Killeen/fort hood Detroit of Texas?

21 Replies

So my agent sent me some listings for Killeen, you can get some cheap multifamily units there. Is it a bad idea? Are there better areas? Any insight would be helpful 

@James L.

First off I would say your title is a tad insulting to the 50,000+ soldiers that live there and defend our nation as well as the untold number including myself that have served there

That being said, there are good and bad parts of most towns.  I have owned scores of properties there since the late 80's and it is an excellent town for cash flow but can be a little more difficult to flip but doable

You might want to rephrase and be a little more specific with what you are looking to do and there are a few of us that do business there and are willing to help

I'm sorry if the title came off offensive. I was going for funny. I have a lot of respect for the military.

I'm curious about buy and hold. I've seen some multifamily properties for sale that would hit the 2% rule on paper. But paper numbers and real numbers are 2 different things. 

Tell you what.  Detroit will send you 50k hoodrats in trade for those great military people.  What the hell.  Have you even been to Detroit? 

Welcome to BP.

@James L.

I believe when you mentioned Detroit in your post (headings), you just wanted to get to know the reason of Killeen, Tx being so low on multifamily properties in terms of asking price and Detroit is used all the time for distressed property market in the nation. 

Our solders are serving the nation every state / towns so there is no need of apology here.  

Killeen Tx has ONLY 1 major employer (military) that is NOT good for most investors because if something goes wrong with that employer, it will be devastating. Remember if people don't have any jobs, they will not be able to pay mortgage / rent.

Hope it helps.

@ Scott K, what is your deal with Detroit...geeze it seems like whenever you have something to say about the city its something bad...granted you don't like it but when you start to attack the residents you sound like an ignorant racist..EVERYONE from the city are not "HOOD RATS"  

But when you stay in Madison Heights and probably scared to cross over the city lines you will most likely say those things..obviously if you go downtown where you feel safe you will probably say ignorant things like that.  

Its just said to see that people like you continue to spew ignorance when you don't take the time to know the people in the City.  

Originally posted by @Theodore B. :

@ Scott K, what is your deal with Detroit...geeze it seems like whenever you have something to say about the city its something bad...granted you don't like it but when you start to attack the residents you sound like an ignorant racist..EVERYONE from the city are not "HOOD RATS"  

But when you stay in Madison Heights and probably scared to cross over the city lines you will most likely say those things..obviously if you go downtown where you feel safe you will probably say ignorant things like that.  

Its just said to see that people like you continue to spew ignorance when you don't take the time to know the people in the City.  

HAHAHAHAHAHAH get a clue.  You have no clue.  Detroit deserves to get ripped on.  12 people just got killed this last week. 

LOLOLOLOL I been working in the neighborhoods for 25 years. Typical to play the old black card. I have no fear to go anywhere in Detroit. I am always armed and have no fear. I am the one that walks into empty HUD houses. I do go downtown. You know I also go to the eastside near the airport. I also go to davison /dexter. I also go to puritan/greenfield. LOL Yeah those are all bombed out dumps. Detroit deserves to get little respect until Detroiters start respecting people's lives.

 

Again you need to check yourself.  Your city has shot at me and tried to carjack me more than a few times.  Yes I would gladly trade 50k Detroit people for 50k military people.  Nothing racist about that.  Are you telling me Detroit wouldn't be better with that trade?

I am  not into being PC and not see whats going on.  So get a clue before you spew your racist garbage at me.  Its not my fault Detroit is a warzone.  Its the people that live in the neighborhoods fault.  People like you don't help

Originally posted by @Theodore B. :

@ Scott K, what is your deal with Detroit...geeze it seems like whenever you have something to say about the city its something bad...granted you don't like it but when you start to attack the residents you sound like an ignorant racist..EVERYONE from the city are not "HOOD RATS"  

But when you stay in Madison Heights and probably scared to cross over the city lines you will most likely say those things..obviously if you go downtown where you feel safe you will probably say ignorant things like that.  

Its just said to see that people like you continue to spew ignorance when you don't take the time to know the people in the City.  

Another thing I didn't say everyone now did I.  I said 50k.  50k is not 700k unless you went to a dps school or something.  I eat the ghetto for lunch.  I look them in the eye and put my hand on my gun.  I just want to make a living without getting killed.

