First Deal: Location vs. Condition

1 Reply

Hello All, I have been reading on here for a while and can't thank you all enough for everything I have learned.  I am about to jump into purchasing tax deeds and was hoping I could get some experienced opinions on two single family properties.  

The first property I am looking at is a little over an hour and a half away from where I live/work. From the outside, the property appears great. Lawn is mowed, exterior paint is in reasonably good condition, visible A/C unit appears less than 5 years old, etc. In general, the property doesn't stand out from the solid middle class neighborhood it is in. Average home price in the neighborhood is $159,000. This house is above average, I would guess ARV $200,000.

The second property is 10-15 minutes from where I live and work, but otherwise is in much worse shape than the first property. From the outside, it needs a new roof, many/most windows, extensive landscaping, and new siding (about 50/50 brick/siding, brick is good). Between the outside condition and the fact that it is up for a tax sale, I assume the interior is trashed. However, this house looks to have potential in a very nice area. Best school district in the area, average home price is $400,000. This house is well below average - I would guess ARV $225,000.

Based on my limited experience attending this particular tax sale, the difference in the purchase price on the two properties would likely be pretty close to my estimate for the difference in repair cost.

I am now wondering if I would rather have a property that I have to drive a long way to meet contractors occasionally, or meet contractors regularly close by.  Of course, I would also love to hear about the issues that I haven't identified yet.  I would love to hear opinions from you generous folks with more experience.  Thank you!

to me, if the money ends up being the same (or at least kind of similar) location will always beat property condition.  You can get rid of condition issues in a couple weeks, but you will probably never get rid of a 90 minute travel time.

Unfortunately my market is pretty ridiculous right now, so any "local" stuff I'm doing is really out on the fringe.  Those 90 minute 1-way trips get really old really quick.

Free eBook from BiggerPockets!

Ultimate Beginner's Guide Book Cover

Join BiggerPockets and get The Ultimate Beginner's Guide to Real Estate Investing for FREE - read by more than 100,000 people - AND get exclusive real estate investing tips, tricks and techniques delivered straight to your inbox twice weekly!

  • Actionable advice for getting started,
  • Discover the 10 Most Lucrative Real Estate Niches,
  • Learn how to get started with or without money,
  • Explore Real-Life Strategies for Building Wealth,
  • And a LOT more.

Lock We hate spam just as much as you

Join the Largest Real Estate Investing Community

Basic membership is free, forever.

By signing up, you indicate that you agree to the BiggerPockets Terms & Conditions.