Memphis Home Inspector

24 Replies

Hi, we are buying Turnkey properties through Mid South Home Buyers. I am looking for a good home inspector. Has anyone on the forum interacted with Brandon Dyles of picture perfect inspection? Thanks!

Hi, Sam.

I don't know Brandon Dyles, but Danny Fly (dannyjfly at gmail dot com) is an inspector friend of mine.  He is also an investor, which is why I highly recommend him.

As a side note, we work closely with Mid South Home Buyers.  They are first class!

Best regards,

@Sam Elder

I have not used Brandon Dyles but I'll add my two cents.  Jason Lovelace is my primary inspector for my Memphis portfio.  He does a great job and can usually get to my inspections pretty quickly.  I was talking to him this week and he is getting over a serious cold/flu so give him a call if Brandon doesn't work out.

On a side note, I am also a major fan of Mid South Homebuyers and my partner and I have several homes from them.  They are my preferred company for turnkey at this time.

I would say some of the top inspectors who do investment homes are:

Steve Anderson with AmeriSpec - only negative they dont provide pics and are usually booked out a week minimum.

Jason Lovelace - he inspects rental homes like they are homes you would be moving into.

Asher Murray - provides a great report with pictures of all items needing repairs.

      Awesome, and thanks very much to everyone. Now that I have so many Mid South Investors on here, I have a good opportunity to ask a burning question of mine. Do any of you hold their Frayser properties?  If so, how has that gone and what is your exit strategy?    

          One thing I worry about with those homes (38127 $50k-$60k homes) is selling them at some point or, if something were to happen to Mid-South's PM arm, getting good property managers in place which would be key in succeeding with a buy and hold rental in that location especially. 

         I know that the 38127 zip is one that many investors shy away from in Memphis. I also know that this is a large area and highly varied. It seems to be the main area that they do business. From conversations I have had with them, it just seems like they have found their niche and know the places within 38127 to stay away from...I suppose all real state is local as the saying goes.  

     What do you think?

@Sam Elder

If you purchase in Frayser you will lose long term!!!!!!   I dont care what anyone says, purchasing homes there is bad news and no matter how nice a company does on the renovations up there eventually the neighborhood and tenants will take back over.  

I have been here since 2007 and know what happens there.  

DONT BUY IN FRAYSER!!!!!!!  

This place will have a ton of late paying, non paying tenants.  No one can master managing people who dont pay.  No one wins at the catch-up game.  

IF your going to buy, then buy a home in the $70k-$80k+ range, you wont be in Frayser.  It is worth it to pay a little more to be in a better area.  Long term it will do better then homes in 38127. 

Did I say it loud enough, DONT BUY IN FRAYSER!!!  We dont sell there but I could easily buy a home for $15k-$20k, Spend $15k-$20k gutting it with all new and then sell it for $57,900 - $62,900 but we dont do that why??? BC its FRAYSER!!!!!!!!!!!   

Frayser is tough and one of the poorest zip codes in the state. There is literally no economic development in the area. The city has no plans to invest any money into 38127. The city is going to let out of state investors own the area and sustain the zip code through their property tax money. I could not imagine over 10% of home sales being anything but investors. If you get a tenant, never raise your rent. Keep them there at all cost. True story, I won a free and clear house in Frayser and lost money. But that being said, the Mid South Home Buyers team is a good one. Entry point is low. They would be the only ones I would trust in that area. Terry Kerr and Liz are great and they have the managment down. Mgmt is the make or break in Frayser. If the property has some rocky times, don't blame them and stick with them. The only successful way to win in Frayser (in my opinion) is to have a large presence. I won't take on any properties there because we can't be succesful in that area and I don't carry a fire arm. No way I am going to 38127 without packing heat. 

I would hire Asher Murray. His inspections are by far the easiest to read and he gets on the roof, not all inspectors do that. Lovelace is good, but his reports are 2 separate documents. One is the report and you have to refer to the other doc to see the pictures. 

Another comment about Frayser. I have seen many great areas over my 38 years here in Memphis go from good area to bad area. I was actually in the car with Curt Davis today telling him about a certain area of Memphis back in the late 90's that was a strong area and today it has rapidly declined. I never knew Frayser to be nice, I always recall it as a $hithole. But, my dad would take is to Whataburger as Frayser has the only one in town. we always wanted to go in, but my dad never let us. I recall their milkshakes as being good. I don't think the Frayser economy was able to sustain a Whataburger and McDonalds.  My childhood memory of Frayser was playing Frayser middle in baseball in the 8th grade. We were preppy private catholic school kids really shelter from playing inner city. However we were good and had won the city private school title the past 3 years. Well 3 of the Frayser players drove to the game and the pitcher had a full grown beard. They were all talking trash, including the coach. Mostly about what they were going to do to our moms. Funny thing is there moms were in the stands yelling "uh Hun, that's right, they will". Talk about intimidation, we lost. I think we were scare to win because of what they would do to our moms. 