So as a former Detroiter what are you doing for the city?   The city is so nice that you decided not to live there.  You don't get to judge until you come back and try to help the city.  I do more for the city than you do.

I know plenty of good people in the city.  I have been in their very homes bringing them medical supplies so they can take their shots.  Or a hospital bed so they could be in comfort in their last days.  Or oxygen so they can breathe and try to enjoy life.  The neighborhoods are still mostly garbage 

you should be mad at the OP trying to compare Detroit to a military town in Texas

@Scott K 

FYI I am from Detroit...PROUDLY BORN and RAISED in the City went to high school and graduated from college in Michigan. I invest in my city to make money and hopefully help the neighborhoods in the process.

Not pulling a black card, just pulling a reality card.  I don't know if your white or not, never said you were.  

But looking at your profile  ANYONE that uses the word NAZI to describe something makes me wonder what type of character they are.

Again, never said Detroit was a paradise, and no you don't need to be PC, but you should be respectful.  I bet you would not call Detroit residents Hood Rats over on Davison and Dexter.  I am sure if you did, they probably would  continue to shoot at you.  Karma is a crazy thing..just saying.

@Scott K...Trust me @James L was wrong for his title, but hey the guy is going off what he sees and hears on tv I venture to say.  That being said when you say the things you say..u only reinforce the ignorance people continue to perpetuate onto the city and its residents.  

oh jeez, I wish I could change the title of my post. I was just referring to the prices of realestate. It is very low compared to other places in the state. That isnt a 10k population town. I don't know anything about Detroit other than what my friends from there say and the prices of their realestate. As for Killeen I have driven through it a couple of times years ago. I have family in the military, I have family a couple of towns over. I wasn't trying to start a thing. I'm very sorry if I have offended anyone.

I was merely trying to draw attention, I posted question about Killeen a week ago and got no response, I figured humor..... "Insert foot in mouth!"

What I do know about the town is there are a lot of rentals, the base is the biggest employer and the economic outlook is foggy. I was just trying make friends and learn from people on the ground the lay of the land.

Again I apologize

Hey everyone!
Okay, I understand James' view point on the title. Misleading or not, I get it. He was just asking if he should invest in Killeen.

Alright, here's the bombshell, James:
Killeen just doubled the size of the city's land. Military cutbacks are set to take effect, but Ft. Hood is one of/ maybe THE LAST place they'll be cutting forces at. Texas A&M is adding acres every month to Texas A&M Central Texas inside the city limits. A new Wal-Mart has just went up this past month. Killeen is a boom town right now. If Wal-Mart saw the reason in placing a THIRD one inside city limits (I can literally drive 8 minutes to the next Wal-Mart), then they must know something.

Don't flip in Killeen; buy and hold. It's a rental, transient town. Soldiers and college kids will be cycling through constantly.

Good luck, James. If you want any more inside information in Killeen, I'm in the middle of it. I was raised here, I've lived here, and I've got a business here.

@Chris Hamm

@James L.

Well said Chris!

You left out the massive new VA hospital that is about to be finished around December or so, I think? Meaning Killeen will be "the great place" for military retirees and the healthcare workers who support them.

Also, I haven't verified this, but was speaking with an investor who mentioned the work on I-190 they're finishing.  Being a 6 lane freeway opens up the area to a lot of businesses that have requirements regarding being within a certain distance of an interstate for commercial reasons.  In the coming future, there might be great opportunities for the growth that is arresting the rest of metropolitan Texas to make inroads into the underutilized Killeen labor market.

As a Realtor and owner of a home, rental SFH and 4-plex in the area, that is certainly what I am hoping for.

Also, from my working with investors, the multi-family market is pretty hot.  There are 0 - zero - nada multifamily foreclosures on the market right now compared with lots just two years ago.  The buy and hold interest seems to be escalating in Killeen, in what was already a buy and hold town (60% of the population are renters).

Actually I misspoke - it is not a VA medical center specifically, just a 60% expansion of the Army medical center.

@ Chris Hamm @bryan Adams 

Thanks for the input, are there any neighborhoods to avoid? Or are better to invest in?

