Hey guys and gals,
I know it might not be a huge deal but after checking out properties for over a year and making many offers, I finally had my first accepted! Duplex in Garfield, Bergen county. 2x 2/1 with a finished basement (1/1). Both tenants below market rent and first floor is leaving on their own before I move in. 2nd floor wants to stay but I was going to raise the rent by $50, still well below market. Trying to figure out what I'm going to do exactly as far as which one I'm moving into, first floor and have a coworker/roommate move in or take the basement. I'd like to turn the first floor and basement into one whole unit, making it a 3/2. Still a million things rolling around in my head on what works out for me. Best news is I'm able to use my VA loan so no money in the deal! Minus attorney, appraisal and inspection fees. Haven't gone thru the process with the VA before, just FHA in the downturn. This site and podcast has been great helping me with info and pulling the trigger. Hopefully this goes well and soon after I can start looking for my second property!
That's huge news. Nice job!
Hey @Mark Franks congrats on getting your offer accepted!
Its awesome they area leaving on their own and its a natural step for you to move into it.
My opinion - I would not combine the first floor and the basement unit. You are going to be able to get considerable more rent for having the units separate in the future than combining them (my area I would be able to get around 1700 for the 2/1 and 1300 for the 1/1 roughly as opposed to getting 2300 for the 3/2) - now if you want to do it for your lifestyle while you are living there, then that has its own value that is much harder to determine.
Best of luck!
PS - its a huge deal, dont down play it - you're awesome for taking action!
@Mark Franks , Great job! I am looking to purchase my first property in January for my 90 day goal! What was your biggest obstacle with presenting offers and how were you able to overcome that obstacle?
@Robert Webb thank you and you're right, it worked out great they wanted to leave on their own. I was factoring them staying but this opens up my options.
On the unit combination, you're absolutely correct on getting more money. The issue is getting it zoned for 3 family here in NJ and good to go is a total PITA from what I've been researching. If I do 2 units with basement, I'll be leaving some money on the table but would have much less hoops to jump thru. The good thing is they did the egress correctly on the basement to the outside.
@Daniel Hyman thank you!
@Mark Franks got to love bureaucracy :)
I know in one of the towns I am nearby and looking to buy a duplex in, it has a basement unit and the township told the current owner (so I would def fact check it when we go to move forward) that you as the owner can live in the basement and rent out the upstairs without issues needing a 3 family zoning, something to look into if you have interest in that type or arrangement of your place.
@Jerrett Wilson thanks! The biggest obstacle was either having outbid me, I'm fine with, or having better terms which I cant compete with. I cant waive inspection or appraisal. To overcome this I put in lots of offers and went strictly off the numbers. In my area not only is it competitive but taxes are high. I ran numbers doing my own PM and lawn/snow. I know its I'll advised but that's the only way to make the numbers work in my situation.
Also my realtor put together a profile letter stating my service, I'm a human, etc. I felt like that helped.
@Robert Webb From all the threads on BP, apparently NJ townships are giving people crap about doing that. Insane. Even as an OO. Like you said though, I'm cutting the speculation out and going directly to the township to figure out my options. This place is zoned as R2 which I believe is only 2 family. To get it zoned for 3 family is not a cakewalk apparently.
@Mark Franks Its great to hear that you found one, Garfield has a solid rental market and good proximity to the city if you found a property there that cashflows and didn't need flood insurance it sound s like a winner. You may want to spend some time making friends in city hall that are on the planning/ zoning board they can help to give you insight on how to rezone the property (usually it takes a couple months, you'll need to file paperwork, pay fees, get an architect to draw up your proposed plans etc) attending zoning board meetings can prove helpful as well, perhaps you'll pic up some inside info there that can be used in your next deal.
@Vaughn Smith Thank you, yes no flood insurance and walking distance to the station. Gotcha, would I have to rezone it if its zoned R2? I looked up some advertised 3 family in Garfield and they were zoned R2 as well. Thank you for the insight! Going to call today and possibly stop by in person soon.
@Mark Franks I don’t want to give you the wrong info on that particular plot but it sounds like you’d need to work to have it rezoned the people in the town are pretty easy to work with I’m sure they’ll steer you in the right direction, but try to get down there in person vs calling it’s easier to build relationships and harder to get ignored that way
Thanks @Mark Franks for sharing and I side with @Jerrett Wilson , the information provided was very helpful, thanks for going over your obstacles. I think everybody's situation is different of course depending upon location, location, location, lol. But greatly appreciate the info and Good luck on your next offer to come!
@Vaughn Smith Thanks, going to try and visit tomorrow.
Went to city hall. @Vaughn Smith you were right. Zoned 2 family so no basement unit. Waiting to talk to the cities building inspector about making basement and 1st floor one unit.
Put in a request for all permits and the property card. Never done this so it'll be interesting. If they didnt pull permits for any basement work, I'm debating my next move. My attorney contract says CO need to be obtained after permit work.
@Mark Franks Congrats on your first project!
Just want to make sure you check with zoning to see if the property is zoned as a 2 or 3 unit property. May impact your plans for the future. You can always get the zoning changed if it is currently a 2 unit and you want to make it a 3 unit. Especially if you are living in the property, you got time!
Hope this helps and make it a great day!
Hey, @Mark Franks congrats on your first deal. I usually like to give advice on real estate digital marketing. If I can ever be of service feel free to reach out!
Hi @Mark Franks ! Just wanted to say congratulations. I just bought my first home in NJ recently too and am now living rent free with my roommates paying the rent. Definitely an amazing feeling. Congrats again, we've both officially been bit by the bug. Only great things to come!!
@Mark Franks awesome, congrats
@Kathy Calderini Thank you! Yes, its zoned for 2 family so my only option is to rent out the basement and first floor as one unit. Building and fire inspector will be coming out to give COs.
@Angel-Ty L. Thank you! I appreciate it!
@Gaetano Ciambriello Thanks and congrats yourself! I wont be living rent free but about a grand less a month for "rent". It is and I'm already thinking about buying my next 5 to 10 unit property.
@Melba Chambers thank you!
@Mark Franks Congrats!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Super happy to hear. Good luck and let the fun begin lol.
Hi mark congratulation on your first rental property, I am also new to investing i am also actually in the market looking for too buy a 2 family or multi family house just curious hows the market in your area?
@Ronny Tiburcio Thanks Ronny! Still got a month or so to close but I'm excited as hell. Cant wait for the next meet up to tell you guys all about it!
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