Buying a small Multifamily in Poughkeepsie, NY

4 Replies

Hello BP land!

I'll be buying my first property after many decades of study, bad timing, and analysis paralysis. I'm very excited because I'll be doing what has been referred to a 'house hack' (thanks for the vocab tip, BP) and is widely considered to be, arguably, the best way to get into the game of REI. I have the downpayment and a pre-approval for the FHA loans. I'll officially be an owner/occupant (though I think I'll be spending 1/2 my time in NYC anyway. :)

Here's where the plot thickens: it's in a market I don't fully understand - YET! I've only been to Poughkeepies a couple times and am a bit lost in terms of A, B, C, D, and warzone neighborhoods. I've been fortunate to connect with an investor and property manager but I don't want to send them the 21 separate listings that my agent sent me. It's wonderful that they would like help but I don't want to overload them either! The consensus is that this market is either an amazing opportunity or a pile of ..... depending on what street.

I asked my agent where the 'good' neighborhoods are. He said that's 'steering' and is considered illegal. I'm a bit confused because when we spoke about it in person he said he would be able to screen some properties for me. He knows what I'm looking for but I suppose he has his proverbial hands tied because of legal stuff? I don't really get it... 

Here's the short question to my long story: what streets and neighborhoods are good in Poughkeepsie? Like "anywhere above X street and east of Y ave." Or "stay away from a 10 miles radius of Z park." Or "if it's within a 10 minute bike from Y college you'll be golden." I'm not totally married to Poughkeepsie - however the taxes, house prices, metronorth train (a huge deal!), and other smaller reaseach are all pointing signs to go there. 

And if you're unfamiliar with that specific market do you have any tips on how to find the good from the bad ...from the ugly?! Like, maybe, police reports about crime by streets? Maybe call a local pizza place and see what their drivers have to say? Tips and ideas like that would be most appreciated for this newbie that's getting one step closer to financial freedom.

Thanks a ton everyone! See you on the other side. :)

@Jack North My first advice would be to find a new agent if they throw that at you. You can certainly describe the type of neighborhood you want to live/own/rent/invest in and the agent cherry pick those for you. Steering is illegal if the agent/broker is the one telling you that a particular neighborhood is bad due to race relations. 

I am not familiar with Puchkeepsie but you can certainly check the crime by simply calling the local PD. They will provide lots of information with regards to crime in the area.

@Jack North You can also call several local property management companies and tell them you're looking to buy multi-family in the area. Ask which areas they like/don't like to work in.

@Dan Handford Yeah - I thought I made it pretty clear to my agent that I want a good neighborhood. Maybe I'm legally unclear what I was asking for. He seemed like he read between the lines. I just don't want me, my girlfriend, or my tenants getting mugged or feeling scared. Any thoughts on how to "legally ask for a non dumpy street" that, obviously, isn't due to race relations. Great idea about the local PD too.

@Erik S. I did. Again - I'm trying to get my ear to the ground.

@Alina Trigub Another great idea. Seems so obvious too... Thanks!