Multi Property Saga

I have been working with single family houses the last few years.  I have decided to buy multifamily.  I contacted my realtors and told them that I want to find a 30 unit complex for $800,000.  She came back with 23 unit for $850,000.  It has been rehabbed with granite counter tops and hard surface floors.  It has a small laundry and is made up of 5 duplexes 2 bedroom 1 bath 12 – 2 bedroom 1 bath apartments and a single family house all platted as one property. It has a Net Operating Income of $79,000 on $148,000 annual revenue.

Now to look for operational improvements to increase value.


Investment Property Appliances

One of the things I like to do is to buy appliances, electrical and plumbing fixtures when I find them cheap. I don’t wait until I have a project.  The problem with waiting until you need them, you are at the mercy of the store.  What I find is, if you go to Lowe’s the district manager will come in and tell the store manager that he wants to change the store layout on Monday so get rid of these clearance appliances and fixtures by Monday.  The store manager then marks down the items and puts them in the aisle.  So Saturday morning there are these items lined up in the aisles that are good deals a lot of time.  Another place to look is the end-cap (the end of an aisle) and look for the clearance items.  What I do is walk the store and when I see something that I want like a $900 dishwasher for $100, I buy it and put it in my storage unit.  When a dishwasher goes out in one of my rental houses, I have a replacement that was purchased cheap and not in the heat of need.  There are several advantages to using Lowe’s; one is that when the items are clearance items they are still covered under warranty. At Depot on the other hand many of their clearance items are “as is” no warranty.

An example of what you get is in these pictures.

clearance dishwasher
clearance dishwasher


Investor Grade Professionals

When you are investing in real estate, you need to realize that real estate is a team sport.  You can’t be the best at everything and if you were it would take too much of your time. With that said, you need a team of professionals helping you with your acquisitions.  Now you ask who should be on your team?  Well it is mostly the same professionals you used when you bought the house you live in, except that they must be investor grade professionals.  When you ask a mortgage broker to finance a house that is not habitable; including the fix up costs and by the way you don’t want to leave any of your own money in the deal and he says that is impossible, you know you are dealing with a retail professional…not investor grade.  You need someone who can execute this task as often as you find property to purchase.  The situation that I just described is done all the time by investors.

Your present professionals aren’t  bad, they are just not the kind of professionals we are looking for. The mortgage brokers at your local bank or your cousin that sells insurance don’t know how to do the things that investors need to have done.  The best place to find these investor grade professionals is at your local real estate investors club meeting.  At these club meetings you won’t find help from the people in the audience.  Most of them have never and will never buy a single piece of real estate.  The people you want to talk to are the people who are sponsoring the event. These are the agents, lawyers, mortgage brokers, and title companies that are investor grade.  These guys usually stand at the back of the room during the meeting.  Once you contact one of them they know other investor grade professionals.  Another way to find investor grade professionals is to ask an investor.  If you don’t know any real estate investors,that’s not a problem.  Look in your local newspaper under houses for rent.  Look for an ad that looks like an individual.  Call that number and ask them if they are an investor.  If they are an investor ask them if they will help you get started.  Most of them will help you out as long as it doesn’t take a lot of their time.  One thing to bear in mind is that you don’t need him to give you his entire list because the professionals know the other investor grade professionals.  I would ask for his title company contact because that is likely to be the least personal. I would then ask the title company contact for other professionals that are in the investor arena.  The title company contact may know a lawyer that lawyer may know a real estate agent the agent may know a contractor and so on. I also drive through new construction neighborhoods and talk to the tile workers and painters. This is another way to find investor grade workers for your team.

You will need the following:

Real estate agents

Mortgage brokers

Insurance agent


Subcontractors such as:

Air conditioning contractor


Flooring guy