New Investors in Tampa, FL

15 Replies

Hello! My fiance' and I are new to biggerpockets and investing in general. Primarily, I work in business intelligence and my fiance' works in affiliate marketing. I've been following the webinars that Brandon offers for a few weeks now and have become increasingly interested in starting our journey. 

I have been researching for several months now and have established that our initial target will be single family homes, but we're also open to considering a duplex if the opportunity presents itself. I am currently working with the realtor whom helped us purchase our new home in December. I have MLS alerts set up for SFR under $100,000 and Duplexes under $200,000. I've been analyzing deals for a few weeks now and am getting more comfortable with the process, however, one of the biggest hurdles thus far for me has been trying to estimate what a rehab will cost on the varying properties I've looked at.

I would love to meet other investors, contractors, and property managers in the area to expand our network and perhaps share / acquire knowledge and experiences.

Thank you for taking the time to read our intro, and I look forward to speaking with anyone whom reaches out. 

Kind Regards,

Will and Alexandra

Welcome to Bigger Pockets @Will Crayger !  This site is a gold mine of knowledge, some of the experts that chime in regularly have many decades of Real Estate Investment experience and happily help new people.  There are experts in all niches of the market who are always happy to chime in and offer input.  I've been a part of the BP community for a little over a year, and can honestly say it has been a life-changing resource.

  You'll likely find quite a lot of info on doing rough estimates on rehab costs based on sqft and general level of rehab.  It's good to have an idea of the difference between a $20,000 rehab and a $80,000 rehab.  However, even your best estimates aren't, in my opinion, solid enough to make offers on (unless you're a GC or have just flipped 3-5 of the same exact type house).  As such, I'd focus on finding a good contractor you trust from referrals here on BP or locals you know and trust their recommendations.  I'm over in the NW Orlando area of Apopka, not too far from you in Tampa, so I'd imagine things are similar in the two areas with how GCs operate.  In my area, most general contractors will come bid a potential job for a nominal fee ($75-100, applied to the project if you buy and use them) and take as long as they need to come up with a detailed bid. They can't run around and bid for free all day, but I think the 45 mins or so of their time that you get for the money is worth  You can even then use that bid to back up an offer that may be under list price.  If you're under contract on that house, some GCs will do it for free, and almost all will bid for free if you already own the property.   However, I feel that $100 is a great investment in solidifying your numbers before the offer.  

Also, each property that you have a GC look at and bid, ask them to send you the detailed report on costs to use for negotiation and for yourself.  They should itemize it (not down to every single supply, but at least "kitchen cabinets", "Master bathroom" etc.)  You'll be able to then use these costs supplied to better estimate yourself on future projects with similar features/issues.  The goal being not to replace the GC's bidding, but to get better at guesstimating yourself to make sure you are in the ballpark of knowing it is a good deal before bringing them in on the next one. Just that learning experience is worth the $100 the first few that come out more than you expect.

Hello Russel. Thanks so much for the information. Those are great recommendations.

From your experience, what is the best way to add GC’s and other necessary relationships to your network? I’m still very new to posting and the BP forums in general, any guidance would be much appreciated.

Thanks again for your feedback, we truly appreciate it.

@Will Crayger you're welcome! A great way to start is to ask a few other RE professionals for recommendations. Ask your Realtor, ask a lender, ask any investors you know. Even if you know any subcontractors they likely have worked for several GCs and know some good ones. The ideal outcome is that you get two or three from each person and you see a name repeat a few times and start with those. Otherwise you at least have some referred names to reach out to. Hopefully some Tampa BP members will chime in with their own recommendations here as well.

@Will Crayger the best way to find GCs and other tradesmen that are reliable is to get referrals from other investors or people who would vouch for them. All of us seasoned investors have gone through workers that weren’t worth a darn in order to find ones we can count on.

Now one thing you might have a hard time with: investors who are busy might not be as willing to share their good contacts. If I have a need for a GC I don’t want to share him with anyone else, I don’t want my jobs to get delayed because I shared my good GC contact with someone else. I learned that one the hard way, shared my handymen with 3-4 others and my guys tried to take on all of those other jobs while working on one of my big projects. Ended up costing me an extra 3-4 weeks before my project was finished.

If you haven’t already go attend networking meetings and meet other investors. Some will have good contacts they are willing to refer out.

@George Blower , thank you sir. 

@Brandon M. , thank you for the feedback. That was very insightful and makes a lot of sense. I have reached out to my realtor to inquire about references, I thought that would be a good place to start. I'll also look for some local networking events. I see that you're in Clearwater, are there many networking opportunities in that area?


I have a good team of people that I can refer over to you. My realtor gets a good number of off market deals that work for investors. I have a contractor that does all scoped including (plumbing, mechanical, flooring, etc). She currently told me about a deal in Clearwater that’s a duplex for under $200k in a great area. It’s off market and the owner wants to sell because he’s retiring and wants to liquidate his investments.

Let’s me know if you’d be interested. I also live in the Tampa area and we can connect and bounce some ideas off of each other if you’d like.

- Saki -

@Will Crayger Welcome to BP brother,

Looks like you are heading in the right direction!

Continue hitting those networking events, they have definitely helped me expand my professional real estate network down here. I attend a bunch every month.. this Thursday is the "Florida Real Estate Shark Tank" at Tampa Hilton Westshore 6pm. Usually a pretty good turnout for sure!

Also, you referenced looking for deals on the MLS. In such an active market, it is hard to find any good deals on market. I can help you gain access to multiple off-market properties a month in Tampa Bay.. along with assist in rehab estimates, competitive market analysis, etc. If I can help you out in your search for investment properties/answer any questions you may have, lets connect and discuss further.

Best of luck!

@Mike DeBuccio Jr.  

Thank you sir, happy to be a part of the community. 

I would very much like to continue a conversation with you in regards to some points you made as well as find out more about the networking events you attend. I will message you and we can chat further. 


@Will Crayger Welcome to investing in Tampa! My fiance and I recently moved to the area from San Francisco, and have bought a SFH and are under contract on a 5-unit property so far. We are still very much in the beginning of our journey and building our network here locally. We've found that good contractors are one of the hardest things to line up without some trial and error, but maybe we can share notes as we both build up our teams.

Local meetups have been an amazing resource for us so far. There are a couple free ones that we go to every month that have a great group of people. Let me know if you want the details to see if they would interest you.

@Masaki Maeda It'd be great to connect with you at some point too. We are always looking to meet more local investors so we can all get better together and grow in this market. Maybe me, you, and @Will Crayger can get together for a lunch at some point in the coming weeks.

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