Chehalis/Centralia, WA multifamily investments?

16 Replies

I currently have one SFR (a BRRRR!) in addition to my primary. I had been focusing on finding a small multifamily (to start!) in the Tacoma/Oly area, but it seems like everyone else has the same idea! With my current budget, that area is seemingly very hard to break into right now.

With that being said, I’m thinking of looking in the Chehalis/Centralia area. I feel like it’s similar to @Brandon Turner target area over in Aberdeen, in terms of economy (pretty stagnant!) and socioeconomic factors. I realize that there probably won’t be much appreciation on the property (also like Aberdeen), but forcing some appreciation through updates and following the 7 Steps to 7 Figure Wealth strategy is my current goal. 

I've looked at listings in the Chehalis/Centralia area, and although there's not a lot of small multifamily at the moment, they do come up in my price range. 

Is this a good idea? Any thoughts of “run far away!” from anyone?

So, also, does anyone have a good, investor friendly Lewis County realtor?!

Hi @Wendy C. , I personally think it's an area that's ripe for appreciation, and actually has been seeing it's share of the Puget Sound appreciation streak. The tenant pool isn't what Olympia has to offer, but is MUCH better than Grays Harbor. We snagged a 4-plex in late 2016 for the low 200s in Centralia, but low inventory and pressure from up north has driven prices up, especially for multiplexes. What's on the market right now doesn't even make sense to me--a couple duplexes are on the market for what they might sell for in Olympia!! Don't get me started on Olympia either: just months ago you could buy a duplex in the low 200s (my friend bought 4 duplexes earlier this year in the 215k-225k range), but now everything is at least 20% higher. Anyway, I'm bullish on the Centralia market so long as you can find a deal. I know there is a major fixer on Pearl Street but I don't know the extent of the work--might be a good buy? 

@Tyler Blackwell , you said everything I'm thinking about the market! I looked at past sales and saw some I would have been interested in, but YES, the duplexes on the market right now in Chehalis/Centralia are crazy high! 

Thanks so much for your input, when I searched for any posts regarding the area--- I got 0! 

Do you mean 1016 N Pearl for $79K? If that's the one, I think that one is more of a "bulldoze" than a "fixer," that one looks like a scary SOB! hahah

If you don't mind me asking, who do you use for a realtor in that area?

@Wendy C. Yeah, 1016 N Pearl certainly looks like it would require some work, I've driven by and moved along, but that's when the price was $125k and the market was a little softer. Probably is a total bulldoze project since, even at 79k, it's not moving. 

I've used the same Olympia-based realtor since I moved here. His name is Jorge Ruiz, and is an investor himself (one of the VERY best). This is a good thing and a bad thing. He won't be looking for great deals for you, but if you find them, he's  responsive and easy to work with. 

Well that's lame! I need an RE agent who's looking for my next deal! 

Let's keep in touch about the Lewis County area, Tyler!

Hi Wendy. I sent you a PM. I just bought a 24-Unit apartment building, 14-Unit self-storage building, and a SFR (and a parking lot!), in an all in one deal. Here is the MLS information. I'll write up a blog post soon with all the details.

I can help you with smaller multi-families as well. I have a few there that I've kept my eye on.

@David Sweeney , I just messaged you back! Yes, please do let me know about any multifamilies in that area! I have just one SFR at the moment, but I'm very serious about buying multi, I'm trying not to get impatient while I wait for the right property.

Also, by the way, we're public servants united in REI! :)

I actually saw that property when I was looking at recent sales, and I was thinking what a slam dunk deal that was for whomever bought it! Way to go!!!

@David Sweeney what markets are you primarily in? I know I worked with a realtor before that only worked in whatcom county, and didn't go into skagit at all. The one i'm working with now does whatcom, skagit, and island. 

Wow. After looking at that MLS info I can officially say, I'm jealous. Good grief. I've seen far less go for far move up here! Great job on that buy David!

@Robert Freeborn , the Bham market has skyrocketed! I'm a WWU alum, and I would loved to have stayed in Bham. I can't believe what properties are going for up there! "The Ghetto Alphabet" streets are definitely no longer ghetto! I saw a duplex on Texas St recently for way more than it's former reputation would have allowed!  So now I'm jealous of David's acquisition and jealous of your location!

@Wendy C. Believe me, that Texas Street isn't out of the ghetto! And it sure isn't cash flowing at that price!

But you're right, it is a great location! Good luck down there! If things stay the way as they are up here, I might have to change my cross hairs and give you some competition!

@Wendy C. I think that's a sweet area to invest. I don't know the specifics of the economy and such, but I imagine that the Seattle/Tacoma/Olympia crowd will soon be hittin' up C&C. I do know that the school district just passed a $45mil bond and will be building new and updating an elementary and high school. (I don't know all the exact details, I just know the construction company I work for won the job and are just getting started on the preconstruction.)

Thank you for the input, @Julie Marquez ! Does that mean you’re headed down that way for properties?! ;)

@Wendy C. Not the plan, yet. We are still building a high school up here in Skagit County and have my real estate roots here. But if they send me there next, I'd be fine knowing it's a good place to invest too!

On the podcast they keep saying to get ahead of innovation... well... i might have to start looking more at the area!

Hey guys, a little late here, I just snagged an off market 3/1 in Centralia, do you know any contractors in the area?

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