Late To The Party?

29 Replies

I kind of feel like I'm a few years late to the party....

I've seen quite a few houses and just feel like there are so many of us scouring every deal out there and the only ones that stay on the shelf are the less than desirable ones.

I'm in the market for a flip or buy and hold... to get my feet wet.

Re-hab budget of up to $200k cash to invest. I've been looking in Tampa and around the north (Wesley Chapel) and especially in areas in and around Zephyrhills and Dade City. My goal after fees etc is to make $20k profit.

Any tips from you guys?

Start looking for great deals now. What are you waiting for?

Hey @Bobby Gillespie ,

I definitely wouldn't go as far as to say that you are too late to the party. There are still deals out there in the bay area. That being said, they are definitely tougher to find than they used to be. Feel free to reach out to me with any questions you may have. 

Hi @Jason Burgess

No I haven't... for me it's too far away.... however, do you think there are better opportunities in St Pete?

Yes more than likely you will have more luck finding a deal in St Pete. Hillsborough and Tampa in particular are very saturated. Pinellas and St Pete are as well but not quite as much. Coincidentally Tampa is on every guru's real estate tour and St Pete is not.

@Bobby Gillespie

Well there is always a new opportunity somewhere, it just takes the time to find the diamond in the rough. St. Petersburg is just another area of consideration. However, I do understand the distance. 

I sent you a PM. 

They're out there, hammer away till you get them, and keep/build the relationships that get you the deals, so in the future they'll bring you more. What avenues are you using to source properties? You can always use wholesalers to bring you properties. We're buying/selling about 15 properties a month in the area. 

Account Closed

Thank you... I may well reach out to you soon. I think you may be right re fear of the unknown and add to that the fact that I just may need to look further afield and network more.

I do want to do some of the work myself yes, but obviously I'll weigh it up item by item.

Thanks again for reaching out.

You're not too late Bobby, but the longer you wait the harder it is going to be to find something. I have begun advising my clients to move out of the over-saturated house market and into the multi family market.

You can flip a duplex, triplex, or quad just as easily as a single family house. There's less competition when you buy, and you'll be dealing with investors when you sell, so there won't be the "picky" buyers who drive you and your agent nuts.

We're in the same boat. I had (and still have) the same concern when I started. You're (and I'm) getting started late. However, one thing I've learned from my investing education and mutual fund investing: the best time to start was 5 years ago, the second best time to start is today. I bought my first investment in 2016 and it's nowhere near a home run (long term SFH in Bradenton, and I've had a TON of maintenance issues with it. yay.). However in this geographical area, appreciation is definitely in play, and it's experience that will pay off down the road. Plus my goal is to own 20 houses, and you can't own 20 if you don't buy 1.

Since Sarasota does not have its own forum hoping to get some feedback from the Tampa folks.  Been in the area over 30 years and known the market well.   Been looking to buy a rental for awhile but prices are so inflated.  From what I hear deals bombing due to appraisal.  Prices At or reaching 05-07 bubble which is scary.  I watch as home values plummeted by 50%+ and there was a time when you could not give a home away.  Having a hard time finding anything that isn't a total overhaul and afraid to overpay for property.  Guess I'm interested in feedback as to what others think about my local it too late to find a good investment?  

@Bobby Gillespie, Hello from Tampa. I don't know why Newbie's are attracted to Buy and Hold or Flips instead of starting with their own Home, which is Tax-free using the Residential Sale rule after Homesteading for 2 out of 5 years. You don't go out and just spend your $200K, you learn how to Leverage your Cash with the Other People's Money or Loans that make sense. Did you study the Low and No Money Down studies with BP and others? Where do you live in Tampa? I have an old Jim Walters home on the River across from the Zoo where my neighbors have built three story homes on the water. I am going to buy her out of as she is going back to live in her 4/2.5 home in Seminole Heights. The cheap properties start across the street where there is a newly boarded up, block house that I am going to look into buying. I saw a completely, abandoned, overgrown, mouth watering, house a couple blocks South of the Zoo last week, to look into. Have you looked at and all the houses under $75K on the West side of the River from Hillsborough to Bush Blvd? Lots of old wood frame, termite ridden, funky, fixer uppers in a big area where they are not building New Homes. I am finishing up 4 months of repairs this week on my 3/1.5 ten year Rental down near the Base. My competition are all the New Homes and the ones that were gutted to install new windows, doors, cabinets, marble counters, sheet rock, etc. The four houses South of mine have been rehabbed. One had to rent. Two are empty and one has a sign up for three months, without Flyers. They did nothing to the landscaping, no Open House showings, just a sign and they ask $225K. I decided to just make my 1970 house Rental Ready and sell as an Affordable Home for $160K. I have many parents and grandparents coming by looking for something Affordable, in good shape, ready to go for ten years, for their sons and daughters who can't afford a place to live on their own. Imagine that! The youngsters went to school, got pregnant, can't find a JOB with a degree in Social Studies and the parents want to help them out...New Town Homes start at $260K near MacDill AFBase. The 3/1 house across the street, sold in one day with a For Sale by Owner sign, for $135K. Was just cleaned up and painted after the owner got tired of Tenants. Almost anywhere in Tampa, if you have New Construction, it is sold. Everybody wants shiny, new, marble counters, big Master Bath, two car garage, the most square footage and the least outside landscaping. The people in S. Tampa that work in Target and WalMart and all the restaurants etc. can't find Affordable living spaces without the apartment complexes where they don't want to live. Crime, noise, space, parking, rules and regulations. The thing I would tell you to do is to study a little more, look for a partner and only do one house at a time and try to make it something that if you can't Flip it in 30 days, that you are ready to Rent it and try again later. 

