Tampa/Lakeland Area Investors out there?

25 Replies

Hi!  I'm new to Bigger Pockets.  We just moved to Lakeland FL and I work in Tampa as an interior designer.  We have one rental in Jacksonville FL and are waiting on the Rental assistance program to kick in for our tenant who hasn't paid her rent in about 5 months.  Once the money comes in I am trying to decide if I should either sell that property and start over (I'll have about 90-100k) to possibly buy two properties, or should I go ahead and do a cash out refi and keep the property.  I am working on applying for section 8 for the property right now thinking that may be easier than eviction for this current tenant who is not paying.  Would love thoughts and would also like to know if there are any Tampa/Lakeland people in here?  Thanks!

You always lose long-term when you sell while building a cash flow portfolio in real estate, especially Florida. Never sale.
Do reverse engineer to figure out the most cash you could pull out of the property and pull it. How do you know what the most money you should pull out is? Do a rental stress test on the property, figure out the maximum mortgage payment you can do, considering a more competitive rental market in the future where rents go down 30% lower as a worth case scenario. Then rinse and repeat the process!

Hey Carley, I'm local to the area. I used to work in Lakeland at Geico and my wife has family in Lakeland. We are right outside of Tampa now and loving it. 

With the new zoning laws passed in CA, I would suggest holding onto any and all real estate you own in Florida. Definitely make sure the numbers work for the refinance, but my gut instinct would be to hold onto that property and continue to ride the appreciation wave. 

If you decide to refinance and pull cash out, you can get up to 75% of the appraised value on a conventional loan. You can get up to 85% of the appraisal on a Non-QM loan. So look at what the payment would be at those loan to values, compare that to what the rents would be and decide if the additional cash flow with the additional properties would look like?

Keep in mind that you will get additional tax deductions with the additional properties as well. Generally speaking, selling a property in most cases doesn't make sense, as you will never buy that type of property as low as you originally paid, so do a cash out refinance, don't sell. 

PM me if you have any lending questions? I'm always happy to help.

Nice to meet you Carly, I am an investor and property manager in the Tampa area. For you rental I would suggest not selling the property only if it is hard to manage. Depending on how much equity you have, you should refinance and use the cash to purchase more rentals in Tampa. Right now your house is worth more than the cash you would get from selling it. 

Hello Carley Naramore, you live in Lakeland, you work in Tampa and you are trying to save a Rental in Jacksonville...do you see anything wrong with that scenario? I had Rental Duplexes and houses in S. Tampa for 30 years that I managed and repaired. One thing that I learned as a small time Investor is that it would have been so much easier if I had targeted just one neighborhood to "farm" at that time when prices had been stagnant for ten years and everything was for sale without any premiums. What is your Goal? You have a JOB. Do you really want to be a Landlord? Have you learned anything from the disaster your have in Jacksonville? Do you know that it is almost impossible to make Profits with SFH's under normal circumstances? Do you have the time to buy Fixer-upper properties to add Value and raise the potential Rent? Do you know how to find a Deal property and do a BRRR? Are you going to try to make more Income with STR's like everyone who tries that route to Cash Flow? What is wrong with Selling Jacksonville and "farming" Lakeland where you live and can become familiar with greater opportunities to buy Distressed properties or find Multi-family property for greater returns? Try to Work Smarter and not Harder.

Thank you for your input.  The reason I have a rental in Jacksonville is because we lived there and that was going to be our place to "farm" and acquire more rentals.  However our circumstances changed and we moved to Lakeland and I was able to transfer my job with Ethan Allen to Tampa.  Now our plan is to focus on Lakeland.  My question was around selling and re-starting in Lakeland/Tampa or keeping the Jax rental but cash out refi to start in Lakeland/Tampa.  Also, we have a property manager in Jax.  I do not manage properties and have no interest in doing so.  Our property manager has helped the tenant apply for the government assistance and been approved.  Now we are awaiting the funds.  Hope that helps clarify my situation a little.  I absolutely would like to move into multi family and am looking at options in Lakeland for that.  I have a son in school in Tampa and one in Orlando so am looking there as well.

Carley Naramore, I would straighten out the situation in Jacksonville and Sell to consolidate your effort where you live. If you are not looking to do the 5 or 10 years to Retire with 100 Doors Plans, then, plug in your numbers and prove out your Plan, with and without Appreciation for the Future. No one is paying attention to the new Administrations effort to destroy our way of living with thousands of new Rules and Fees and Taxes and Covid. Good Luck

Pretty much what every other agent is saying :) If you have a great PM in Jacksonville, I would learn towards keeping it and refi. If you are self-managing, it's probably more stress and work than it's worth being that far away. 

While SFH are king right now (it terms of renter preference and appreciation), you may be able to buy a quality 3-4plex with that much down if sold.

Thanks everyone!  A lot to consider.  Since I am new to town can anyone give me a good CPA that is a real estate investor?  Also interested to hear if any of you have a real estate lawyer who does Series LLCs?  Thanks!

Welcome to BP!  Id recommend hiring a good property manager and manage them well or step up your management process. David Tiley has the best PM classes!  I’ve taken it twice and created a great process for us. 

One of my mentors always says “When you buy your property you buy your tenant”. 

@Carley Naramore

Welcome to biggerpockets!

I personally wouldn't sell - If you sell the home, you lose about 8% in value of the home that you don't get back when you purchase a new home.
If you purchase a new home, you may be paying another 2% in costs.

If there is a lot of equity in the home, I would potentially consider doing a refinance.