I've been in contact w a broker selling such duplexes and triplexes in Johnson Pennsylvania. Seems like a great project and return. Does anyone have experience in this town or with this company?
Hi Shane, I'm curious did you ever proceed with the Johnstown properties. I may have spoken to the same company. Anyone else here use them, they are all section 8 housing.
Curious to hear if @Shane Vince moved forward with them and what the outcome was. I have been conversing with a broker from Citrona homes too. The numbers add up but it looks too good to be true.
I was also researching on Johnstown, PA and what are the main industries (sources of employment) there and is the population growing or steady etc. I would love to hear if there's anyone from Johnstown who can shed some light on this.
Has anyone moved on these properties in Johnstown?
The Manning Group, LLC
I'm also curious as they just contacted me. Has anyone moved forward with them?
Johnstown is in an extremely depressed part of PA. I wouldn't be excited about entering that market.
I too was contacted by a fellow from Holiday, Florida about investing in Johnstown. The deal sounded too good to be true, and he was aggressively marketing the properties which immediately raised a flag for me. As @Dennis W. mentioned, "Johnstown is in an extremely depressed part of PA", and you should ask yourself the following questions before moving forward:
1) Why would Citrona price properties at approximately 20K/door for the privilege of charging $50/month/door to manage them?
2) What would you do if your relationship with Citrona ended? Can you manage the property or find a buyer?
I live in the Johnstown area and have been investing in real estate within my hometown for the last 9 years. Johnstown is unique that it is made up of many boroughs and townships as well as different municipalities within the city itself. I have been researching Citrona online along with some of the other companies that have somewhat recently taken interest in our area due to the low cost of purchasing homes in (key word) certain areas. I recently talked to a local insurance agent that has been assisting some of the out of town buyers with insurance policies and the majority of them have purchased these properties sight unseen without any knowledge of the neighborhood they're in, school district, condition of the home itself apart from the pictures with fresh paint and new countertop or even seeing the homes surrounding it that have been condemned by the city. Don't get me wrong, I do believe there are great investment opportunities in Johnstown and the surrounding areas or I wouldn't be doing it here. All I am saying is with any investment, do your homework and if something sounds too good to be true....
If anyone wants to pm me with questions or for more insight into our area or the section 8 program (which these companies seem to be heavily advertising with) and some of the changes the program has seen locally in the last year, feel free to reach out. My biggest hope with anyone that chooses to invest in our area is that they are not only doing it for the financial gain but more importantly as an investment into the community itself. If anyone does decide to invest in Johnstown, we have a great local landlord association that would be beneficial to plug in to also (Greater Johnstown Landlord Association). One of our members recently put together a great article talking about the history of Johnstown, the struggles our town faces in general and within the housing arena. It would definitely be a good read for anyone thinking about investing within the Johnstown area. I'd be happy to forward to anyone that is interested.
Bumping this thread. If anyone had moved forward or has any experience with Citrona or the investments in Johnstown, PA please PM me and let me know your thoughts.
Hey guys wanted to bump this and see if anyone has had any success with them?
I guess their calling everybody again huh? I just got a call today with a too good to be true 21% return on a 6 plex.... any thoughts ?
My name is Krystal. I am a partner at Citrona Homes, LLC in Holiday Florida, one of our sales and marketing offices. I would like to fill everyone in on our program and how we operate. Let me just start with I totally understand the flags being raised and how its just too good to be true. I felt the same when I met Paul and his wife Kelly our Sr Partners. Too good to be true! Well today I am an actual owner/partner with them at Citrona Homes. I am glad I took the time to get to know Paul and his wife as they are really caring, generous, honest people. I am pleased today that I took the first step and decided to actually invest with Citrona Homes.
Yes our homes are very low initial investments. Starting around 20K a door, with returns around 14-19%. Some times lower and some times higher. I've actually had a few properties with a 32% R.O.I. as well as some with just 12%. Either way most of the time we are about triple the nations average.
