How old is too old when buying an investment property?

8 Replies

My husband and I are looking to buy our first long distance buy and hold. We want to buy a fixer upper with the hopes of BRRRRing. How old is too old for a home? I know that older homes often come with unforeseen issues during the Reno as well as more regular maintenance needs. We are pretty new and have only other purchased one other home which was ten years old when we purchased it. In the process of looking for something cheaper for our next investment, mostly older homes have come up. So my question is, as a newbie, what age of homes should I be looking for?

Part-time flipping/BRRRRing long distance is the riskiest strategy discussed on BP.  Managing long distance rehab without scale is a bigger challenge than the age of the home.

Originally posted by @Mike Dymski :

Part-time flipping/BRRRRing long distance is the riskiest strategy discussed on BP.  Managing long distance rehab without scale is a bigger challenge than the age of the home.

Amen     

@Ashley Deer

I bought homes for long term buy and old, and for that, I was told be a tenant whose dad is an investor, that he avoids homes more than 15 to 20 years old. So it depends how long you plan to have it.

In the beginning, I bought properties 30 to 40 years old, but if you hold it 25 years, they're 65 year old buildings, and you start to have plumbing problems unless you have it all replaced. My plumber at the time told me that at 50 to 60 years, you got to replace the pipes.

In fact, I had to upgrade the electric on the older buildings as well. So on my 2nd stage of REI, I bought properties at foreclosure in the mid 90's in they were all less than 10 years old, and so far, trouble free.

I like 60s, 70s that haven't been updated at all.  Buy directly from the long-time owner or their estate.  Paint, carpet,  wood floor refinish, countertops, appliances, trim the yard back, like that. 

MLS is ok, I mean directly as in not from a TK provider, flipper, wholesaler, etc. Wholesome, not wholesaled,. LOL

@Ashley Deer - owning rental property while stationed outside the US is a great idea. My dad was foreign service for a while (he bought 2 homes) and we have friends who purchased multiple homes. That said, I agree with @Mike Dymski and @Jay Hinrichs about ultra long distance rehab: don't do it. If you're in the US or home leave and want to pick up something that needs light rehab, that's doable. Otherwise pick up turnkey properties that have the right numbers for you. Good luck! 

everyone else who has stated

@Ashley Deer . I would say no more than 20 years old. A lot of older houses have a lot of hidden problems and you might have to get a whole new roof, appliances, etc. It can get real expensive real quick.

age is just a number. If you get a really good deal on a old building a total rehab may be worth it especially if you modernize it and still keep the old house charm. You have to run numbers. 

Oh man.. When I saw your thread I thought you were talking about your age. hahha.  If you're in an area with slow development there are only old buildings for sale.  I'm on an island and there are single walled, tin roof homes that are 40+ years old selling for $350K+ some are going for $500K.  supply and demand.  I wish there were more brick homes in my area that would justify some of the prices I see.