Kansas City one bedroom question

6 Replies

All, I’m looking at a package deal in Kansas City, it’s actual KCMO but it’s close to riverside and Gladstone, two good suburbs in KC. I’m curious to investors experience with one bedroom properties in suburbs. One of the properties is a one bedroom house and the other is a duplex and each side has one bedroom. The one bedrooms are mostly occupied at 600/mo with the current landlord paying all utilities. Any insight from investors with one bedrooms would be helpful. Trying to determine vacancy rates, turnover rates, ease of renting, etc. Always appreciate this community’s insight. Thanks Brenr

@Brent Kiger

In NKC close to Armour Road the rental rate is 750 for a fixed up (nice finishes) apartment in a small MF. If that is helpful! 

@Brent Kiger I don't know squat about KC but I do have a lot of 1 bedroom/1 bathroom units.  My experience is that if you have "too many" of them they are tough to fill.  It's a smaller group of potential tenants that want a 1 bedroom/1 bathroom and the 2/1 really opens you up a lot more.  The reason why I was okay buying a bunch of them is that where I invest you have one large and three small universities.  So you have a "backstop" of students as potential tenants.  And there will always be a student that wants to live without roommates.  You just have to make sure the units are nice enough (compared to others in the area) that you can rent them out for above-average rents.  Basically, you want to avoid the bottom-of-the-barrell tenants.  Since I don't know KC I can't say what a "$600/month tenant" feels like, if they have great credit, no evictions, etc.  Or if all of those "quality tenants" step up and rent 2/1.  I'm being overly general but when you have a bunch of 1/1s you need to ensure you don't have to lighten standards to fill the last few units.  Those tenants stand a decent chance of costing you a lot more over the long run.  Just my two cents.

@Lee Ripma Do you have any issues with getting vacant units rented, or does there seem to be strong demand. I have several three and two bedroom units, just never had any one bedrooms. Thanks for your input 

We haven't had any problems renting our 1 bedroom houses. It's like an apartment, but one that you can bring your pets too (and I would recommend allowing pets with pet rent and a pet deposit). I would certainly not try to flip such houses, but as rentals, they've worked for us.

@Brent Kiger I agree with @Andrew Syrios , you should be ok to rent out the 1/1.  Allow pets, and if at all possible get the utilities out of your name.  That's a huge liability and most tenants (especially in nicer areas like Gladstone or Riverside) expect to pay their own utilities.  

@Brent Kiger  Compared to where I live in coastal CA there was way less demand, tenants were way less qualified, and the units took way longer to rent. I only have 2 bedroom units. I guess the demand is really relative to what you are providing for the price point and the location. I think that on my first set of rentals I didn't add things that would have made the places rent faster, like dishwashers and a mini-split AC unit instead of window units in the bedrooms. Of course, I probably would have charged a little more if I had those upgrades. So I think it is appropriate to price for your location and what you are providing. My two best places to get tenants was Zillow and FB marketplace. I think professional photos make a huge difference and I will always get them. Those were just some random thoughts on rentals and demand, hopefully helpfull!