We have working relationships with different banks and investors that we get our inventory from so buying in bulk we get a discounted price, as well as we pick up properties that have been distressed and we will rehab them in house. We bring all of our homes up to code. All of our properties will pass a section 8 screening. Now Johnstown had up dated their sewage compliance and most properties needed to up grade to a two line sewage system to tie into the counties code. We acquired many properties that the owners walked out on because they could not afford to do the up dated system and the property was condemned because of this problem. Big time discounts there! We do all of our contracting in house so we keep costs down by not hiring out side contractors. Contractors can be very costly and shoddy, I'm sure we are all familiar with this.
Now yes, we work with section 8 but lets be honest, section 8 is really a pain in the you know what. So we try to work with them as little as we can. However we also work with the wounded warrior project, battered woman programs and other such low income housing needs.
At our rental management side of business our motto is 'affordable housing.' We like to pride our selves that even someone that is working on minimum wage could afford to rent with us. This keeps our vacancy rate low, and i'm sure most of us know not only is this an issue in Johns town, PA but really all over the country. There is a very high demand for low income housing in that part of PA and we will happily supply that need. Even if the market crashes we have our properties that will still be bringing in that passive income every month. Johns town is actually on the up and coming. So that is always a good thing for an investor investing in real estate.
Now we also keep our management and maintenance affordable because we stand by our work, and pretty much warranty our homes for the first two years of you owning it. It is very common to see Paul putting hammer to nail working on these properties again keeping costs down to the bare minimum. If something fails for the first two years we will not charge for repair or replacement.
We have been doing this in this area now for over 8 years. We have no plan on leaving Johns town even if we stop selling properties there we still have our management and rental department that is a healthy business. Just saying we are not going any where. We don't want to just sell you one crappy property we want you to come back and get another investment. It's much easier to sell you a second property than to sell a bunch of crappy one time sales. We would never had made it this far. We have a A rating with the BBB. You could contact the housing authority we can show proof of our works and ETC.
I have a strong faith in Karma and I would not want shady karma like selling investments that are crap or lie to be coming back on me..."just saying" LOL I strongly suggest to do your due diligence check us out give me a call I can give you an investor or two who wont mind giving a referral based on their experience with us. Talk with Paul he's great and has a lot of knowledge. Worked at smith barney for like 10 years. This is not a get rich quick scheme. Its buy and hold, Turnkey real estate investment. We have low cost properties with high returns. I really would love to help any one or answer any more questions I hope I was able to shed some light on what every one was looking for. Investor turned partner right here!
@Krystal Jones Please excuse my skepticism, but this is your one and only post. Looking at the Citrona website, I see basic spelling mistakes, a lack of executive/owner bios, and no case studies showing the financials for some of your projects (which is surprising as one of the founders worked for 10 years at a financial services firm). For a $20K home, what happens to returns if major capital items are needed after year 2? If one of my $300K houses needs a new HVAC system, its 2% of the property's value, if one of your properties does, its 20-30% of the property's value and probably multiple years worth of free cashflow.
I find it strange that not a single person has come forward yet to give any type of experience, good or bad, with Citrona Homes. Are there any out there that are on BiggerPockets? I would love to hear some first hand experience with someone that does not have any direct relationship with the company. Other turnkey companies I've researched I am able to find many positive or negative experiences. Why are there none here? Can anyone that has worked with Citrona please provide some first-hand experience?
My husband and I are scheduled to go to Johnstown this weekend to walk thru 5 duplexes. We are waiting on some documentation before we commit 100%. We are going to call a Johnstown realtor tomorrow to walk the properties with us. If we go, I will let you know how it went.
I just got off the phone with Kelly down in Florida. She seemed like a very nice lady but like everyone has said - seems too good to be true these ROI numbers!!!
@Cheryl Graham please give us an update when you return from Johnstown!
I'm all for investing in a depressed area and providing affordable housing!
These folks promise to lease and manage the properties they sell you (at a huge profit), and then don't follow through. They collect rent and you have to chase them for it, and I think they have a ring of deadbeat tenants that go from one house to the other, and pay a security deposit and nothing more. (2 of these in 1 year with 8 months free!). I finally escaped... Oh, and their employees are not licensed brokers, but earning 10% commissions! Beware!
