Since my last post a lot has happened. Previously I wrote about my experience purchasing my first property (traditional financing), which also happens to be long distance, and what I learned along the way. I've spent the last 2 months practicing patience, educating myself by reading books, asking questions to the property management/property inspector, and making minor adjustments.
Property Management (PM) Company:
Property Management Company In General: The property management company I'm working with has been a great resource for many things since my purchase. I was able to ask them questions about rehabs, who provides utilities, water and sewer for the area, and average prices for utilities. The PM company also has an in-house real estate agent who was able to tell me about the housing market in the city. They have been very patient with me, a newbie. The PM did inform me that I would be charged for any requests to visit the property outside of the normal property check-ups. I initially cost myself a lot of money by not keeping this point in mind. Over the past few months I've learned what is an appropriate amount of emails to send and requests to make. I do have to note the I am hyper responsive when my property management company contacts me about an issue or needs me to sign anything and so is the PM.
Section-8: The second unit in my duplex is now rented out. The first unit was rented out when I bought the property which made the purchase much easier. The tenant who was initially in the unit is Section-8. My PM company did a great job handling all the necessary paperwork and conversations with the local Section-8 housing office. All I needed to do was sign a few papers. I made one mistake with Section-8 though. I did not call the housing office immediately after purchasing the property to inform them I was the new owner. The first month's rent was sent to the previous owner, who luckily sent it back to the housing office. I bought the property at the end of November, but because of my mistake, I will not receive December's rent until April. From now on I will contact the Section-8 housing office immediately after any purchase if my current tenants are in the program to insure the previous owner doesn't get the check.
Vacant Unit Rehab: My property management company assessed the property a few days after I purchased it and came up with an estimate for making the vacant unit rent-ready and cleaning the outside area of the property. I also had an outside contracting company assess the property. I ultimately went with my property management company because the few interactions I had with them helped build my trust, I didn't have time because I had picked up too many shifts at work to manage the rehab myself, and I was flat out nervous about managing a rehab on my first property that was also a long distance purchase. The mistake I made with rehabbing was not allotting enough time to manage the rehab on my own. The price quoted to me by the property management company was twice the amount I expected but was very similar to the outside contractor quote. I must make it very clear that I was NOT robbed by my management company. They did NOT swindle me. It is my responsibility to do due diligence during the rehab process. I now know that when I select a property management company to rehab my property I am actually paying for convenience in addition to materials and labor. Convenience sometimes can be more expensive than I would like. I would have saved myself money had I devoted more time to getting more quotes and verifying appropriate prices. I plan on rehabbing my properties independently from this point forward.
Leasing vacant unit: This process was very much a wait and see process for me. The PM emailed me at the end of each week updating me on the number of phone calls, tours of the property, and applications. The PM handled all of the marketing and leasing. I took the liberty to search for my apartment online and found great advertisements about the apartment. The PM initially marketed the property at the highest market price during the holiday season. There was a lot of interest but no applications around the holiday season. I eventually called the PM to ask them what was a realistic expectation and to let them know how much lower I would be ok with the rent going. The PM explained that leasing tends to be slow around the holidays and picks back up after people get their tax refund check. They also said that they did not need to lower the rent as far down as I thought it may need to go to get it rented. When I signed with the PM they informed me that they don't sign new Section-8 tenants. After my initial conversation about leasing my property with the PM, I was thinking of cancelling my contract to find a company that would sign a Section-8 tenant so the unit could be filled as fast as possible. Instead of making a knee-jerk reaction I searched the Bigger Pockets forum and the internet for answers. There were a lot of pros and cons, but eventually I decided to stay with my current PM for a few reasons.
1.They probably knew something about the market that I didn't know
when it comes to Section-8 tenants.
2. They had been trustworthy so far.
3. Instability in business is not good. It wouldn't be logical for me to break a contract 45 days in just because
my unit wasn't rented. Not to mention that would be a bridge burned
with a company that has been nothing but professional in all
interactions. Around the time I was thinking about canceling my
contract I saw an Instagram post that said, "Don't have patience
about the things you want to achieve, but do have patience with the
decisions you make that are taking you toward your goals."
Each week an update would come telling me of new applicants, failed applicants, phone calls, and tours. I kept my eye on the weekly updates and hoped we could get someone in the unit before the summer. This past week the unit was rented.
In my last post I wrote about my home insurance informing me my
policy would be cancelled due to my roof not being replaced. A few
days prior to the cancellation date I called the insurance company
and they signed me up for a new policy. There was no difference in
coverage, and I have yet to be informed about a new inspection that
requires a roof replacement. During the initial rehab of the property, roof ventilation boxes were added, and I hope that makes a difference in
the evaluation of the roof. I did get a quote for a new roof by
a contractor and picked up extra shifts at work just in case I need
to pay for it in the future. My fingers are crossed that I don't have
to deal with this again for a few years.
+Rehabs: After paying a lot for my previous rehab I am determined to manage rehabs myself. I connected with my property inspector and got many referrals for contractors. My property inspector has also managed rehabs and custom home building for years and happily offered to be a part of any future projects. Prior to buying this property I read the book "Long Distance Real Estate Investing" by David Greene and plan to use it as a guide through the process.
