When did you buy a truck?

95 Replies

Living in NH and doing some of the renovations myself, I am feeling the itch to buy a used truck! But with only one duplex under my belt, it definitely makes more sense to save the money and invest in additional properties before I go off and purchase a pickup truck (third vehicle). I'm curious to hear from other landlords out there who have probably gone through this mental debate - how many properties did you acquire (and assumedly self manage) before you just had to go buy a pickup truck?

In my honest opinion, unless you are doing heavy construction/contracting in the course of your rehab, there is no need for a pickup truck. (Unless its an ego thing, then have at it).

My preference would be to get a work van instead. Its cheaper, can be locked up at the end of the night, can be used for mobile storage, can still transport basically everything you need, and in the event you need to move something larger, most work vans can accommodate/tow a small trailer.

Just buy an old Silverado Or f-150 for 3-5k cash . Why do you think you need a new truck ? Don’t go broke buying liabilities. Focus on assets . Going forward ..If you want to self manage and do your own repairs a van or truck sure is super handy but not something you should be dumping your business capital on starting out . Personally I would never NOT own a truck whether I had rentals or not they are just too useful to be without 

@Nick Mess lol right? When I was buying SF homes, I decided to purchase a pickup. I decided on a used Toyota Tacoma for around 10k. That truck worked like a charm, saved me thousands over time and was also a great tax write off! Best of luck

This sounds like the kind of choice made by the chronically middle class. I doubt your duplex justifies needing a truck 24/7, particularly as a third vehicle. Then again, maybe your duplex is killing it and you deserve a reward?

I'm the guy driving a used beater while sitting on a net worth of $1 million. When I need a pickup, I borrow it from my buddy that's renting an apartment and living paycheck to paycheck.

One Day the need for a Truck will become very Obvious !!!

...... we have a lot of properties, several trailers & the need to move equipment for the guys doing the work requires a good sized truck. Then again I have Sect. 179 all the trucks we owned.



Originally posted by @Nathan G. :


I'm the guy driving a used beater while sitting on a net worth of $1 million. When I need a pickup, I borrow it from my buddy that's renting an apartment and living paycheck to paycheck.

Haha that’s great . Let your broke buddy buy up all the consumer junk and you borrow it ! I’ll have to remember that 

 

@Nick Mess

I've considered buying a truck. It would be a beater for a couple thousand, max. The only reason I considered was because my friend is a dealer and he had one in stock that I liked.

I ended up saying no because it would be pointless. I don't haul materials on a daily or weekly basis. I'm not in construction. And, although I self manage, that responsibility doesn't require a truck. And, there would be literally no other use for it when I already have an SUV that can carry stuff.

Ultimately, I could get things shipped to the house or get a rental for cheaper since repairs and the like are not so frequent to require a truck.

If you're going to get a truck, you ought to just drive that as your main vehicle. That way you're not sitting there with an unused truck in your yard.

Hope that helps. Good luck.

@Nick Mess

Do you NEED one, no.

But as soon as you have one and make use of it the first time you’ll wonder how you ever lived without one.

They really are do it all vehicles now. Mine is a luxury car, client center, kid mover (keeping them far enough apart not to fight), road trip hauler, tow vehicle and real estate work horse (even when I’m having others do the work).

I couldn’t imagine getting by without one anymore.

Thanks all, I would never buy a new truck, definitely not a smart choice! I drive a rusty Ford Fusion I picked up at an estate sale currently so I am in line with the prevailing theme here. I am thinking after my third multi, I can justify exchanging my beater car for a beater truck. Although the 179 tax deduction is interesting - anyone consistently use that? @Pat L. its for heavier trucks only right? I think I read the deduction expires in 2022?

I have access to a work van in my main market and it's been great. When I move to and enter my new market and accumulate some additional multi-family properties I'll buy a work van for myself - they're just so nice to have, as @Andrew B. mentioned above. 

It doesn't need to be nice (the one I drive back East is older and some people laugh at it) but it holds a lot of stuff and is secure.

How are you folks spreading mulch with your vans?  How’s that fork lift dropping your new vinyl plank flooring in the trunk of your Volkswagen Golf?  Or that load of crushed stones going to kill it in the back of your out back!  Let’s be real folks some of us use our trucks daily from dump runs to Home Depot trips mines used almost 3-4 times a week. My question is more when do I mount a plow or upgrade to a newer truck with one. 

For me the decision was easy. You upgrade when renting or borrowing becomes more costly than owning. 

@Nick Mess

Home Depot rents them (vans too) for about $40/ day. If you buy one get it very used. Do not take on a payment of any kind. Cash only. Personally, I could use one but I love my Jeep too much. I compromised and bought a smaller enclosed trailer for behind the Jeep. I’ve got a reliable running vehicle that gets terrible gas mileage and zero car payment.

