1% or 2% rule properties - do they really exist? Another metric?

6 Replies

Is there another metric besides the 1% or 2% rule, like cash flow or something that can be used to decide on a purchasing a rental property?  For example, I'm eying a 3 unit multifamily that costs $995,000 but the best rent it will bring in in is $6200 (I know this b/c I study the neighborhood & have 3 rental units a few blocks away).   It just doesn't seem possible to find a multifamily in the Boston area that fits the 1% or 2% rule, yet investors gobble them up, even for buy and hold, not just for condo conversions. 

I'm a tenacious person who gets things done, but am stuck on how to expand my portfolio.

I'm glad I found BP, but if I did 4 years ago, it would've caused analysis paralysis then and I wouldn't have made the "naive rookie mistake" of buying my first two properties. I own two, 2 family's and live for free. I'm not even close to the 1% rule, but I'm enjoying freedom from a mortgage and utility payments. 

Thanks in advance for your thoughts and comments!

@Matt Fitzgerald   yes you can find discussion all over Bigger Pockets about people who have properties that meet (or exceed) the 2% rule.  However it doesn't apply in all areas of the country.

They do exist.  But from everything I hear, you will be hard pressed to find them in your area (or really any area with high cost of living).  They are all over the place in the Midwest states.  We don't have crazy swings in appreciation like the coastal states do, but you can consistently find cashflow properties that meet the 2% rule with hard work here.

I am buying a 3% property right now but it is not common.  Most of mine are 2% and that is what I am targeting for the future.  I do have one 1% place but it was a special situation.

@Matt Fitzgerald  

I've been in Boston for 10+ years.  The answer to your question is "no, they don't exist."  If you are in exactly the right place at exactly the right time you can find places that pass the 1% rule.  The key to Boston seems to be guessing the next big neighborhood to go to condos.  If you'd bought 10 units in Fort Hill 10 years ago, you'd be sitting on $5M+ in value right now.  It probably would have cost you less than $1M to buy those places.

Savin Hill is going through that right now. East Boston kicked off a price war 4 years ago.  A 3 family I have been watching was taken off the market and then put back on 100k higher :)  A neighborhood in Roxbury, Dorchester and/or Mattapan will probably be the next big area for condo conversions.  

And yes, if the stars align perfectly for you on a certain day and your checkbook is brimming with cash, there might be 1 Buy and Hold 2% in Boston waiting for you.

@Aaron Montague thank you for the sanity check.  I've been seeing the trends you mention and wanted to make sure I wasn't missing something.   I remember working int he brownstones in the south end back in the late 90's as a laborer during college breaks and thinking the prices were outrageous, but they were nothing compared to what they are now.   I've noticed the prices of places in Neponset and Savin Hill seem to higher than what I thought they should be.   Thanks again. 

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