This community has been invaluable to me getting started on my investment journey! As of today, I have my first 2 investment property deals closed and rented! I want to say thank you to all of you that helped me or provided insight along the way. Between the forums and the FB groups, I don't think I could have made so much progress so quickly without all of the BP resources. I’m truly grateful for the relationships I’ve been able to build by being a member of BP. I met my realtor here who has been a Rockstar and helped me to find many other integral team members for my out of state investing.
I closed on my first 2 investment properties in a span of 30 days allowing me to reach my goal of being a real estate investor by February 2021. I wanted to share my experience with you all so that those that are still in the research stage, can be encouraged to get out there and take action.
I live in South Carolina but decided to invest out of state when I saw that the market here was skyrocketing and it is hard to meet the 1% rule here. I chose Fayetteville, NC because of the large military base there as well as the pricing being more favorable. It is also within driving distance, so not as daunting as investing many states away.
Fortunately, I found an amazing realtor on BP that works with investors in the Fayetteville market. Once we connected and figured out my goals, we hit the ground running and I was making offers within a week of getting started. It took about 5 offers (made in 7 days!) to get my first deal, but eventually it worked. It is a 4/2 SFH that after some negotiations, I got for $112,000. After talking to my lender to confirm that I still qualified for another one, we started looking again. The only thing that slowed me down was the holidays. However, on New Year's Eve, my agent and I put together an offer that he submitted for me on NY Day and it was accepted! House #2 is a 3/2 that I got for $120,120. I went from a homeowner w/ 1 primary residence to being under contract on 2 investment properties in a matter of weeks! I closed the first house in January and the second one in early February. Thanks to my agent introducing me to a great PM, they were also rented within a few weeks as well! By the end of February, both houses had tenants and I am now a landlord with 2 LTRs.
I was fortunate enough to buy my primary residence as a short sale 9 years ago and therefore, I had about $100,000 in equity. I decided to do a cash out refi to take advantage of the low rates and get a down payment to kickstart my investing. I used the same lender for the refi and both of my purchases. I was able to get traditional financing with 20% down and 3% interest on both loans! I definitely got in during the window of great rates and before things started tightening up. Both properties were move in ready with very little needed in the way of repairs. The second one was still on septic, but city was ready for hookup, so I went ahead and made the up-front investment to get that connected as I didn’t want it to cause a headache down the road. I paid cash for this and was able to get it complete for $2600 (including the connection fee to the city).
As I mentioned, both properties have paying tenants in place now and are cash flowing $300/month each. They both rent for $1195. This is after direct costs and 5% vacancy, 5% repairs, & 8% capex. The first property ended up needing a new HVAC after a couple of weeks of having tenants in place. This was expected as it was the original unit (21 yrs old), but I was hoping to get 6-12 months out of it. I paid half up-front, and the other half came out of my first months’ rental income. Today, both are paying on time and the repairs are paid for.
I learned a lot along the way! And I would encourage anyone that is still waiting because they think they need to learn more, to get started. The best way to learn is by doing. Sure, mistakes can cost you money, but so can a good education! Both houses were owned by out of state landlords, but I had completely different experiences with each. After having my inspections done, I requested repairs to be made.
House#1: Even though the sellers of house #1 agreed to complete some of them, they were not done on closing day. Things I learned from this: 1. It’s always better to negotiate price and do the repairs yourself so that you know they are done to your standards. 2. Don’t wait until 20 minutes before closing to do a final walk-through of the house. 3. Not everyone is good for their word. ☹ We ended up closing on time, with the promise that they would get the repairs done ASAP & they would send me $200 in gift cards for my trouble. In the end, my house sat vacant a week more than it should have because I was waiting on them to complete repairs AND they did damage to the house while completing the repairs which I then had to pay someone to fix. And, the gift cards never came.
House #2: I got a call from my insurance agent last week stating that the insurance inspector went by both properties and they want repairs to be made to the shed on this property. It’s an old metal structure with no doors and apparently, some rust on the side. The insurance company wanted the rust painted and doors put on. After doing some research on cost and communicating with my tenant if he “needed the structure”, I decided the best plan of action is to remove the shed. I haven’t really figured out how to avoid a surprise like this in the future, so I welcome your suggestions.
My Goals for 2021:
Now that I have 2 cash flowing LTR’s under my belt, I’ve set my sights on STR for my next investment goal. I’m currently doing research on my local area (Charleston, SC) and eventually also want to invest in the Gatlinburg area. I have my reserves in place for the current properties and am rebuilding my funds for my next investment. A partnership may be in my future if I can find the right fit for a partner for a STR investment.
Again, thank you to the BP community and anyone I have connected with during this journey. Six months ago, this was only a dream and it still felt so far away, and now here I am making my dreams come true.
