Newbie in ASU area Tempe, Arizona

7 Replies


My name is pronounced Row-See-Oh  (: 

Don't be fooled by my long intro, I am new to REI but I've been on BP for so long now ... finally decided it's time to interact!

Current situation..... I work in the mortgage servicing dept. for a large bank where I have met a couple of influential people that introduced me to the world of REI. I joined BP in 2015, and I purchased my first home* in July 2016 in the heart of college town (and my home town) - Tempe, AZ. *(sale price 248k, 30yr conventional loan 235k, paying roughly $1,500 PITI). I started my search with multi family units as a way into house hacking, but I ended up purchasing this single family home with 4 bedrooms, 2 baths, carport, and a large back yard with a gazebo and a workshop/shed structure. The move to Tempe was strategic because I knew that I could easily rent to a family or to ASU students when time came - this neighborhood is welcoming to both.

I have already spent some money on improvements. When I first moved into this house I was alone for a few months so I invested in putting up a brick wall for security (the backyard has an alley and a community park behind it). I also spent a shiny penny repairing a broken sewer pipe, and removing a very large palm tree in the front yard (to eliminate maintenance costs, seedlings & scorpions, eww to all). My plan to rent the home out and continue loafing off my parents did not pan out. My parents sold their house when I moved out and they now live with me...empty nest did not last long lol... As I am enjoying the company and cooking of my roommates, I am working full time, SAVING, and dabbling in BP to continue expanding my knowledge.

Future plans..... In the next 6 months (or sooner) I plan to convert the workshop space into a studio/tiny house so I can downsize and rent out the "big" house. I will house hack my way through additional property improvements - over the next year I want to also expand the driveway and redo landscaping (dog run, garden beds, shade trees, pavers). Nearing the end of 2018 I feel I will be financially ready to take a risk and transition from my current job into property management (or assistant) for a well established company. It is important for me to gain experience yet still have stable income + benefits, because in the next 3 years I plan to purchase my second property. I will move out of the tiny house and use it as an airbnb or rent it out, which will give me 2 streams of income from one property. (woohoo!)

How to move forward...... I am looking for contractor referrals for construction estimates of my tiny house.I'm really not sure where to start in order to ensure the structure is built up to Tempe city code and has all the proper permits to be lived in/rented out. I imagine getting estimates from a couple of contractors may be a good place to start. Any advice welcomed!

I am also seeking any local investors who want to casually talk about REI ideas, strategies, current articles/podcasts etc but don't have friends who are into it (lol). I have not explored in the meetup groups, but maybe one day I'll get there. I'd prefer a more casual conversation for now with individuals that are in a similar situation as I am, perhaps just starting out or getting seasoned on their first few properties. Individuals with airbnb hosting experience or single family property management experience in the valley would be fantastic to network with as well. Honestly, I'd be glad to hear from anyone here! I love BP! I look forward to hearing from you!

@Rocio T. it’s great to see you are stating to post and reach out to interact with other investors on the forums.  I think it is great that you got your first property that you’re planning on rehabbing and turning into a rental. My only advice at this point would be to understand your numbers really well. I think a lot of new investors, myself included, overspend on the rehab and then lose money on their first property.

In the city of Tempe, building permits will be needed to convert the work shop in the back. There was a contractor who came to the last meet up group that I hosted in the East Valley who was a contractor who talked about getting permits from the city. I don’t recall his name off hand though.  Going to meet up’s is a great way of getting to know other investors and meeting other people in the industry who can become part of your team in investing in real estate. 

@Rocio T. Hey welcome to the family! I am also a new investor in Tempe, somewhat house hacking my first place and in the process of closing on my first flip in Glendale. 

I really want to second what @Shiloh Lundahl said. In our first flip we were working with someone very seasoned and due to some delays in the rehab and personal learnin gmommets on my end we are set to lose a little bit of money. I would say one concrete piece of advice I would give is to benchmark the types of rehabs people are doing in your area, and what those houses are selling those rehabs for. I can connect you with some realtors I know and trust, or I’m sure Shiloh has contacts as well, but they can help teach you the market as long as you use them when it comes Time to buy and sell your next property!

If you want to get together and talk REI, I'd be happy to sit down and chat! PM me is you are interested

@Shiloh Lundahl and @Matt Dickens Thank you both for the warm welcome! A key point from your responses is that I didn't think about the work I'm putting into the home as "rehab", simply because the house is essentially turnkey. My strategy is to buy & hold and i thought that if i do some upgrades in the yards/driveway to make it more appealing, I can rent it for a bit more down the road. Thinking about it as a rehab does give me a different approach, and I thank you for the advice that I should look into what's happening in my area and really take a closer look at the numbers. I will have to get out there to meet potential contractors for the studio in the backyard (let me know when you host another @Shiloh Lundahl), and if either of you do have referrals for that i'd be glad to get in contact! Gracias! (:

@Rocio T. Welcome! Congrats on your first property purchase. Super exciting :)
I would love to meet and chat about REI. Like you, I’ve been looking for multi family, but so far none pass the 1% test.
Currently my schedule is pretty flexible and I’m happy to meet in Tempe. Also, I’ve been to Shiloh’s meetup and it’s always very informative. The next one is April 18 in Mesa if you’re interested.

I hear the phoenix market is pretty tough. I moving from Chicago area and Im curious to know what to expect when I get started in AZ this year. Is this true? 

@Paris Coleman it depends on what your definition of tough is. Are there deals to be had? Yes. Are they easy to find? Not in my opinion. I would say there is no more low hanging fruit on the tree REI tree anymore. All of those have been picked and are gone now. However, it has forced me to become a better investor by there being less deals. I have needed to learn how to analyze deals better and build a system and a team for acquiring them.

Thanks so much for the insight and perspective. Basically I Need should be willing and capable of grinding and being creative in the Phoenix market. I’m planning a move there in a few months and I wasn’t sure what to expect as I prepare to pursue real estate. You shined some light on that for me

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