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Marisa R.
  • Developer
  • Atlanta and Detroit
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Foreign Investor - How I turned $500K into $2M

Marisa R.
  • Developer
  • Atlanta and Detroit
Posted Jun 11 2019, 20:31

Just thought I would provide an account of my journey since I started investing in US property market in 2011 and more recently Detroit. Perhaps this can provide some inspiration/feedback for any wannabe foreign investors, it can be done. If you can invest from overseas, you most certainly can do it from outer of state too. 

I had plenty of people, family and friends give me at least 5 good reasons why I should not invest in the US market. But fortunately I ignored this and just continued doing my homework, flying over regularly to US and sorting out the best way to move forward to make it work for me.

At this time the US property market was a basket case, and I could see with the right systems in place I could buy cheap properties that would be cash flowing from day 1. I also thought how low could prices go, some States hit 70% drops, pretty scary stuff.

I started investing in Atlanta in 2011, when the market started rising, and pumped about $500,000 cash buying SFH at around $35,000-50,000 price range (each), these were 2500 sq ft homes, in South Atlanta, in the main distressed properties/foreclosures.

 At this time financing was not an option for foreigners so all my properties were cash buys, however this has changed significantly. Today there are more financial options for foreigners. 

As we know many markets have rebounded from when the market peaked/crashed in 2007? and Atlanta is no exception, these properties today are worth at least $200,000+ each. 

So it really was not that hard, the rising market  turned my $500,000 into over $2,000,000 USD

These homes today rent for approximately $1400-1500 per month. Rents have slowly risen in the last couple of years in Atlanta. But when I was buying rents were pretty much stagnant.

My Atlanta properties today generate an income of approximately $10,000 per month (net)

Fast forward today...........am playing in the Detroit market, seems to be many opportunities, whether I can repeat what I did in Atlanta.... only time will tell, fingers crossed:)

I have been purchasing a mix of C and B grade SFH using cash for now, on average generating around 15% net returns. I have a couple of properties that I will be flipping next year as some markets are appreciating nicely and I would like to bring capital back to the table, rinse and repeat. The idea is to have some cheaper properties that are cash flowing and some purely for flipping.

I have a lot to learn about this market, and it certainly is different from the Atlanta market. 

Its been 12 months to date and  I have now bedded 10 properties where I have sourced good property management, not the easiest thing to do, I believe for a foreigner/out of state investor if you get this right you are 80% there. 

There are certain areas that I am targeting that are safe areas and have a mix of home owners/renters. 

My idea at the moment is to continue increasing my cashflow which is now at around -

$15,000 per month

I am not foolish enough to believe its going to be all smooth sailing, hardly.... Detroit is a beast and I have had some unpleasant experiences, but persistence is something I can do.  

 I plan to revisit this thread in 12 months time and give you an update on my journey

Happy investing everyone

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