I could speak for hours about the psychology of owning rentals and flipping houses in Killeen. Here are a few observations from my 25 years of investing in the area :

- There will always be a good number of foreclosures in the area as most military buy with zero or very little down and when they are transferred in 3-4 years do not have the equity to sell and when they become a landlord have very little in reserve so they can't handle vacancies or repairs

- Tends to be a better rental market than for flipping. I will say I am not a fan of the property management firms in town.  For example, I bought a property from a retired soldier that left the area and her management company had been trying to rent for 6 months. Shen sold it to me for 15k and I rented it the same day for $595 as it just needed a cleaning.  Not a great area but not bad.  They stayed 2 years and I sold it for 29k

-Back in the day, if a soldier was late on his rent, all it took was a call to his First Sargeant and the rent was paid pronto.  Not the same these days

- If you own several properties, you can participate in the deposit waiver program where the soldier does not put up a deposit.  Sounds bad right ? The kicker is they have to come through you to clear post. The one and only time I have ever collected on a judgement 

-flipping can be difficult but is doable. I have done 2-3 in the last year and would suggest the following.  Always always factor in paying the buyers closing costs.  Just the way it is so you have to budget for it.  I would tend to go with the lower priced older homes because the newer subdivisions still may have active building and it is very difficult to go up against a builder with all the goodies and services they provide

And finally, at least when you are there you have options to eat ! Back in the day, the best 2 restaurants were Red Lobster and Casa Ole

@Greg H.

"- If you own several properties, you can participate in the deposit waiver program where the soldier does not put up a deposit. Sounds bad right ? The kicker is they have to come through you to clear post. The one and only time I have ever collected on a judgement"

That's Evil Genius level right there! Lol. That's actually a pretty good compromise, and clearing post is always a rush job anyway, so it does provide a certain motivation... How not cool would that be to eat into your terminal leave or be late reporting for a new post because of unpaid rent? Horrible, amazing, and a surprisingly sensible arrangement, actually :-P Do you happen to know if that's a post reg, or somewhat universal now?

@Chad Clanton

The deposit waiver program is unique to Fort Hood.

Or rather was.

While ostensibly still a program that the landlords can use, the Fort Hood Housing office itself advised me not to do participate.  She said they could no longer reliably live up to their side of the bargain - requiring Soldiers to pay rent before clearing housing (if they clear housing at all).  I'm not sure how many PM companies still offer the deposit waiver program.  It was common when I first got here, but no more.

@James L.

Really, I'd say it's up to you. Just remember that soldiers are sometimes pretty rough on their houses. You'll get them rented out, but after someone leaves, prepare for some touching up. I'd say stay on the South side of highway 190, but that's personal preference.

Brian Adams is a Realtor here. I'd PM him.

@ Bryan Adams @ Chris Hamm 

Hey guys I really appreciate the feed back. So I'm very interested in buy and hold. And would like to do multifamily. It looks like there is a lot available to rent and purchase. Is there a lot of turn over in the market? Do you guys have any experience in multi? Or are you SFR ? What would you say is the best way to break into it in Killeen? Are there good management companies? I would ideally want to self manage but not real familiar with dealing with active duty

@James L.

Buy and hold multifamily is getting a lot of attention recently in Killeen.  That market is definitely trending up.  Firstly, it is rebounding from '08.  The crash didn't hit SFHs in Texas much, but MFHs hard because so many were owned by Floridians and Californians getting squashed elsewhere.  Killeen fourplexes in particular had their values cut in nearly half as there was a foreclosure epidemic for a year or two.  But now price have almost returned to what they were before.

Also, the white hot Austin market is driving out investors into our area, looking for buy and hold bargains that can't be had in that area.  There are no duplex or fourplex foreclosures in Killeen right now, period.

I myself bought a fourplex in 2012 owner occupied (FHA) and have been happy with it. There are some areas with fourplexes I wouldn't buy into whatsoever, but other areas I do like and keep rented well. I like the SW side of town for multi-family and buy and hold - there is a lot of new commercial development on that side including the new Wal Mart and Texas A&M campus.

For property management, there are some good forum discussions on BP on whether to do it yourself or have someone else do it.  My own thoughts are - stick with your core competency.  If you enjoy doing PM and are good at it, do it.  If you plan on making money flipping or searching deals, then have someone else do it.  After x number of homes, PM is going to be a full time job and a tether on your life, so you'd better enjoy it, a lot.

Call me if you want to talk more about multi-families.  My post is getting long, and a lot depends on your circumstances, of course!

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