CPA recommendations in Bay Area

19 Replies | San Francisco, California

Hi Everyone! 

I just started my journey as a real estate investor this year! Currently I have two rentals (single family) in Tucson, AZ and have been actively looking for deals / opportunities to expand my portfolio (mainly, out of California). I have thoroughly read @Brandon Turner 's "The Book on Rental Property Investing", @Amanda Han 's "The Book on Tax Strategies for the Savvy Real Estate Investor" and am currently reading @David Greene 's "Long Distance Real Estate Investing". 

I am also actively looking to identify a CPA specializing in real estate investment as my business partner (sort of) so I do not repeat mistakes that @Amanda Han outlined in her book. Any good recommendations for me in the Bay Area?

Look forward to exponential learning on this forum!

@Ting Lai welcome to the forum! Interesting that you picked Tucson, AZ as my partner and I identified Phoenix and Tucson as great cities when doing our research to invest in cities outside of CA!

I'm currently doing multifamily out-of-state and am also hunting for a real estate focused CPA in the city. I have a lead but have yet to vet him. I'll let you know where my search lands me.

@Ting Lai - I'm in KY now and the area I'm in (south of Louisville) has a shortage of rentals. I've just moved from the Killeen, TX area (where I have a SFH rental) and that is a good area for SFH and MFP rentals. I've lived in that area for over 15 years so I'm very familiar with the neighborhoods, property managers, and agents. If you look there and have a question just let me know. Also, the cities north of Austin are popular for investors too. @Poem Turner is an agent in that area and could answer any questions you have. Good luck!

@Ting Lai I live in the Bay Area too, and I'd also be very interested in a recommendation for a CPA in the area who knows about real estate investing. I also started in real estate investing this year, and my partner and I just closed on our first SFR in St. Louis, MO.

@Ting Lai You might want to expand your search to include CPA’s who work virtually. There are several on BP who work with investors all over. Sure I’m biased, but I think many would agree that when it comes to taxes and saving you money, industry specialization ought to trump geographic proximity.

@Tommy Hoang Thank you for sharing! I would LOVE to hear your experience regarding how you and your partner decided on Phoenix and Tucson, and what agents you are using in these areas. I have vetted 2 CPA / firms so far, and have not made my decision yet. Please let me know if you have any good leads!

@Allan Bishop Jr. Curious why your area has shortage of rentals? Is it due to strong demand for home ownership? Insufficient rental infrastructure? Or just purely the fact that it's a hidden gem? I'd definitely be interested in exploring opportunities in KY and TX as long as the numbers check out. 

@Michelle Eisenberg Amazing! Seems we are on the same journey. I liked your questions about the break-even point because that also came up during my cost-benefit analysis. I want to have a partnership-type of CPA relationship (meaning, not just to talk to him / her once a year, but engage with them before I make decisions on investment) at a reasonable cost. (By the way I used to study / live in STL and would love to hear more of your investment experience there!)

@Daniel Hyman That's a great idea. I am not against to this at all and would like to here more of how this can be executed! 

@Ting Lai - I moved here about a month ago when I got orders to Fort Knox. When I got my orders my wife and I decided to rent due to a couple factors. The lack of rentals in this area was shocking. We even considered buying but there wasn't much there either. Fort Knox itself has sustainability as a post and continues to grow little by little. The post also has a high number of Civilian employees. Unlike Soldiers these folks are pretty stable and don't move that often. This area is also popular with retirees.

Add me to the list of people looking for a CPA. 2018 brought life changes (marriage, child) so I don't feel comfortable going with the TurboTax route this upcoming tax season. 

Any disadvantage to a virtual/remote CPA? I'm guessing that I'll have to scan documents, e-signature, etc much more but that's not such a bad thing really.

@David B.

congratulations on the marriage and the newborn!

You want to make sure that the remote/virtual accountant is familiar with your specific tax profile. That includes knowing real estate taxation if you own rental properties. Furthermore, he should know the state tax laws in the states that you live and own property in.

Scanned documents is also not a bad thing. This is also beneficial for you as you have an electronic record of your tax documents just in case you need them in the future.

Signing documents is also easier with remote/virtual accountants. A lot of use some software that allows e-signature which avoids having to print, sign, scan and emailing back the signed pages.