Red flag duplex. Too cheap?

5 Replies

I have found an opportunity but I need a good inspector in my area.  It's odd.  It's a duplex next to a community college and all the other houses next to it are 100,000+, but this place is only $50,000. It's a 6br 4ba duplex.  It does say it needs some tlc. built in '78.  Pics look fine, but inside is dated.  I'll check it myself before going under contract. One renter could cover the mortgage.

@Steven Shotts  


Also, welcome to BP.

A visual inspection will tell you if it is worth taking it to another level.  Be prepared to write an offer on the spot.  Sometimes places just slip through the cracks.

On the flip side, it might not be an amazing deal:
Places only rent for $225/bedroom
Tenants expect all utilities paid (AC x 6+ is going to get expensive)
Taxes are abnormally high for the area
Lead paint
Parking nightmares...

You get the point.  Covering the mortgage is a good start, now go see if the other side is going to make you some real money!!

i second @Aaron Montague  

Also it may have title issues, so do all due diligence.

Or a motivated seller, tired of landlording students. 

Or the house need a new round of roof, mechanics, electric? Code voilation? Occupancy permit issues. And seller wants out

Due diligence is important

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Don't not look at it because it "Too cheap" but like other say. Do your due diligence because there is a reason why its cheap. Figure out the reason, decided if you are willing to "deal" with the reason and than go from there. In these situations, this is why I love my realtor because I know and trust her opinion. So defintiyl get an opinion that you trust. 

So... I went and checked out the duplex.  It's actually in a neighbor hood comprised of other duplexes.  Right off the bat a realtor tells me that homes normally sold by this group are in less than stellar shape.  Lesson of the day: listen to your realtor.  I'm a trust but verify guy so I go anyway.  Undesirable neighbor, needs new garage door and front doors already.  I check one unit and it needs new carpet and linoleum. Then I notice that the sliding door on the porch is open and I swear I  hear noises upstairs.  it's just me and my bat light and I already feel uncomfortable.  I got out and called my realtor. "You were right." That's all I need to tell her. This is too far gone for a newb like me.  

@Steven Shotts  

I recommend keeping your first investment property as simple as possible.  

Plus the six battery Mag Lights are pretty awesome :)

Always stay away from scary.  The only time I recommend scary is when you can buy the whole block.

Happy (safe) House Hunting!!  Keep brining us your stories, bad and good :)