Sam,

We own and manage many properties in 38127 (150+ units).  There is no doubt that Frayser has its challenges.

Our best advice is to be very conservative on your assumptions regarding vacancy, collections, maintenance expenses, and rent ready costs.

You also need to make sure that you are buying Frayser properties for the lowest dollar amount that you possibly can.  (Check out Zillow and other listing sites to see what the best prices are out there.)

Hope that helps.

Originally posted by @Sam Elder :

Do any of you hold their Frayser properties?

No, sorry.  My properties are all in Bartlett / Raleigh.  I've heard that it's preferable to buy properties to the east of Austin Pea Hwy in that north section of Memphis since it can be pretty hit or miss on the other side.

It can be very challenging renting property in Frayser.  We don't even advertise our units as Frayser, but North Memphis.  It's very costly once the unit becomes vacate due to the security measures we take such as keeping utilities on for security system,  boarding up the back & sides windows, removing furnace,  hot water tank and condenser unit. You can still do fairly well in that area, but I wouldn't make it a long term  investment strategy. 

@James Martin did you ever go to my place on Randolph? The entire house was gutted.  The only thing left were the walls and windows, literally, that is it. No interior/exterior doors, flooring finishes, cabinets, toilets, faucets or tubs.  Literally stole the chain link fence.  Tenant moved out on a Friday afternoon and my project mgmr met the tenant at the house; I went there Saturday morning at 7:00AM and it was gutted. The day I sold it, the profit from the house (and this house was given to me), I did not have enough to put 4 tires on my truck! HAHA!!!

Now keep in mind, I doubt any investors are buying in that part of Frayser.

I am going to take a slight turn and put politics into this discussion.  The story below is why not only 38127, but all very poor areas will continue to struggle.  They are not adding residents that will make a difference in the area.  Basically, they are adding more individuals that will be on government aid. Below is a story of 90 students at Frayser high being pregnant.  That right there is a large contributor the poor remain poor.  This is generational welfare at its best.  Poor girls in the poorest zip code in the state having babies.  That leads to single moms on welfare for the rest of their life ( I have seen it with my own eyes when we used to manage a large # of homes with rents under $695.  Mom was on welfare, now them and likely their future grandchildren.  I have never met a great great grandma before, but I think this is the generation where the great great grandma will be living in these homes.

http://jezebel.com/5733842/90-teens-pregnant-in-one-memphis-school

Yes, as @ @Alex Craig said keep in mind that I'm relatively new to Memphis, going on two years.  Disregard my 16 years of investing and property management experience because I may not have been able to tell how bad Frayser was when I drove through it and was researching the area.  It may take time for some to know that Frayser sucks but honestly I figured that out right away, especially since my wife grew up there and still spends several months there a year.  I see how bad it is but I'm fine with a portion of my portfolio being in that area/zip code. 

With that, I do agree with Alex's assessment, though I didn't speak of Frayser in my recommendations or bring up Frayser at all.   

Disregard that I only recommended a property inspector, Jason Lovelace, that I have used several times and which his friend Curt, that he was driving around with, also recommended.

Disregard that I only mentioned Mid South, who is by far my favorite turnkey company in Memphis at this time, who Alex also says that Douglas, as a long time local investor, would be a good person to listen to and have manage properties.  Alex, I agree with you. 

By the way, the company Douglas runs does manage my properties in Frayser and they can be a challenge. 

So @Sam Elder , since you are asking me what my opinion is I will tell you.  I would buy a home from Mid South in Frayser as I know their track record for properties in that area, at least for the past few years, you know, since I haven't lived there all of my life.  You would probably be better off buying in Raleigh or Hickory Hill though.  What Alex and the others have said are true.  It's a challenge but not as bad if you have the right company managing the home.

I don't know your experience or knowledge so again, Mid South will do a great job.  I would would recommend keeping only a small percentage of your properties in Frayser unless you are risk adverse or really want to focus in on the cheaper homes and plan to be very hands on.  In the long run the costs and vacancy will be higher.

If you have not already contacted or hired your inspector, Jason Lovelace is who we use for home inspections on all of our personal holdings and he is often used when out of state clients search for and pick an independent 3rd party inspector.  He is a good guy and does a thorough job.

Just a quick follow up. We went with Jason Lovelace. He did a great job. Mid South jumped right on the correction list. Good stuff and thanks to all for the recommendation/discussion!

Originally posted by @Curt Davis :

I would say some of the top inspectors who do investment homes are:

Steve Anderson with AmeriSpec - only negative they dont provide pics and are usually booked out a week minimum.

Jason Lovelace - he inspects rental homes like they are homes you would be moving into.

Asher Murray - provides a great report with pictures of all items needing repairs.

I hired Asher Murray for inspection and re-inspection after repairs on my memphis property.  Very good experience with fair price.   Nice clear pictures and organized report that was easily used to check for repairs with provider.

thank you Curt for your recommendation.

-joe