Newbie from Richland, WA

30 Replies

Hello everyone!

My name's Julian and I am a VERY new RE investor in South Eastern Washington state. I've owned a duplex for almost 4 years now and looking to continue to add to my portfolio.

Even after 4 years, I still feel like I know next to nothing about Real Estate Investing. I'm so glad I found this website!

My goals are to learn more about fix & flip, buy and hold, and eventually earning enough passive income to "retire" and spend more quality time with my family and focus on my hobbies, which are woodworking and maybe even some furniture building...down the road.

Love the website, great information and lots of nice people willing to share their knowledge and experiences.

@Julian Caiceros  

Welcome. Build the legacy and fill in the foundation below.

Check out the Start Here page

Check out BiggerPockets Ultimate Beginner's Guide - A fantastic free book that walks through many of the key topics of real estate investing.

Check out the free BiggerPockets Podcast - A weekly podcast with interviews and a ton of great advice. And you get the benefit of having over 70 past ones to catch up on.

Locate and attend 3 different local REIA club meetings great place to meet people gather resources and info. Here you will meet wholesalers who provide deals and rehabbers.

Two Great reads, I bought both J. Scott The Book on Flipping Houses,The Book on Estimating ReHab Costs

Consider checking out HUD homes for small multi's owner occupied gets first crack.

You might consider Niche or Specialized Housing like student housing. Rents can be 2-4 times more. Remember you don't have to own a property to control it.

Download BP’s newest book here some good due diligence in Chapter 10. Real Estate Rewind Starting over

Good Luck


Hello @Julian Caiceros  !

It's nice to see that you're taking a great step forward in your real estate career by joining the BP nation. If there's one piece of advice that I have it's to remain active on this site. It's an incredible community of people who are not gurus, sales people, or out to get you. They're here to help you out! I've gotten so much great advice here on the forums thus far, and that's an understatement.

Check out the Bigger Pockets blog to get some real world insight from investors from all over the place who are killin' it! My personal favorites are the case studies that bloggers post about pertaining to the deals they're working on. If you comment with a question or two, you'll probably get a response as well, :).

The podcasts are great as well- informative, thought provoking, inspiring, motivating, and very comical sums them up. You'll get to learn SO much about the ins & outs and dos & don'ts of a variety of niches.

You can learn a TON about fix-and-flips and buy-and-hold on here. It's great that you have formed what I consider to be a great 'why?'. Good for you! If I were you I'd write them down. 

Here's a link to a blog post written by Kim Kiyosaki (wife of Robert Kiyosaki, author of Rich Dad Poor Dad) on a writing activity I used a few days ago to extract my true 'why?'.

Nice to see you on here Julian!

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Welcome from across the mountains Julian! Is your duplex owner occupied? How has that gone? Agree the site is a great place to learn. Although four years experience with a duplex isn't a complete newb! Enjoy!

Welcome to you from another Washington State landlord! We have some good people lobbying on our behalf in Olympia to keep landlord-tenant laws reasonable and favorable for landlords in Washington State. Unfortunately some spots such as the Seattle area have become a bit too favorable for tenants. You are lucky to be where you are. My sister and her husband live in Grandview, not too far from you. Beautiful country!

@Julian Caiceros  

Welcome to BP! We're in Kirkland. Check out  "Learn"  up top along the blue bar where you'll find free guides, member blogs, and podcasts. It's a great place to start learning.

Whart's the real estate market like in your area?

@Gerald K.  @Christopher Hunter  

The Tri-Cities (as my region in Southeastern Washington is locally known) has been home for 15 years. It's treated me well, but right now the market is trending toward a seller's market. I currently live in Richland, the other two cities are Pasco and Kennewick.

I keep an eye on what's out there for SFH under 150K and also look for reasonable small MFH's (duplexes mainly) and unless it's a blatant eyesore homes aren't remaining on the market long. And sellers are getting their asking price and then some. Main reason I know about asking prices is due to a co-worker who is currently house hunting and has been struggling. One house in particular that he really liked was under contract less than 48 hours after it hit the MLS.

I'd like to find another nice duplex to move me and my family into one part and rent the other side, but... I hit a home run with the duplex I'm living in now as far as location and neighborhood, so the wife and kids don't want to go anywhere.

My duplex is one block from the Columbia River with some great walking/biking trails that run the length of the river through most of Richland and the kids' school is one block in the other direction. So for now I'm going to hold tight and keep an eye on my market.

My goal is to put away some cash that, combined with money I can access off my current home's equity, I can sometime in the future put down a 25% down payment to take out an investment loan to purchase a property.

