Investing with my Dad - Different Investing Time Lines

8 Replies

So my father and I currently own a couple Duplex's together and are looking to buy another investment property. We are at very different points in our lives and I am wondering if we should keep investing together. My dad is 54 years old, plans on retiring at 62 and lives in NY. I am 28, just getting my professional life as a Real Estate agent under way and living outside Charlotte NC. Speaking with my dad it seems like we are both looking for a good cashflow property but I am just curious what peoples opinions were on having the same investment strategy even though we are at such different points in life. I have been looking at cheaper houses that will cash flow good but I know these properties will probably not appreciate much. Does this sound like a good strategy for someone in their 20's as well as their 50's? 

I don't see any issue with your investment strategy for either individual in their respective age bracket.  As with so many investments as well as in real estate it comes down to what you are trying to accomplish and what you are comfortable with.

If he is looking to hedge some money down the road your individual strategies may change.  If everything is a joint venture it may get challenging in some areas depending on what the goals are.  

I think you're overthinking this. A deal is a deal. Just enjoy going through this process with someone you love. I'd love it if my dad were into investing. 

As far as your strategy I would would not rely on appreciation (hard to predict the market).  When you buy a property for renting it is all about purchasing the property for a good price and invest in the property to bring up the current value. As long as you have done that and the property Cash Flows you are good.

It is always nice to have someone you trust as a partner.  I would love to have my father as part of my team.  Just keep the open line of communication incase either of you decide you don't want to continue working together for whatever reasons.  

My dad and I invest together and it's wonderful to have someone you trust and love to enjoy the same things. I don't over think it, just enjoy the enhanced father/son relationship.

Thanks everyone! 


As someone near your Dad's age, I can give you some considerations (but no answers) from your Dad's perspective:

If I was your Dad, I would be looking to support all living expenses from my entire portfolio. The portfolio may include e.g. real estate and stocks/bonds. Personally, I have a mix of cashflow and appreciation (significant long term tax benefits for my estate) objectives from my real estate, and am ideally aiming to double the cashflow (living expenses) from my real estate portion before full retirement.

Differing exit timing is one of my biggest concerns with taking on a partner. I intend to buy and hold until death (and a bit past depending upon tax benefits). My intention is to only sell for strategic (after tax return increase) or catastrophic (unplanned) reasons. However, if you or your Dad intends to sell to fund e.g. future principal residence, long term care or vacation travel it would be good to know ahead of time and have a well defined and funded exit plan ahead of time. IMHO it certainly doesn't hurt to have the kind of conversation (and written agreement to avoid misunderstandings) about specific objectives and exit timing that you would have with any partner.

BTW: If you are lucky, your Dad has a plan for living expenses funded without selling and he hopes to pass the properties to you. That is my plan, but although they know our current net worth, I don't let my kids plan on this - I tell them my plan is to extract value from every dollar of our net worth, party to death and die with exactly zero net worth!

From the little you have described, it sounds like it could be a very complementary partnership as presumably your Dad does not want to be involved with the day to day running of the investment properties and you are in the industry and able to be more hands on. 

I would caution going too low looking for cheaper properties seeking higher cashflow. IMHO the possible risks that increase with cheaper properties are related to tenant management, operating expense ratio/rent and overall depreciation, which may lower your overall return. Some appreciation may be important to your overall return if your intention is to buy and hold until stepped up basis.

You don't say whether you are using leverage or not... this is something that I see different with you young whipper snappers - paying more for 30 year fixed is the way to go in this interest rate environment whereas the I prefer 15 year fixed - no leverage and maximum cashflow as soon as we stop earning W-2 $. Shorter terms certainly won't hurt you - lower interest rate, higher ROI on that specific property :-)

If you haven't already absorbed it - I recommend you fully embrace the 50% rule - plan like operating costs (excluding financing) are going to consume 50% of your rents. ie don't spend 100% of your cashflow on living and get caught by vacancy, economic downturn, rising interest rates, new roof etc :-)

My advice is to just keep talking specifics with your Dad about his investment objectives so you and he will understand each other and enjoy your great relationship.

Be careful about "cheaper properties" that they aren't in a warzone. Cheap properties in blue collar or working class areas are fine, but if they are in a really bad neighborhood, those great cash flow numbers will only exist on paper.

I really appreciate your responses. Kathryn, we are using leverage to purchase properties. Right now we have a 30 year mortgage on the duplexs we own. I was considering what route would be best for my dad as far as mortgage terms. I was thinking a 30 year would be better because the cash flow would be better. If we were to do a 15 or 20, we would have very little cash flow until the property is paid off, but a whole lot more after the loan is paid off.

My thoughts were that if there were equity in any properties after 5-8 years, we could take out an equity line and buy more cash flowing properties. This method would never put us in a great equity position in any properties, but would increase our cash flow. 

As far as the properties that we own and plan to purchase, they are lower than the average price of the market but still in a great area. The area around Charlotte is growing and the market is going up. We may need to look outside this market if things change but as of right now the area is blue collar and there is a shortage of rentals. We are purchasing properties for $100 - 200k and renting for $1,600-2,400. The average home in my market is priced at about $280k and only rents for $1500-2,000/month. This is what I meant by "cheaper properties". 

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