Are brick houses a good option for flipping/renting?

3 Replies

Hello, I am from the city of Corpus Christi in Texas, I am new in the Real Estate world but looking forward to learn as much as possible with the help of the people from this great community. I have been reading and listening to some topics and books on investment properties and I find them very attractive, now looking forward to investing on my first property with the useful tools and topics discussed here. A year ago hurricane Harvey did a lot of damage to houses around the area, my question is, does anyone here has any experiences with selling or renting brick houses? not only brick walls but also strong foundation? real solid houses like the ones from other countries. Do people look for this houses for buying or renting? and as an investor, is it good to invest on these properties since they don't wear out as much as wood houses? Thanks in advance. 

@Josue Caudillo

Welcome to BP - you've come to the right place for questions and answers.

I'm somewhat familiar with Corpus Christi - where I would guess most of the homes are "Brick Veneer" meaning the home has a Brick Exterior. 

The actual Brick adds little or no structural integrity to the home. We use Brick or Rock in Texas because it looks good, it's plentiful, and it reduces the cost of exterior upkeep.  Behind the Brick is the framing - usually made from what is called in the building trades SPF lumber (Spruce, Pine, Fir). This is the structural part of the home, along with the foundation.

Whether the home exterior is Brick, Rock, Hardie-Plank, Shiplap, Aluminum or Vinyl siding in Texas it's most likely all the same underneath. 

So, unless you are looking for a Personal Home, don't worry about the exterior covering - you could change it out if necessary.  

For investment property - it's all ultimately about the numbers: 

1. What Can I Buy it for?

2. How much fix-up does it need?

3. What can I rent it for or how much can I sell it for?

@Jim Cummings Thank you for the information provided, I understand clearly your point: At the end is about how profitable the property is. As far as insurance costs, property management and CapEx for a rental property, does it costs less? Thank you Jim.

@Josue Caudillo . Reference - Your questions: As far as insurance costs, property management and CapEx for a rental property, does it costs less?

INSURANCE: You will find Insurance costs for a Brick or Rock Property might costs SLIGHTLY less due to reduced exterior maintenance and exposure for the Insurance Carrier. Insurance costs are typically predicated on age, type construction, Risk of Fire, type of Fire Service (Cost of a Volunteer Fire Dept vs a Municipal FD), weather related risk such as Hurricanes along the coast, Storm related activity in the Texas Panhandle, etc. All in All - Insurance costs probably not a big factor in your buying decision. 

PROPERTY MANAGEMENT: Property Management Fees along with Commissions are Negotiable according to Texas State Law. Typically, you'll find most PM Companies do some variation of a Flat Fee ($XX) Per Door, or a Percentage of Rent  (6% - 10%) are the figures most often quoted. What you pay is strictly negotiated & agreed to by you and the PM Company. You would think, what an Investor pays for one property versus an investor with 10 properties might be different. 

CAPEX: If you use a very sharp pencil, have an engineering background, and a crystal ball mind, you might be able to arrive a mathematical formula to calculate CapEx reserves. Most people don't, so they use a Percentage of rents - you typically hear 10% from many BP Members. If you own the property long enough, you'll need to replace the HVAC, Roof, Appliances, fixtures, etc. With a new or newer home, less than 10% might be sufficient, while an older home you might need more than 10%. I can personally attest to that as I've replaced 2 HVAC systems and an Expensive Thermostat in another in recent months proving you need a CapEx fund or reserves.

SUMMARY: There are many factors involved in determining Insurance Costs, Property Management Fees, and CapEx expenses - the exterior construction of the home - brick, rock, or frame siding is probably of lesser importance.