New Investor in West Michigan

20 Replies

Hey everyone! I just wanted to introduce myself to the forums. I'm Jordan, my wife and I live in Grand Rapids Michigan and just put our first deal under contract and we are extremely excited to begin our investing journey. Bigger Pockets has been instrumental in building my confidence and being able to analyze properties with the correct mindset and taking emotions out of it.

I look forward to building relationships here and further immersing myself within the community.

I've been keeping my eye open for the 2nd but want to work with a wholesaler or run a direct mail campaign. I got lucky finding this one on the MLS.

I love meeting other investors from West Michigan, too! Are you an RPOA member?

@Jordan Puffer

Welcome to BP and congrats on your first deal! Are you going to share some pics and #s? Grand Rapids is a great market, look forward to seeing crazy appreciation from your prop :) 

How did you find your first deal?

We actually lucked out on it and found it on the MLS. Got it for $79k, putting $20-40k into it and the ARV on the low side is around $130-135k. We're looking to do BRRRR on our properties and rent in the area for a 4bd 2ba is around $13-1500/mo so we're looking at around $3-400 monthly cash flow after all expenses.

Funny-😥Sounds exactly like a property we just missed. We offered on a 3 could be 4 bedroom 2ba on the Westside. Right near the library..I know, small chance. But still the numbers sound so similar- congrats on the purchase and winning out among what almost surely was multiple offers!

@Jordan Puffer Wow MLS haha, nice. Hope you have a plan to keep your pipe full so that you can continue your BRRR after your first deal.

If you share the pics, Dawn can say whether it was the same property lol, small world

@Jordan Puffer Nice man, value add :) That's crazy that you were the only offer on a deal in GR. What's your plan to keep your pipe going? DM, doorknocking, other marketing?

I'm flirting with the idea for a DM campaign and my w2 allows me to "drive for dollars" all day. I also look on legalnews every week for houses on the auction docket to attempt to contact them before they hit the block.

Are you positive on the rental numbers? I went to Zillow and Craigslist. The top I found was 1.1k for rent, but  I could be wrong as to real rents. Anyhow, that may change your numbers a bit. Do not forget the GR taxes and to bank for problems. They may not happen, but they are important to have in reserve. 

Originally posted by @JS Berkenkamp :

Are you positive on the rental numbers? I went to Zillow and Craigslist. The top I found was 1.1k for rent, but  I could be wrong as to real rents. Anyhow, that may change your numbers a bit. Do not forget the GR taxes and to bank for problems. They may not happen, but they are important to have in reserve. 

 The area is on the come-up. A few 3bd 1ba around the corner just rented for $1250. 

That is great! - I am not trying to be negative. I am conservative on my numbers and just thought I would try to help. I am investing in GR as well, but in a different area. I just know that in my neighborhood, the comps for rental prices change very quickly once you move past certain cross streets.  

I wish you the best of luck on this.

Hey guys, I am wondering what your strategy for finding "real rents" is? I have been looking at Zillow rentals, but I'm having a hard time evaluating what a house would actually rent for. I have also heard that the market rate for the GR area is about $575 a bedroom, but obviously a variety of factors could affect that number. I've been watching the west Grand Rapids area a bit and I don't think the average rent would be quite that high in houses.

Just curious what you guys thought or if you are even using an average rent per bedroom number? Thanks

I have 3 properties in the Northwest part of Grand Rapids. Two are 4 bed / 2 bath and one is a 5 bed / 2 bath. My rents are $1295, $1500, and $1800. I find Zillow, Redfin, etc are always off on rental estimates and values. My Property Manager has always been more accurate and reliable than anything I can find online.

You can call and talk to property managers, or you can do your own research on rental comps being marketed on places like Craigslist and hotpads. I need the info for specific properties frequently enough that I just decided to start paying for a subscription service (I use rentometer.com) to estimate rental comps for me on a property by property basis. Seems pretty accurate so far. Rentometer has reports for averages by neighborhood too... If there were a particular neighborhood or two you wanted the reports for let me know and I can send it to you.