I recently wrote a negative review and since have been contacted by Rob at Citrona so I wanted to update the post.
Citrona did rent the properties though two of the tenants paid nothing for 4 months before they were evicted. As far as tenants moving from house to house, I assumed given the size of this town that this might be the case, but Rob researched it and confirmed that this hasn’t happened. They had trouble renting a commercial space for me and we held money in escrow which was refunded to me to my satisfaction. I realize they are selling properties and not guaranteeing income but I was more or less sold the promise of leased properties.
Yes, we all know they sell at a profit and I have no way of knowing their profit and loss figures. Communication was the key breakdown in my experience, but to Rob’s credit, he is working on improving things there in that regard. My final outcome was that I sold the homes and broke even, and maybe a little more, and with the changes Rob seems to be pushing, things should likely improve. I hope so. Rob has been very helpful and has done everything he has promised. They better never lose him.
How has the rehab been to your standards? They always send pictures pre-rehab and say it will be done with the purchase price. Just curious if they actually do anything more than just paint and maybe new floors.
Also, if their management is poor, but the properties are pretty good, has anyone here that owns any of their properties, just dropped them as PM and found a better PM to take over? That could be a good solution if the properties are good and rents are good to not lose the cash flow. Or are there no PM companies that service that location?
@Cheryl Graham How was your experience there? I never saw an update.
I am still tempted when I see low prices, high rents with returns of 18%+, but all these bad experiences are making me not pull the trigger. Just curious if there are any good experiences and these are just the few bad situations that happened for whatever reason, short staffed, etc, or if they are all bad all around.
@Thomas Bible, Saj Johnson. I am currently going through a bad experience with Citrona Homes. I invested 100K with them back in May with a duplex and a triplex with clear understanding that I will not invest in empty units. The performas given over and assurances by sales and marketing team of Krystal, Paul, Ross is misleading as they talk about section 8 tenants and then high sale point is that tenants are long term sitting and have been making payments.
I am struggling till date with rehab not finished and it will only go worse since we are coming close with winter weather. Back in August when I really got frustrated and asked for the update, owner partner Paul and Ross personally asked me to switch properties saying that county is giving them hard time and the triplex that they made me swap as per them already had two tenants in there (long term) and the one unit was to be rehabbed with a time line of 8-10 days and they assured all this in a detailed email. Now that from May we are entering October and this morning I get an email from Ross that Citrona Homes is not under any obligation of management and if I am unhappy I can move my management and that units are not guaranteed, ROI is not guaranteed and rehab may go until end of October, again nothing confirmed..........where as when they sold me the properties they had a total different scenario. Completely Misleading the investors.
Frustrated and stuck with a negative investment with them now they avoid calls saying they have certain restrictions to interfere in each other departments as in who is handling what......Rob has now asked to only communicate through emails and phones.
Further to add on to this I was mailed out a check for my previously owed rent from one unit and check was drafted Sept 1, 2018 I received it last week and when I deposited I get an alert from my bank as well as a call that the check is no good as the party doesn't have funds in it and my bank can only try again to cash the check again on October 1, 2018. I am a real estate broker and I still got into their trap. I have tried my best to work and cooperate with them but if you need to share or need more details PM me, I am happy to share my experience with anyone of you guys so we may help each others not to fall for these traps as out of state investors.
I also bought properties from Citrona Homes back in March. How many did you buy?
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I was very close to buying some properties with them recently when a friend kept telling me not to do it so I didn’t. I was all set to go down there one Friday to meet them and my friend said something seems fishy and convinced me to call up a local realtor to see if they have heard of these guys. Well the local realtor definitely knew of citrona and apparently they are buying up all these properties in the areas. He said they are not trust worthy because one of them wanted him to lie to say a rental was rehab when it was clearly not. He also “thinks” they don’t have the cash flow to buy the properties because for one he was involved in, they put one under contract to purchase but never could follow thru on it He is “hearing” that is the case for other properties. They don’t have a great reputation in that area. So as of now, I am staying clear of Citrona owner and his business partners.
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