I have 2 trucks ,  1 van and 2 trailers . They all have their purpose . I wouldnt be without any  of them . One truck is a plow truck and go to the landfill truck , the other is my estimate and heavy trailer puller , the van is my mobile tool box . One trailer is 18 ft and can haul 8500 lbs , equipment and large items . The other trailer is a dump trailer that can haul 2 tons . Rarely do they sit . All trucks are 3/4 tons  . To me a 1/2 ton truck is a toy . 

When did I buy a truck ?  First one was in 1979 . And pickups have been my main drivers ever since . ( do have a couple of corvettes for fun though ) 

@Nick Mess - I agree with the several that said you probably don’t need a truck. Now, to be honest, I have an old truck, but I bought it prior to owning rental properties. I use the truck more for projects at my personal house than I ever do for my rentals!

Originally posted by @Dennis M. :
Originally posted by @Nathan G.:

I'm the guy driving a used beater while sitting on a net worth of $1 million. When I need a pickup, I borrow it from my buddy that's renting an apartment and living paycheck to paycheck.

Haha that’s great . Let your broke buddy buy up all the consumer junk and you borrow it ! I’ll have to remember that 

 

I once heard someone say, "You don't want to be the guy that owns a yacht. You want to be the guy with a friend that owns a yacht."

Absolutely true. Let them go through the hassle and expense so that I can occasionally enjoy it!

 

@Nick Mess I could be wrong but leasing a nice F150 new ain’t the worst gig. I’ve been flying around in one for a while now and have saved mucho on gas. Seriously do the math on gas, and you can make it a multipurpose vehicle. Just my 2 cents. $400 a month, w like $500 down but I recommend only if you plan to purchase since the mile overage can sting bad. It’s nice having a new work truck. I always drove used, but please check all you old folks, the price on used trucks on craigslist is insane. Who can afford $10k for a decent used truck now days? In the recession they were like $2k.

I had a brand new 2015 mustang with a $700 a month payment (car plus insurance). It was before we decided to house hack a duplex and get into rentals.

Realized I should have never bought it (Long story, but basically ruined my credit in college and it haunted me for 7 years or so. When I had a good job tried to lease a new mustang, they rejected me even though I could easily make the payments. When my credit was fixed, went to the same dealership and bought a new one as a “win”). Enjoyed it for a couple of years and got rid of it, paid almost $6k to get out of it. Newer cars are nice, but useless when it came to real estate work.

I picked up an old 2005 dodge Dakota extended cab for about $6k. Worth it. It’s a beater so not worried about any damage. Has a bed cover to protect from rain and theft. Don’t know what I would do without it! Needs some maintenance every now and then, but still cheaper than my “new” car payments.

Learned my lesson. But now at 8 units, thinking in a couple of years or so about getting a 3 year old ram (2019 model). Thinking about future family, hauling a camper, and still maintaining our properties. It would be a little reward, but I’d spend a lot of time looking for the best deal for sure and try and pay cash if it made sense or put at least $10k down.

The only negative about a beater is I’m a part time agent aside from our own investing and W2 jobs. Doesn’t give the best impression to high end clients so I usually work with coworkers and other investors who don’t judge my beater! Lol

Probably after like the 5th or 6th flip. You don't NEED one until you literally have a project every month. Right now, a pickup is an absolute necessity for my company. 

@Nick Mess I have considered this myself this year. The answer (for me) is somewhere between 15 and 20 doors. I’m not there yet so no truck yet

Originally posted by @Nathan G. :

This sounds like the kind of choice made by the chronically middle class. I doubt your duplex justifies needing a truck 24/7, particularly as a third vehicle. Then again, maybe your duplex is killing it and you deserve a reward?

 A great point from a certain point of view, but on the other hand maybe the added flexibility and ease of having one could be the reward in itself...Especially for those whose favorite part of investments is the rehab.

I like the idea of the work van with a trailer hitch more, personally. The hitch and trailer offer the ability to handle things like mulch or gravel, and the cabin of the van can transport equipment in the same way a pickup can...If it meets your need and isn't a gross liability, then I don't think there's much to justify. Do a pros/cons list, costs included, and use that to guide your choice.

That's just my two cents :)

T.

From my perspective as a small C'class DIY landlord in the Rust Belt. We currently run a RAV4 (our sole vehicle) with a custom hitch, 2 trailers, and a cargo carrier. The RAV4 is from 2015, I was forced to accept it as our regular work vehicle when my regular helper went squirrely on me and we stopped using his rust-and-white 2001 Honda Odyssey minivan with 200K miles on it.

I wouldn't go to a pickup truck as a DIY landlord, most especially not for just one duplex. The deck is way too high for ramps. You can't lock up a lot of stuff. I wish the RAV4 was a bit bigger. My dream vehicle for urban landlording with umpteen properties and flips running all the time would most definitely be a RAM ProMaster van and a larger trailer.