Bakersfield duplex , what is a better alternative?

6 Replies

I am reposting this as may be i'll have even more feedback here, specific for Bakersfield, as i posted it before on the general forum.

Hello,

I live in LA and have an accepted offer in Bakersfield to buy a duplex. Both units 2/1 (2'tandem' bedrooms, one of them is very small, like a sun-room). Currently rented for 750 each unit.Price of the duplex is 185K. It is in a older area, house build in 1925 and has a charming fire place and retro feel to it.

- Does this deal 185K/1500 monthly +plus guest house sounds as a good deal for Bakersfield?

- what could be a better alternative? 

- I can either buy cash or finance: how i can find the best deals?

Have you run the actual numbers on this property? The numbers look a bit thin in terms of cashflow just doing quick math in my head.  

Hi Gene, You are right, I did run the numbers and at the end I didn't buy the duplex. I liked the Bakersfield for its relatively close location from LA, but the sale prices went up and rents didn't, at least not at the same proportion At the same time it looks that average income in Bakersfield doesn't have much potential to grow thus I am hesitant about investing in this area. If you know otherwise please share with me. I am curios about Lake Isabella as well

IMO the data is pretty mixed right now for Bakersfield.  Prices are up a good amount from the bottom, but it is a growing economy.  Even with oil getting hammered and Ag getting hit by the worst drought in recorded history...things are doing pretty good. Logistics is a growing sector, and now home construction is starting to be a factor.  It will be interesting to see how things play out with oil, but I personally the record drought will end and we will revert back to the median at some point.  Overall I am pretty optimistic about the economy of Bakersfield.

Lake Isabella is very different from Bakersfield.  Prices are still near the cycle bottom. There are deals which appear to cashflow well, but it is very difficult to find qualified tenants.  If you want to hold out for a reasonably good tenant, it can take a very long time to fill vacancies.  Home sales have really picked up over the past couple quarters.  The lake is at 6% capacity (94% below the full mark), and the river is under 100 CFS.  The drought has hit the Lake Isabella area very hard.  The local economy has suffered.

There are some pretty amazing deals right now on "lake view" properties that now look down on dirt.  Again...It think the snowpack/runoff will eventually return to the median.

@Julia Fergo it is always a good idea to run the numbers before you buy a property.  Have you read any books on real estate investing? Have you learned some of the basic calculations you can use to help determine what is a good deal or not? 

I suggest you learn as much as you can so you don't end up making huge mistakes with your hard earned money.  The best advice I have heard on here was learn from other people's mistakes, it's a heck of a lot cheaper that way!

@Gene Hacker i appreciate your feedback...I find it very difficult to for myself to evaluate any market , which I don't live in. Bakersfield scares me with the huge amount of houses for sale and for rent that are available. I use trulia and google to see demographics and what is around the neighborhood, but still need more understanding and confidence to know what i want to buy.

@Nicole B. thank you for your advise.I agree with you 100%. For now i am listening to BP podcasts and read a lot on the internet. Yes i started to use their calculators...Also Igo to some real estate summits and educational meetups.

It can be hard to get data on the Bakersfield real estate market, but I think following data in regards to market timing is a very important aspect of investing in a boom/bust area like Bakersfield (or most of CA for that matter).