Moving to Wichita, KS. Buy a Duplex?

7 Replies

Hello All! 

I am brand new to BiggerPockets and real estate as an investment opportunity. My family and I are moving to the Wichita area and I am curious what actual numbers are looking like in this area. My wife and I are thinking of buying a duplex to house hack but our biggest issue is we have NO TIME. Is is possible to hire a property manager to take care of the whole duplex so we don't have to try and fix things? What does the cost of PMs run around here? I have used the rental tool on BP website but I don't know what type of percentages to place in PM, Expenses, Vacancy that are accurate. Any and all help and resources would be greatly appreciated!

Welcome, Colton! I'm househacking in Wichita and have been fortunate to have a low maintenance property with a low maintenance tenant. It took my wife and I over a year of serious searching to find one that met our criteria, but with a little patience, I'm sure you can too. I manage the place myself and have not had to put much time at all into it beyond what any homeowner should expect for their own place. Obviously that could change at any moment, and it's hard to predict, but if you're househacking, why not give it your best shot to find a low-maintenance duplex, and handle it yourself? Use cozy or some other free program to manage requests/collect rent/draft a lease and save the 4-10% in PM costs. Best of luck!

Hello Colten! I have to disagree that Wichita doesn't have great property management. I manage a great PM company as well as my own properties, so I know there is a time to manage your own, and a time to let someone else do the job. Would love to talk with you about both. I'll PM you with some info.

@Colten Johnson

That's awesome Colton. I'm currently a real estate agent and rental property owner, though it isn't a duplex, and we manage them ourselves, I may be of assistance if only to help answer some questions. If you're needing someone to help walk alongside you, find a property, or point you to our preferred property management companies, let me know and I would be glad to help.

I was recently referred to another "great" pm by a former re agent, transitioned to them last month and it's been nothing but issues so far...

I live out of town from my rentals, otherwise I'd self manage. Even if you feel like you don't have time, you should give it a go initially. You'll find the time if it matters enough and you'll learn so much more before you pass on the reigns to a "professional". Get yourself a quality tenant and it shouldn't be too time consuming at all, assuming the property is in decent/good condition.

I agree that there are great benefits to giving it a go at managing your investment properties yourself, as long as you have the time to educate yourself on the laws and appropriate practices, have the right disposition, and want to do it. It's a great learning adventure! If and when you decide you don't need or want to manage your portfolio, you will be so much more knowledgeable on what you want from a PM company, what PMs are dealing with on a day to day basis, and have more reasonable expectations (in my experience). I manage a property management company, but I still manage my own rentals because I love it! There are some aspects I don't love, but I still enjoy turning a property over (painting, cleaning, maintenance, upgrading), and knowing I am providing a nice place for someone to live. There will be a time that I bring my properties into the company to manage, and I know they will be in good hands. 

I do believe there is a time to manage yourself (although it's definitely not for everyone) and a time to let the pros (yes we are professionals) do the work for you.

I agree with Daniel: buy quality properties, find quality tenants, and the experience should be less time consuming. (Although after 20+ years of experience, I know there are always exceptions.)