Selling a multifamily property mid-renovation - Bad idea?

5 Replies

I need some advice. 

I bought a multifamily/commercial property last year - a few weeks after I graduated college. I purchased it with a combination of savings, a personal loan, and a partial owner finance agreement. I was eager to get into investing and unfortunately the personal loan has a high interest rate (11.99%).

The property has four apartments. One is a one bedroom and the other three are studio apartments. The apartments are in the second floor of the building and the ground level has a store front. There is also an unfinished basement, but the ceilings are not very tall. The four apartments did not have tenants when I bought it and still do not due to renovations, the store is rented out.

The apartments were neglected when I bought the property and so I immediately started renovating them. I built new stairs since the old ones were rickety and a safety hazard. Then I started in on the apartments. I am currently halfway done renovating one of the studio apartments.

I have also changed jobs during this, in part to make more money to pay down my student loans and the personal loan on this property. My new job is one where I travel for several months at a time in the fall and spring every year. With the new job I don't really have time to continue to renovate the apartments and I don't have the money to hire someone to renovate them right now either. 

The tenant in the store front is an inherited tenant with a consignment shop that doesn't do a ton of business and has trouble making the rent payments. They are currently about 1.5 months behind on rent and struggling to come up with the rent payment. 

As you can tell, I am in a bind. I am not sure what to do. I am having trouble being a good landlord and being in a small town makes this harder since word gets around and I want to be a fair landlord.

I am interested in selling the property and moving forward. Getting myself in a better financial position and then at that point possibly considering getting back into real estate. 

What are your thoughts on selling a property midway through a renovation. I understand I could make more money renovating this and then selling or renovating and renting long term, but trying to renovate and be a landlord from thousands of miles away for months at a time has me really stressed out. 

I would like some advice on moving forward, please go easy on me as I understand that some of the decisions I have made are not the best and I have paid for those decisions with my daily/weekly stress levels and my loan payments. 

Thank you!

PS Let me know what details I can share that can make this advice easier/more personal to my situation. 

Check with your local REIA. There maybe another investor there that can help you out. Perhaps you can give up some equity and JV with someone instead of losing the whole thing.

@Justin K. You may be on the right track wanting to sell and get out of this deal. If you can sell, sounds like it is a good idea. Just an idea for the future, with having a full time job I would factor in paying someone else to do the work for you. It will cost more and eliminate a lot of "deals" but as you are finding out, those may not be actual deals.

@Rod Joseph That is a great idea about the REIA, I had not even thought about that. I found out they only have one REIA in Idaho and it is a ways away from me but I just reached out on their contact form on their website. I sent them this message,

"Hello,

I am an Idaho investor and I would like to reach out with a deal and see if any of your members might be interested.

The property is in Mackay Idaho. It is a four unit residential with one unit commercial space. There are 3 studio apartments and 1 one bedroom apartment. The store front has about 1750 square feet and could possibly be divided into two units.

I bought the property and began renovating the apartments but have since taken another job and am on the road traveling a lot. This has left me with too little time to continue to devote to the property.

I have not had the units rented due to the ongoing renovations but I believe they could rent for around $2100 in total rent from the apartments and the storefront per month.

I am interested in selling this property as I don't have the time or the capital right now to finish the renovations.

My asking price is $100,000 which would put this as a rare 2% rule property. I understand that I am giving up value but I also understand that my holding costs are pulling me down financially and am pricing to sell.

I am happy to take phone calls, schedule a showing or multiple showings.

Thank you for your time."

I am interested to see what comes of it. I'm not sure if a joint venture would work as there are no local investors in my small rural community, so I just put it out there to see if anyone would reach out to talk to me about it. It really could be a great deal and I wish I was in a better position financially and with regards to time to work on it.

Thank you Rod!

@Grant Rothenburger Thank you for the advice. I think this is a good deal but I definitely went in overly optimistic with everything. I was just so excited to get started investing. The problem isn't that it would be a bad deal if I had someone else do the work, I still think it would be a great deal. I ran multiple scenarios in the bigger pockets calculators before buying the property and the results were so good that I just couldn't pass on the deal. It was an off market deal and so I was anxious to close it before the seller listed with a Realtor. The real problem is that I am too financially strapped to be able to hire someone to do the work.

Thank you for taking the time to provide advice! I appreciate it!

Originally posted by @Justin K. :

@Grant Rothenburger Thank you for the advice. I think this is a good deal but I definitely went in overly optimistic with everything. I was just so excited to get started investing. The problem isn't that it would be a bad deal if I had someone else do the work, I still think it would be a great deal. I ran multiple scenarios in the bigger pockets calculators before buying the property and the results were so good that I just couldn't pass on the deal. It was an off market deal and so I was anxious to close it before the seller listed with a Realtor. The real problem is that I am too financially strapped to be able to hire someone to do the work.

Thank you for taking the time to provide advice! I appreciate it!

If it would still be a great deal that can make money by paying someone else to do the work, and money is the only problem - that's nothing to worry about. You could network on here and find investors that would love to pay for the rehab in exchange for equity in the building or LLC that owns the building. Resourcefulness is the only problem here if (big if) this is a profitable property after paying someone to rehab. Might even be able to find a partner to pay off the personal loan for more equity, as someone else mentioned. Ultimately, selling is probably the easiest option, but doesn't seem like the only option. Good luck with everything!

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