The deals are out there OP but they are very unlikely to fall into your lap. Gotta learn how to find off market deals via various forms of marketing.

@Jeanette Czachur .. i am somewhat familier with your area .. or at least i was .. i lived there north port / port charlotte / punta gorda .. for 18 years or so .. the house i bought back in 1997 in north port for $73k .. right off price blvd. near i-75 is now worth around $180-200k . For a 1350 sqft 3/2/2 .. its ridiculous.. i dont own it any longer ( wife got it in 2004 in the divorce..then lost it to foreclosure in 2011 i think ) but i still think its a lot if money to pay for that house .. i look at that area once in a while just for **** and giggles , matter of fact i was driving around Rotundra with my wife just 2 weeks ago .. she was driving while i was on the internet looking at pics and prices of houses for sale .. we were just buying time waiting to meet someone who wasn't home yet for a craigslist item .. i was looking for a expandable telescoping ladder to take with me when looking at properties and we happened to be down there ( i live in Bushnell, Fl now , apox 180 miles north ) after a church function .. anyway , i saw a couple homes that looked interesting but for the most part .. i would look into maybe partnering with a builder who is lacking some financing and go that route .. or at least look into it .. there still seems like there is plenty of undeveloped land from the old general development days .. i wish you luck and of course God Speed ..

Michael Short  

@Michael Short Thanks for the feedback. Northport is one of the lowest priced areas around here because there are still a ton of foreclosures and secondly it's Northport which has never been as appealing for some reason. Northport has changed quite a bit over past 10 years with lots more retail, new developments and from what I heard there is much demand for rental homes. Plus looks like they will be getting a spring training camp. You can still buy get a good return and not be under water buying there. But Sarasota, Venice and Englewood are getting crazy prices. Looked at a 2/2/2 1000 sq ft in Englewood Chsrlotte county in good condition but needing kitchen and bath update asking $160. Seller bought for $120 less than 2 yrs ago and didn't do any improvements. At full retail based on comps value was in low to mid 140s. Sold within the week! Will watch to see if deal closes cause no competent appraiser could value at list price or anywhere near. But from what I hear local realtor FHA appraisers are doing 5 min drivebys. It's a complete seller's market with low inventory especially in lower end price range that just about anything that isn't a terrmite infested knockdown sells and even those eventually sell. Seriously wonder if this is sustainable.

Know what is a good deal for you so when you see it you know almost instantly its a good deal for you and can act on it.  Have everything in place (financing, contract, down payment, real estate agent, inspector, surveyor, etc.) so when you find the good deal you are ready to go. and there are no hold ups.

@Jeanette Czachur I have seen those Englewood prices and they are insane and are not waterfront. You can actually do better buying over on Manasota in terms of value to cost. You won't get a $160k house there but if you can go higher the money is there and properties are in demand. People who look in that area want a finished house. Usually, as a secondary home or vacation rental. Since you can see or walk to the beach or bay in a couple minutes time. 

Northport is a good place to look. The Atlanta Braves spring training complex is getting built there. Northport has transformed so much. Retail stores are being built at an extreme pace. I have never seen such growth in such a short period of time. 

Good luck! 

What about multi-family in the Lakeland area? It's between Tampa and Orlando, it's still growing, but not quite as "picked clean" as the larger areas. With $200k you could probably buy, stabilize, and resell or refinance a small or medium project.

