Newbie - Ann Arbor MI area

9 Replies

I am new to real estate investing and I am looking for a SFR or small multi family here in SE Michigan. I have found this website and the experience shared on this forum to be extremely useful.

I have been looking for several months and had one of those moments yesterday when looking at a multi family yesterday that helped to define what kind of investor I want to be, or more specifically the kind I don't want to be. As I went through the second unit and listened to the current tenant tell me about how the current property manager hasn't put a dime in the place, I opened the door leading to the basement and was struck by the unmistakeable smell of sewage. Sure enough there was a sizeable pool of sewage in the corner. As I come up the stairs the tenant tells me she has been telling the manager about the smell for days, but they told her they would get to it soon. From the looks of the rest of the place, I don't get the impression that responsiveness is their strong suit.

I want to own and manage properties that I would not be ashamed of. I don't want to be a slumlord. Good news is that I had a duplex in the same town I went to see next which is a good fit and I made an offer on, so I will see how that turns out.

PS- I realize I may get the questions on why look at a property if it doesn’t meet your requirements.  Basically, there was limited info on its condition (Ie. no interior pictures) and a previous drive by did not see anything disqualifying.  It was nearby my prime target, so I took the opportunity to go see it with my realtor while we were in the area.  Regardless, it was a great lesson that helped make another deposit in the experience bank.

@William Powers

I live in Chelsea so I am focusing on areas that are close (<1 hr drive) which equates to the I94 corridor between Jackson and Ypsi.

The challenge I have is finding properties that will cash flow well. The property taxes and current prices make it tough. I have not set a good lead system yet for off market properties so I been focusing on listed properties in the meantime to at least get a better idea of the different neighborhoods.

@Eric Wilkinson

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Hi @Eric Wilkinson welcome to BP! Lots of good info on here, I recommend getting hooked on the podcasts.

I totally agree with you about having a high standard for the upkeep and condition of your properties. I believe you will get higher quality tenants if they know their landlord takes care of the place.

I also spent a while looking a little north of you in Livingston county but could not make the numbers work for cash flow, so I shifted my target area towards Lansing and have found the cash flow to be much easier. I recently just closed on my first duplex.

I also started a REI meetup in livingston county, the next one is Feb 20th. Feel free to come check it out if you want to connect with other local investors.

@Craig Herring

Thanks for the advice. I have been listening to a lot of the archived podcasts and have found them very helpful.

I will look into the Lansing area. I have been expanding my search outward and have run some analyses on some properties along I-96. I have not had an opportunity to do a lot of first hand research yet.

@Eric Wilkinson . Don't fret about looking a places that don't work out! It's the old story of having to kiss a lot of toads before you find a prince. 

Hopefully, every place you look at you learn something, even if it's I'm never going to operate this way!

The more you look - the more you find!

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