Congrats Meghan! Way to take massive action. I’m sure there are plenty of folks on BP who could use an experienced action taker like yourself as a partner :)
@Meghan McGill nice great stuff!!
Congratulations Meghan! Thanks for the in-depth information.
Thanks @Tony Robinson ! I know this is just the beginning of a great journey! Thank you to you and Ashley for all of the great content you provide on the podcast. I love listening to you every week.
@Shane Siederman Thanks for the encouragement! I would love to hear more about your STR experience in Charleston. I sent you a connection request.
Thanks @Terrell Sowell ! What part of SC are you in?
@Meghan McGill okay great!
We own handful of short rentals on spring street and close to the short term areas inside of Charleston SC plus long term college and MUSC too! Buy and hold and manage some mainly short term rentals. You can call me anytime and I’m on Instagram. I don’t use this website a lot but I do like them....
@Shane Siederman that would be great. However, your profile doesn't appear to have your phone number or IG on it. If you would like to send me a message with your contact info, we can connect on one of those platforms. Thanks!
@Shane Siederman 718-833-4901 New York though LOL.....
@Meghan McGill I’m in Spartanburg, SC. What about you?
This is very inspirational and I can't wait to get started! Congrats!
Congrats! It's amazing how much you can learn when you use the power of connection!
@Meghan McGill I'm really excited for you, what a great learning experience. I'm glad the lessons you learned weren't too expensive and I love that you just dove in and started without overanalyzing yourself to death. Best of luck in your future deals!
@Terrell Sowell I’m in the Charleston, SC area. Spartanburg is a nice area!
@Jonathan Stevens thank you! What is holding you back currently?
@Matthew Crivelli thank you! It’s been an adventure so far! I see that you are a lender. What areas do you lend in?
@Sam Mayberger thank you! Once I was connected with a couple of key team members, it felt pretty easy to move forward. The trickiest part was figuring out the rental rate when I was analyzing deals. However, my agent introduced me to my PM who was great about giving me rental rates on properties I was considering. A tram you trust is invaluable. And of course, learning from your mistakes. My agent and I had a pow wow after each deal to discuss what could have gone better and what I could do differently the next time. I’m grateful for his humbleness and willingness to help me grow.
We service 43 states the Carolinas included.
Would love to chat about our product feel free to call me when you have your next deal!
@Matthew Crivelli thanks! I’ll keep that in mind.
Congratulations! Thank you for sharing.
@Reginald Monroe thank you! I just want to give back as I’ve benefited so much from the forums and FB groups.
Great going Meghan! Thanks for sharing the deets on the financing too. We've been working with investor from the Carolinas because in Indy (my market) we can do 1% and even 2% houses. Maybe that's a play too as you find investors some may want to invest in Indy and I can definitely help with that.
I don't think I have much in your area right now but other than that if there's a way I can help please let me know. Thanks for sharing! = )
~ Indy Anna
@Meghan McGill Awesome!! Congratulations and thank you for your detailed journey.
Thank you so much for sharing this.
I too am looking in that area, from afar. However, during my building my team phase, I continued to meet people that said, "If your not in any rush, you may want to wait until the moratorium is lifted." So I have, and now it's extended and prices continue to rise.
I am interested in the area because of the military base also. I am a government employee civilian, and like the idea of knowing that if something didn't pan out I could always move into the house myself. My two main issues now seem to be:
1. Not knowing the neighborhoods. I am looking in a similar price range but zillow keeps pointing me to some bad spots. I run the numbers, send it to the property manager/realtor that I have been speaking with, just to be told it's not an area they service, or that property is already under contract.
2. Not knowing when to get pre-qualified with a lender, and which lender? I am having a hard time finding a lender that would do investment properties. So do I just blindly start calling lenders in the area and roll the dice, or do you have any recommendations.
While I am not really in a rush, I want to position myself to be ready to pull the trigger when I find the right deal.
So again, thank you for your post. It was exactly what I needed to hear this morning, and any further advice would be appreciated.
Originally posted by @Meghan McGill :
@Jonathan Stevens thank you! What is holding you back currently?
I just started learning the basics and I am trying to get my funds together. My goal is to be an out of state investor but have not narrowed down which area to invest in. Trying to absorb as much as possible.
@Meghan McGill Congratulations, I can feel your enthusiasm through your post! We just went live (30 days ago) on our first AirBnB in Fayetteville, NC and I'd love to share any insights/lessons learned with you. I am also interested in hearing what you have to say about Charleston. Fayetteville seems like a good place for some steady STR income, if you haven't already reach out to Mark Horton II here on BP he's a local STR manager.
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