+Books I read while waiting for second unit to be rented out: "Crushing It In Apartments and Commercial Real Estate" by Brian Murray; "The Book on Estimating Rehab Costs" by J Scott; "Buy, Rehab, Rent, Refinance, Repeat" by David Greene; "Raising Private Capital" By Matt Faircloth (currently reading this book)
+Capital: I plan on BRRRRing my next property this year with money I saved, borrowing from my 401K because the interest rate is better than a hard money loan, and taking out a loan from my bank if needed.
Thank you for reading this!
Hi Rodney, I enjoyed your post and sharing your experiences. I found it educational and helpful, thank you. A year ago my wife and I moved from the Chicagoland area to Indianapolis because we were tired of paying high property taxes and also improve our lifestyle. Like many newbies, I'm interested in learning more about the real estate world and doing this by podcasts and these BP forums.
I applaud you to stay patient and staying the course, I'm sure that wasn't easy. If possible I would like to connect with you and follow your posts. Can you tell me the PM agency your using? It appears they 're very highly regarded. I'm still trying to learn who the good folks are and organizations that support the customer fairly and ethically.
@Michael Svoboda Thank you! The PM I am working with is RPM Indianapolis Metro. I’m glad you were able to find a better situation in Indiana compared to Illinois! Let’s make sure connect!
Hey Rodney! Congrats on the deal! Let me know if you ever want to talk Indy real estate! :)
@Nick Giulioni Definitely! There seems to be a lot going on in Indy right now!
My team in indy is not too strong. If you are looking to a different turnkey market I would like to learn about who you are using and share mine?
@Lane Kawaoka Please private message me so we can talk more. Thank you!
Hey @Rodney Burayidi , I'll be closing on my first deal near the end of the week. I was found a Section 8 deal a few weeks ago and thought about putting an offer on it. After reading about yearly Section 8 inspections and some other downsides to it, I put in offer on another duplex. Do you think you will keep on investing in Section 8? Part of it scares me, but I know there is some money to be made there.
Congrats on sticking through the process, not getting agitated with a small shortfall and not changing your strategy. Next part is a vast generalization and will be controversial but through anecdotal testimony I’ve heard that section 8 can be tougher on the property which if you are a hands on landlord in Indy, not that big a deal. Being an OOS investor may require more money and attention than what was anticipated when purchasing. I would personally be more comfortable phasing out section 8 over time for the reason mentioned and also not having to worry about staying in compliance with the Housing Agency every year.
Either way good work on compromising your position while staying in line with your strategy, keeping a good working relationship with the PM and helping rejuvenate the city. Wish you continued success and hope your next property is on the East side!!!
@Connor Mullen Congratulations on your upcoming closing! My PM actually does not lease section 8 tenants so I will most likely not continue purchasing with the goal of section 8. The current section 8 tenant was there when I bought the property so my PM said they would work with the situation. I really have learned a lot from my PM RPM Indy Metro. They seem to know what works in Indy. @Robert McInteer Thank you for the advice and kind words! I will check out the east side!
@Rodney Burayidi - Glad to hear you've got this far! Congrats! I've dealt with Section 8 in Indy, and ended up just having to evict, rehab, and sold off my 4 duplexes. I still do a vast majority of my investing in Indy, but as a Private Lender instead now! I've got a good network of agent / HVAC / Electrical from when I need them for flips etc, so, feel free to connect if you ever need anything! I agree with the East Side! Might be a bit overcrowded now though, so, if you keep finding great deals, keep doing what you're doing man!
@Jaspreet Baveja thank you! I look forward to connecting with you!
@Rodney Burayidi Congrats on persevering.
I too considered section 8 years ago, but ultimately decided it was not worth the headache. There is ample opportunity in Indy and a strong tenant base that does not justify the added effort in my opinion. You can still be a great landlord and improve the community without section 8.
Keep up the great work!
@Jaspreet Baveja Who / how are you sourcing your private lending in Indy?
I see quite a few deals in Indy but rarely see private lending. Mostly syndicates and partnerships.
@Daniel McNulty - I am a Private Lender myself, and the flow of borrowers is a plenty, as you can imagine! I've helped many people place their funds into 1st position liens in Indy before, and continue to do so now. PM me if you want to talk further.
@Daniel McNulty thank you!
@Rodney Burayidi Very informative post! Thank you.
I'm just getting started in Indy myself. My business partner and I closed on a duplex in January, rehabbed, and are in the process of doing a cash-out refi. Once we finish the process and I know all the numbers, I'll make my own deal post on here as well.
I'd love to connect if you have the time.
@Alex McIvor thank you. Congrats on the rehab! I look forward to reading your post and connecting with you.
@Rodney Burayidi Your post is super helpful, seriously. I think you are doing a great job in giving us info about how it was the process. I would love to ask you a couple of questions as well.
Be proud man, some people talk....some people does not have time to talk because they have to walk.....
@Juan T. Thank you! I’d love to talk. I’ll private message you.
Thanks for sharing your experience! Love your mindset and understanding that convenience costs a bit more!
My wife and I are house hacking in indy, in a great area. There are a lot of things we will do differently but lessons also cost $$$, which is something we experienced first hand! Thanks again for sharing. Let’s connect!
@Lamont Glover II thank you! I hope the house hacking is going well! I definitely want to hear your story.
@Lane Kawaoka - I currently have 4 rentals in Indy, am considering expanding to other markets. Please PM so we can share info.
@Jaspreet Baveja - Since Covid and the financial markets, lender LTV requirements have change. I am also looking for alternative funding for buy and hold opportunities. Please PM to explore your options!