New to hagerstown MD area

18 Replies

hello my name is David Tolson and I have been wholesaling in Howard county for a little under a year, and just have moved to Hagerstown. I'm looking for other investors in the area that I can network with and get to know what properties sell and what don't. Thanks everyone

Hi @David Tolson  ! Welcome to BP. I am from Hagerstown, too! I can't speak for everyone, but my investment focus is on buy & hold duplexes outside of city limits, in desirable areas.

thank you Beth! I appreciate it, I've only done wholesale deals but have been looking to do rentals and other options. Hope to work with you in the near future!

Hey @David Tolson   and @Beth L.   . I'm in Gaithersburg and have not invested in RE, yet, but will do later this year. My focus is buy-and-hold and so far the strategy I've been considering (since property in Montgomery County is so expensive) is out-of-state turnkey investments in good cash-flow markets like Indianapolis, Kansas City and, Memphis. I have learned that there's plenty of affordable housing right in your neck of the woods, so I may have to reconsider and stay local. Beth, if you don't mind my asking, what is the average price you have paid for a duplex in Washington County? Do you self-manage?

Originally posted by @Fabio Secaira :

Hey @David Tolson   and @Beth L.    My focus is buy-and-hold and so far the strategy I've been considering (since property in Montgomery County is so expensive) is out-of-state turnkey investments in good cash-flow markets like Indianapolis, Kansas City and, Memphis.

There's a number of good markets but these are 3 of the best cash flow markets in my opinion. I know Indianapolis and Kansas City well. We provide turn key properties in both of those markets. I wrote a report on investing out of state that you might find helpful. I'm happy to share it with you if you'd like.

@Fabio Secaira  let me know if you are interested in turn key opportunities in the Indianapolis area. I can help you out and point you in the right direction. 

@Fabio Secaira   purchase prices between $140K -- $160K, but those needed work and we put much more $ into them. We are happy with a cash on cash return of 8-10% so we only look at deals where the numbers will work. I know that you can get duplexes downtown for much less, but I don't want to buy there. I wouldn't feel safe showing those units by myself, and I wouldn't want the drama those kinds of tenants bring. Yes, I do self-manage.

Welcome @David Tolson  !  I am from Howard County and invest solely (for now) in HoCo.  If you have any good deals in my area, I'd love to know.  Thanks and if I can do anything to help you learn about buy and hold investing, let me know.

Thanks @Mike D'Arrigo  and @Jason Royer  . Mike, I'd appreciate that report! 

@Beth L.   , I've seen some duplexes in downtown Hagerstown for $30k, but those I wouldn't touch with a ten foot pole.

Originally posted by @Fabio Secaira :

I've seen some duplexes in downtown Hagerstown for $30k, but those I wouldn't touch with a ten foot pole.

Why is that?  What are rents in Hagerstown in this area?

@David Tolson  welcome to BP! I'm from Hagerstown, too. Currently, I wholesale and purchase buy-and-holds in and around Hagerstown. Give me a call or shoot me an email sometime and we could chat about how we could help each others businesses. @Christina R.  I get anywhere from 925-980 for 3 bedrooms and tenants pay all utilities. I can be all in these places at the 40-50 ish' range, depending on the location. Ours are within the city limits but not "downtown". @Fabio Secaira  you can move out of the main downtown part of Hagerstown and find some nice places in working class neighborhoods for a little more than the 20-35K range and still get nice rents. I'm not familiar with Gaithersburg but Hagerstown probably isn't quite as picturesque as there :) Let me know if you have any questions about Hagerstown or if you are looking for a certain type of property and I can try and help. Feel free to call me or email, my contact info is in my profile.

Best of luck and I look forward to working with you folks.

@Mike Webb are these 3 bedroom places SFH, duplexes or apartments? And what areas are they in? Near the city park, near Funkstown, near Salem Ave? Just curious. I know that prices are much less in those areas, just looking at the MLS, so I am sure that getting wholesale prices are much better. Do you self-manage or use a PM for your buy & holds? Personally, I wouldn't want to be in certain neighborhoods by myself at night for showings. But I do agree that some neighborhoods are just fine. My focus has been to offer places that I would like to live in myself, in a desirable neighborhood where the values may appreciate.

Can you shed some light on the city requirements for landlords? I think you have to register as a landlord with the city (it's like $30/year), lead paint inspections at each turnover (but that's also in the county), and city inspections every so many years. Isn't there something in place about the landlord being responsible for drug activity within city limits?

@Christina R.  downtown the rents are cheaper than Mike mentioned, but most of those tenants have section 8 vouchers (if you want to deal with that) and they only live there because they have to. If anyone has experience with downtown Hagerstown rentals, please chime in.

@Beth L.  , these are located in the South End, not far from the City Park. I find that area is a good pocket that provides nice places and reasonable rents. As far as the City goes...they charge you $75/year per unit for a "rental license", inspections are two-fold; exterior inspections (weeds, sanitation, exterior issues, etc) are done twice per year. Interior inspections for Section 8 are conducted by the Housing Authority. These are completed prior to tenant move-in (initial inspection) and then again annually. I have yet to have one where they haven't found "something". If it is not a Section 8 unit, the City will conduct an interior inspection every 4 years. It can be a pain and I find they will pick at some things that I feel are insignificant; however, I guess you have to play the game or invest in another area. In addition, last year the City adopted the "Crime Free Housing Ordinance". This basically sets parameters for defining "problem properties". Instead of enforcing existing laws that were not being followed by a few landlords, they painted with a broad brush and now every landlord in the City is required to have certain language in their lease, identifying what is excessive use of City services (police, code enforcement, etc). Lastly, they can punish you by revoking ALL of you rental licenses if you do not comply with these items. While this is not exhaustive, I hope this sheds some light on those issues.


@Mike Webb  thank you! It gives me something to think about!

thanks everyone for all the good info I really appreciate it being new to the area! Do either of you know a good title company around here who is investor friendly? @Beth L.  Or @Mike Webb  ?

@David Tolson , not sure if anyone sent you a Title Co or not. I use Premier Title and Settlements on North Prospect St. Rich is a great guy and lots of help.

@Mike Webb  

    We invest in AA county mostly in B+ rentals, if have an odd floor plan property here and there we do Sec8 tenants for those so we have some experiance with them for about 15 years. Did you know that  SEC8 tenant tend to stay at a minimum of 6 -7 years?

    So yes you do put up with some bs from housing as they fail you every other year for a few little thing BUT that never cost more than $100-$200 each time and in return you don't have a vacancy for many years. Our biggest expenses can be normally the vacancy. So Yes we do pay $6-700 for inspections in six years but we also save $3-4000 on vacancy. Something to keep in mind. 

Another little known fact, if you Rent your property to Sec8 for longer than 120 months you will get a brake on capital gain taxes from the IRS if you decide to sell the place. It Is uncle Sam's way of saying thank you for put up with this. :) in our case we will save over  $50,000 of Capital gain taxes.

@david tolson, have you had any success in Hagerstown. I've heard a few things about the area and interested in investing there.

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