@Bobby Gillespie  getting involved in real estate at anytime is a viable option to build long term wealth. that said, doing so without the knowledge, teams, tools and resources is simply suicide in my opinion.  Real estate is local and all about relationships. Understanding the current market cycle and what strategy to employ within it in each market is imperative prior to putting your money at risk.  Savvy investors are filling their pipelines with assets because they have systems in place to attract off-market opportunities.  Many incorporate wholesalers into their strategies to identify viable assets, however, I caution you to be diligent in your vetting process to determine the right group to work with.  Using leverage to mitigate your risk, increase your buying power and enhance your cash on cash return is great to consider, however, lenders are not to interested in funding your "education" either.  You're looking to get your feet wet, then I suggest you begin networking in the markets you wish to take part in know who the "who's who" are in your area doing what it is you wish to do and perhaps build a rapport and partner up so you can learn the process and not put all your capital in play.  Surround yourself with those that know what you don't and can do what you cannot before jumping in, unless of course that $200k is just a drop in the bucket for you. You can even consider private lending to earn a solid return without doing the heavy lifting.  I guarantee you everyone that has responded to your post would welcome the idea of helping you put your money to work.  Again, your vetting process must be thorough. If I may be of service in any way or if you would like to attend on of our mastermind events in Orlando or Tampa feel free to pm me here anytime.  Good Luck

@Bobby Gillespie

I am in a totally different market, which is also totally over-inflated and very fast. That being said, there are still "good homes" out that I run into all the time. These include SFR, Multi, condo, attached, and anything else. As has been previously said, go look at properties, smell them, feel them. Get to know your market in and out so that when you finally see one you are comfortable with you can jump on it - go with your gut. Get your financing in order if needed. If you don't have a license, find an investor-friendly Realtor. My suggestion to you is to focus on a particular segment. i.e. I most enjoy helping people get stable housing aka first-time home buyers, and helping FSBOs.

Most of the investors that I am working with, want this "good deal" on the surface. Those properties get bought up so fast and for 100% cash - that no one else can compete. When someone tells me that they have cash and expect that to mean something, my reaction is to laugh and say, "So what, everyone else does too!" In that respect you also need to focus on what you want as a return. What is the threshold for you for a flip? Some want to make 10%; some just care about $10,000.  

So then look at "less desirable" properties. It cracks me up because most investors get freaked out by them. If I had the cash I would scoop them up if they meet my criteria. Its how I bought my home and how I plan to build my portfolio. I take a contractor with me every time I look at an investment property. He tells me what he thinks it will take to fix, and then I know for sure if it will work for one of my investors. What does it cost me? An expensive lunch - so what!? Realistically, these properties are only less desirable to someone else - although to you they might be gems. i.e. Give me a home that has good bones, although needs a new floor throughout, maybe a roof, new paint, some water damage in the bathroom, and a VERY LARGE dumpster, and if my contractor gives me numbers I like, and if the rents are high and stable, then that's a good property. Lol, especially if it has had rats or mice.... Sounds horrible, but those are all easy fixes - but many get freaked out. And there is a lot of money to be made when you turn it. 

My 2 cents.


Great post @Steve Milford ... so true. but what if you have a primary job, can't drive around with a contractor during regular hours and don't have 100K+ in cash? Don't that shrinks the pool of homes you're looking at, or just shrinks the potential cash flow?

There's always a party going on, you just have to find it. I wouldn't focus on what type of party it is, only to find the best party happening at the moment and crash it ... and always have a clear plan on how you will make it home safely after the party is over in case you drink too much or it gets busted up early by the cops :)

For example, if houses are too expensive to buy, then don't buy them, sell them ... and you don't need to own them to sell them, that is what RE agents do, they sell houses that they don't own.

Party on!

It's definitely never to late, but the St Pete area is not as easy as they make it sound either. I've been looking for a triplex as my first deal in Pinellas County for months and all I see is really bad neighborhoods or way over priced. It's been so difficult that now I am currently working on getting my Real Estate License just to try and get access to properties a little bit sooner because by the time they are listed, the experienced investors have already snatched it all up if it was worth it.

@Federico L.

I have a primary job, real estate is my PT gig lol. I see homes on my lunch break, after work, on the weekends, at night with a flashlight - I don't care when. That is also where being a Realtor has helped me, I go when I want too. I became friends with my contractor, so that I can take him to eat (at his favorite restaurant) when it works for both of us. I tried him out as well first, on my own house, so I know his quirks, and his estimation skills are spot-on. And I bought my first investment property with an FHA (yes I live in it) - last year. I am thinking about selling it this year and based on market comps I will make profit to do the next one with a 20% down, after my rehab costs. Lol, I bought what some would call a "dump" in a less desirable neighborhood. But that's where I know what is fixable easily and what is not (meaning that I fix it myself while still making it look good. i.e. this is the 5th time I have installed laminate floors). I have the contractor fix what is above my skill level i.e. the bathroom. I never planned to stay here long - yet I needed to get started. When I went to see it, I asked the owner how many had seen it, and he told me I was the first one... huh. I love it when owners are there, as I get them to spill the beans and learn their hot buttons. After taking a look at it for about 15 minutes, I decided - yep I need this and put an offer on it immediately.

Btw, most serious investors don't even bother looking at a house until they have an accepted offer on it - that is when they do their due diligence. At most they might drive by it, and peek in the windows, but mostly they see it on the internet and make an offer. You need to see enough homes in person until you are comfortable going with your gut.


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