@Michele Fischer  

Yes'm. My duplex is owner-occupied. I purchased it as a 2/1 on each side and am wrapping up a remodel on my side where I added a full bathroom and another bedroom in the basement.

I've had good luck with my renters so far. My first renter was my best friend of 10 years. He actually moved in before I did! It worked out well and he went from there to buy his own home. I know it's not a good idea to rent to friends/family but I naively thought it'd be fine.

It is NOW, but it was touch and go when he moved out due to some difference of opinion on damages and rental deposit refund. I ended up just eating the cost and trying to take the high road in order to conserve the friendship. He's also my coworker so keeping things NICE was in everyone's best interest. Lesson learned: no co-workers, friends or family.

My second renter has now been with me for about three years and is a great renter. She has been awesome...I can't say it any simpler. And I, on my part, do my best to provide her with a high quality product and immediate responses to any concerns she might have.

I used a background-checking service out of Spokane to screen my tenant and will continue to do so from here on out, no exceptions. Gives me more peace of mind. Especially since me, my wife and my three little girls live next door.

I guess I consider myself a newbie because other than some pamphlets listing "Landlord Rights and Responsibilities" and "Tenant Rights and Responsibilities", for the most part I've just been flying by the seat of my pants. I'm trying to become more knowledgeable and a more productive/efficient real estate investor.

Welcome to BP community @Julian Caiceros ! It is a great place to meet new friends and learn about various aspects of real estate and more. Here are a few recommendations for you:

Find and connect with other BP members that are in your area

Set up keyword alerts to be notified of the topics that interest you

Wishing you the best!              

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@Dmitriy Fomichenko  

Thank you for the heads up. This site has so many features and tools! The 'meet' feature is awesome, I really would like to meet up with local REI so that I can make better decisions by bouncing ideas off people familiar with my area and with more experience under their belt.

@Tiffany Plovie  

Hi Tiffany.

I'm honestly so new to this that I hadn't thought about investing out of my area due to the difficulty of keeping an eye on my investment. Do you have any good recommendations as far as books or bloggers regarding investing out of your local area? I'll be searching for that subject here on BP of course, but any additional info would be welcome.

Hi Julian I also live in South Richland. I bought a foreclosure two years ago and doing complete remodel on the house. I also own a SFH in Virginia that just sold and goes to close next week. I'm doing a 1031 and looking at buying rental property mainly in Richland/Kennewick area. With only 45days you can imagine i'm looking pretty hard right now :) Good luck to you..nice to see some peope from the area. Cheers

What are peoples thoughts on buying new homes? An idea was brought up to me today about purchasing 3 properties brand new, assuming discounts on price, closing costs etc? I know this relies more on the appreciation but if the properties cash flow with out needing repairs it could be a good idea?

@Matt Kissler  

@Katherine Swanberg  

Regarding the Prosser area...the Yakima region, lower valley in particular, has seen strong growth in the viticulture industry and also agricultural industry in general. Katherine is probably much more knowledgeable and can correct me if I'm wrong. Although the population count of the small towns in the Yakima Valley may be on the low end, they get "fresh blood" due to the hiring of highly educated agricultural professionals.

Many of these people are here for a contracted term of one or two years at most and earn 50k and above. Coming fresh out of college and making good money or from large metropolitan areas, they don't blink an eye at what locals would consider higher than normal rental rates as long as you provide a good product.

I had one applicant that was a biochemist/engineer from Chicago working for a company that specializes in growing roses, of all things. He had no problem with my rate, but I had a slight problem with him wanting to have a pit bull terrier in the duplex. I don't particularly think the breed is bad, per se, but my insurance company told me they'd drop me if he moved in. Turning him down was actually a good move in the long run. I love my current renter, and she has been with me for quite some time.

Many of these professionals fall in love with the region and end up staying long term. You'd want to subscribe to some of the local business journals and see if they have free e-mailed newsletters so you can get a feel for the state of the market and long term rental viability...that's my suggestion, anyway.

@Matt Kissler  

Regarding your brand new long as your cash flow is there and you're getting good discounts, have you considered Leasing them with Option to buy? From what I've read, these tenants take better care of the property in the long run and you can have them take care of most menial maintenance issues below a certain dollar amount preset by you, of course. Most of the articles I've read state that you still want to make sure to take care of any big ticket items to avoid "equity stake" issues.

Also, the price set forth in the Option contract could be set up at current market levels plus whatever percentage of appreciation the region is expected to achieve between now and the day their Option comes due. Just my humble opinion. I'm by no means an expert in the field of real estate investing, but I have been learning quite a bit thanks to BiggerPockets. Have a great one!

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