a substantial investment, I hope you have an idea of how you are evaluating on the way in based on your plan for use/ resale/ or rental afterward. So many clients start out with the “well this happened along our path one day so we just…” approach. Maybe o.k. for a garage sale find. But this randomized thinking potentially leaves dollars on the table and years of your life wasted.

Example:

  1. Customer wanted to sell a unit. “Why did you buy it?” I asked. “Well, it was a great deal so we bought it. then we rented it out”. ( A great deal for what ?)
  2. Customer wanted to have a unit inspected. “Why are you interested in this house?” I asked. “Well, I heard rental property is a good idea.” I asked, “Why?” …. he said “I don’t know.”
  3. Customer had a rental. “Why did you buy it?” I asked. “My friend called me and asked if I wanted to buy it.” So I asked, “do you have other rentals and why do you want this one”. He said, “no, first one, we want others”.

None of these folks had a strategy. They stumbled into their situation. In each case, I sat with them, started ‘at the top’, looked for customer strengths/ weaknesses/ and ideal goals.

  1. For customer #1, I said “so you want rentals?” Actually, it had never been profitable as a rental. They sold it for a profit, but the title choice drove up their tax burden. Further, had they made some specific improvements, the profit would have been better. They sold to a hustler by owner, but fortunately we took a better strategy going forward.
  2. For the 2nd scenario client, I tried to not completely make fun of the poor choice of home he wanted to – and almost did had he not called me – buy. Instead, I showed him only 1 more property. We spent an extra 60 minutes of his time, got a house in a better location, less money, newer, better heat/electric + 2 car garage, 2 decks and shed. That property more than doubled in value in a matter of months, and has had only 1 tenant in the 4 yrs. he’s owned it, bringing a good profit from rent and appreciation. The other property – still a mess and not worth much at all.
  3. In situation #3, we sat down and looked at how there is no profit from holding. Further, because of his skills, he’s better suited to rehab than to hold a loosing investment. All profit available on his held house will come from moving it, not holding it. Timing the sale will be the extra expertise I offer.

So the basic questions will still be, what do you have:

  • More or less skills.
  • More or less time.
  • More or less funds.
  • More need for current income (you are in a lower tax bracket), or more need for future (retirement) income, (you are probably in a higher tax bracket).

Based on these answers, there are very specific properties, areas, price ranges, and portfolio management styles (e.g.: you/ us) you’d be better suited for.  Decision time

I meet w/ clients a minimum of 1x/ year. This is a great time for a no-cost initial meeting to chat about what your real estate ideas are. Contact me via the feedback form to set a time & day !


In the meantime, I’m inserting text from an earlier post of mine:


In the early 80’s I picked up a very honest yet motivational ‘how to’ book on real estate investment. In my senior year of college I was set to invest. I actually drove to NJ, looked up as many of these homes as I could, took pictures, and tried to take notes in my then ignorance. After reading the book I bought a shack for $17500, w/ $1000 down, gutted the kitchen and bath, and placed into service what was one of my most successful investments to date.

I’ve used these & other techniques I gleaned from my broker/investor dad, and have shared them with clients for 3 decades.

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

It comes down to humble work, patience, time value of money, and good mentors – I had my dad ! I keep a few copies of the book for clients I work with. Let me know if you’d like one.



The tale of 2 houses, aka: WHEN to cut bait.

This is the story of 2 types of investors and 2 types of investments. After reading, tell me if having a seasoned long term hands on skin-in-the-game professional in your back pocket is useful. Fair enough ?

2  types of Investor:823hubbard-flint-mi-1986

  1. Knows when to cut bait
  2. Holds on until value is all gone, damaging credit.

2 types of Investment:

  1. House still looks nice, area took a dump.
  2. Looked hideous, still does, but the area made it a good investment – in fact, there are brand new homes next door where there were abandoned inner city lots.3134birchrow-eastlansing-mi-1982-b
    • Point: Numbers dictate financial logic & help you know when to act.

I’ve had this one current client since opening my office over 3 decades ago.

Twice in that time I’ve issued ‘now is the time to buy’ alerts. I don’t do that lightly and I give reasons and research – AND put my money into said markets.

This one client did in fact pick up over a dozen investments in the 1st round. Then, as the area began to turn and he was invested ONLY in that local area and 1 property type, over a 5-10 yr period I begged him to bail before it was too late. Yep, didn’t do it.

Its not just a nationwide economy that affects these decisions, there are buy/sell opportunities all the time and many many local factors come in to play, more so local factors over statewide & nationwide in my opinion.

Welp, here’s some local info on the below ‘pretty house’ I owned in the same area.

Property Overviewfeedback_thinkAboutIt

  • Crime Rate: High
  • School Rating: D
  • Registered Offenders: 68 within 1 mile
  • Average Home Price: $24,000 within 1 mile (I sold for $15k more in 1988)
  • Foreclosures: 50 within 1 mile
  • Environmental Hazards: 24 within 1 mile

I’d bought, cleaned it up, made profits on renting for a couple years and in the 2nd year more so on selling it… waaaaay before the area took a dump. (my 1986 fence & rose bushes are still there).

ALL CURRENT PICTURES.

823hubbard-flint-mi-1986b


Below are current photos of THE most profitable house I ever had, AND the ugliest.

Made about 150% ROI every year  for 11 years with virtually no tenant turnover (1 for 7yrs, 1 for 4 yrs) + an additional 1000+% on my initial investment in the year of sale. Held: 11yrs, profit: $125-225/mo x 11yrs + $11000 at closing all for $1000k down payment and a few bucks for new kitchen cabinets and carpet.

  •  That tree in the front yard was 12 inches tall when I planted it in 1982.
  • Still has same kitchen I put in 30+ yrs ago after a gut and swap on my summer off from college at MSU. A bit shabbier now – well, a lot shabbier.

3134birchrow-eastlansing-mi-1982-b3134birchrow-eastlansing-mi-1982-e3134birchrow-eastlansing-mi-1982-g

Additional takeaways:

  • The immediate & local market dictates a ‘good’ investment and timing.
  • Investments are usually ‘cash now’ OR ‘appreciation for later’ RARELY BOTH.
    • The best ‘cash flow’ properties usually gain little/nothing/or are eventually abandon. Use these to live on.
    • The best ‘appreciation’ properties break even or have a small loss in ‘cash flow’ while held. Use these for retirement or other future savings.
    • ‘Appreciation’ properties are usually best at accumulating wealth.

If it was as easy as the TV shows, 94% of all investors would not loose money in real estate. If it was not a good investment, ‘the Donald’ would just be ‘Donald’, ‘Rich Dad/ Poor Dad’ would not be a book.


Related:




She made a Million Dollars recycling homes – 35 years ago!

In the early 80’s I picked up a very honest yet motivational ‘how to’ book on real estate investment. In my senior year of college I was set to invest. I actually drove to NJ, looked up as many of these homes as I could, took pictures, and tried to take notes in my then ignorance. After reading the book I bought a shack for $17500, w/ $1000 down, gutted the kitchen and bath, and placed into service what was one of my most successful investments to date.

I’ve used these & other techniques I gleaned from my broker/investor dad, and have shared them with clients for 3 decades.

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

It comes down to humble work, patience, time value of money, and good mentors – I had my dad ! I keep a few copies of the book for clients I work with. Let me know if you’d like one.