New and need a little guidance.

4 Replies

Hello, BP. My name is David and this is my first post and I would really like to network, and gain more insight. I'm in the southern part of New Jersey and I am looking for my first multi-family rental property. I want to house-hack and look to get an FHA loan, but I'm concerned that I can't find a unit big enough for my family alone. I have a family of 7. I am fairly new to this, but I understand the concepts. I am battling within myself, because even though I feel I understand the concepts, I have no clue where to start. I'm not sure whether I should work on my credit first or what. I know at some point all the analyzing in the world can't help me for the real thing I just need advice on where to actually start.

Also, it's been l intimidating in the beginning as I'm sure everyone can understand. I've been watching shows and listening to podcast and I'm wondering how much would it be to rehab a place that is in need of serious work. From what I'm reading and listening to, banks don't really loan fixer uppers. I'm going to stop there and because I could keep going with my questioning. So the only thing I really want advice on right now, which I know is difficult to advise on not my knowing all of my circumstances, but I just need a guideline on where to start. Better yet, can you share your start up stories please. I would greatly appreciate it. 

I'm like, scatter brain right now.

@David Hart It’s always nerve wracking till you do your first deal. If you’re wanting to do a live in flip, have you looked into 203k loans? Depending whether you own a home not or not, you could put a very low down payment for a duplex or triplex and the 203k gives you extra for fixing it up. Then you can live in two of the units of a triplex let’s say and rent the third unit out to tenants. Just an idea without knowing your situation. As for stories, my husband and I purchased our first single family rental in February of this year in Florida while living in NY. We manage it long distance and just rehabbed it because the tenant abandoned. Once you get your feet wet, You’ll be able to handle anything!!

Hi David.  Welcome to the BP community!  You are sure to find tons of advice and support.  I agree with Elenis,  a triplex may be the best move, considering the size of your family.  

@Elenis C. How do you manage a rental property in FL while you are in NY? Can you please share some tips? I don't have investment property yet but am considering buying out of state. It is just too expensive in NJ.

@Soomin Kim Of course! I bought the property with a tenant in it, so it was easy to just reach out to her and tell her she would be paying through a different system now. We use It's the best one I found from doing my research and it's free for the landlord as well as for the tenant as long as they pay with a debit card, not a credit card. Whenever she needed repairs I would either ask people I knew in the area for a reference or I would Google a company and ask for quotes. She had two issues: the AC was blowing hot air and a pipe busted in the back yard. For the AC I asked my realtor and she gave me a recommendation. For the pipe I used the company that has emptied the septic tank before I bought the property. All companies let you set up and pay over the phone so I don't have to ever see them. The tenant let them into the property.

Now in July she abandoned the property. At first she just didn't pay so I used the attorney that closed on our house for the eviction. But when she emailed about abandoning then we were able to cancel the eviction. I happened to meet a contractor on BiggerPockets that cleaned and fixed up the property for us. Then I emailed a bunch of Property Managers and asked only about their listing services. I ended up choosing one that was recommended by my realtor. He went in and took pictures as well as edited them and listed the property for me. He is showing the property and will handle the credit and background checks of the tenant. They usually charge first month's rent as a fee then I will continue to manage myself. The managing part is not hard at all. I think we went through the worst possible scenario 5 months in. If you're willing to deal with missed payments and just being on top of tenants, then it's not so hard. If you screen the tenant well then you should have less issues than I had. When there is a maintenance issue, Google is your best friend or get recommendations. Oh and for the lawn I also Googled it and use which is a site where lawn companies will bid for your lawn then you have a schedule that you can manage online. They mow the lawn and send you pics for approval.

We bought the property already knowing we wanted to self manage from long distance. Shortly after I read this book and highly recommend it. I got it from Amazon. The author lives in California where it's also super expensive and has done all his flips and rehab/hold investments out of state and sight unseen!

I hope this was helpful. I'd love to learn more about what you're wanting to do. I visited Union City last year and really liked it. I live in Crown Heights Brooklyn. Feel free to PM me  :)