Investing in Bay City MI

9 Replies

New investor here, Last fall i purchased a duplex on the south side of Bay City Michigan about an hour from my residence. I hired a property manager to manage it for me as i am trying to invest passively as i have a fairly busy job as a project manager for a mid sized excavation company. The duplex sat empty until about march of this year when the manager gave me feedback that the showers in both units needed to be done as people had concerns about them due to not having surrounds, poor layout etc. so we spent around 3500 to get both showers/ bath fans done. finally one side of the duplex was rented in late april. We ended up buying a single family 4 bed 2 bath home on the north end of town in early may as we had been saving and i wanted to keep the ball rolling on investing and i was also trying to trust the system hoping that my manager would be able to get the other duplex unit rented as well as the single family. well here we are in late june and both are still vacant. I am wondering if there are any other investors in bay city that are having issues filling their units? 

We are 7 months into our investing journey with little to no income to speak of from our properties and it is getting very frustrating to keep floating them along month after month out of our own pockets.

we are using a company called ASAM to manage our rentals and they do not seem to advertise very well so i am also wondering if there are other management companies in the Saginaw/ Bay City area that people have had luck with?

Jake:

A rental unit should never be vacant for 9 months!  

Your property manager is terrible.  They should know the market.  If the bathrooms are in such bad shape they won't rent, they should have informed you the first week.  If your asking rents were to high, they should have informed you within days that you were not getting any showings.   When priced right, a good property should rent in days, not months.

Get a new property manager.  But get one that will tell you when you are screwing up.  If you hire a "yes man" company, you will get the same results.  I recommend you look at NARPM.org and search for managers with a lot of credentials.  Those will be the serious ones.

@Jake Toth

My parents sold off all their real estate in Bay City in last 5 years, most of which was at a loss from what they bought it for in 90s. That area has nothing to turn it around and I would avoid like plague. I had a chance to buy quite a bit of real estate right on bay but population and job trends are just so bad. I would invest in Midland and maybe Saginaw but not Bay City.

Have you ever seen the properties in person? You're only an hour away.  Take the time to go check them out yourself.  Bay City isn't a bad rental market.  Your property manager is pathetic.  Do you know anyone that lives in that area?  Maybe they can help you find a new property manager if they're familiar with the area.  Do some networking to find a property manager.  I  run a small real estate investing meetup in Saginaw every month.  We have people with Bay City rentals at the meetup.  Come to the Saginaw meetup and meet some other Bay City landlords.  Our next meeting is July 11th at Uno's in Saginaw.  The meeting starts at 6:00 pm.

Yes i have personally been in both properties multiple times and do take the time to check them out when i am in the area. I am actively looking for a new manager but it seems like the one i have is one of the only ones in town with a decent following. i am currently exploring a couple options and my current manager will likely be replaced by the end of the month.

Another suggestion might be to do the management yourself to get them off the ground.  Once you have a system, it shouldn't really take a lot of time to manage just those 3 rentals.  Let me know if you need ideas on how to do this.  I have a few rentals that are all either out of state or about an hour from my house, and I manage all of them myself.  It's not a huge lift.

Originally posted by @Jake Toth :

New investor here, Last fall i purchased a duplex on the south side of Bay City Michigan about an hour from my residence. I hired a property manager to manage it for me as i am trying to invest passively as i have a fairly busy job as a project manager for a mid sized excavation company. The duplex sat empty until about march of this year when the manager gave me feedback that the showers in both units needed to be done as people had concerns about them due to not having surrounds, poor layout etc. so we spent around 3500 to get both showers/ bath fans done. finally one side of the duplex was rented in late april. We ended up buying a single family 4 bed 2 bath home on the north end of town in early may as we had been saving and i wanted to keep the ball rolling on investing and i was also trying to trust the system hoping that my manager would be able to get the other duplex unit rented as well as the single family. well here we are in late june and both are still vacant. I am wondering if there are any other investors in bay city that are having issues filling their units? 

We are 7 months into our investing journey with little to no income to speak of from our properties and it is getting very frustrating to keep floating them along month after month out of our own pockets.

we are using a company called ASAM to manage our rentals and they do not seem to advertise very well so i am also wondering if there are other management companies in the Saginaw/ Bay City area that people have had luck with?

 @Jake Toth How has your experience been since you’ve written this post originally? Were you able to turn your ship around and get those properties profitable?