New Investor looking for advice and guidance

7 Replies

Hello All,

I have decided to start investing in real estate in the St. Petersburg area. I currently live near downtown and absolutely love the city. I have some funds saved up to be able to start small. From some of the research I have done it seems like a lot of people recommend doing a flip first before purchasing a buy and hold in effort to build more capital. Do you all agree with that method? Also any advice or direction you can provide is much appreciated! I have been a long time observer of the market as I often research the inventory in my spare time but am just now deciding to get my feet wet. I am new at this so I am sure I will make mistakes but would love to hear any wisdom you have to share. 


I don't think flipping is necessarily a better way to start than buy and hold. Though many people follow that path out of necessity - as a way to build capital on the front end.

If you already have a full time job, flipping can be extremely tough. On the other hand, if you have some money saved up, and solid W-2 income, buying a small rental property couldn't be easier with 25% down (which is the typically down payment requirement for a conventional loan). 

Ultimately, it all depends on your current financial situation and future goals. 

Message me or email me and I'll be happy to share some resources on the local area. 

You may have to dig a bit and network like crazy but St. Pete is full of opportunity right now in just about any niche you want to tackle.

Flips can be good but beware scope creep and capital gains, they're capital killers.  Remember, ultimately flipping is a job, you finish one and you need to find another, and another, ad nauseum.

Have you considered a small multi-family house hack that you can live in and rehab?  Many find great success with that and it can really set you up for the next move into something similar or even larger.

As @Jeff Copeland mentioned, if you have stable W-2 perhaps something more passive is better, maybe not turn-key but something close that might be easier to start with.  Carpet and paint, rent forever kind of thing.

Hi Charles,

Thank you for your reply! As I do have W-2 income I think your suggestion of purchasing a closer to turn-key property would be a good idea. Do you think going through a wholesaler would still be best for something like that? Also, would I gain enough equity to refinance and roll into the next one? I am wanting to scale and not have all my money tied up in one property. 

Thank you!


Just to contribute here. There are two loans that are fixed rate for 30 years to buy and add funds to rehab. One is called HomeStyle . For investors down payment is 15% based on sum of sale price plus rehab dollars needed. Then you can fix and rent or fix and flip with no penalty and have  security of a 30 year term loan.

Or there is a version for 2 to 4 unit small buildings as well but then down payment grows to 25%.

Or if you agree to live in it for 12 months you can do it as an FHA 203k rehab loan with as little as 3.50% down on 1 to 4 unit properties and use future rents to qualify for the loan size needed. This is often the best option for a first time buyer with limited funds. On BP I have added various blog posts on how this all works. Happy to answer questions any time.

Hi Perry,

Thank you for your response! I did not know about homestyle loans so that is definitely something to look into. I would like to work with wholesalers though and I know they are typically concerned about speed of closing. Do you think it is plausible to buy a property with a hard money loan, rehab it, and then refinance with a conventional loan when it is ready to rent?


Yes, you can do a refi to get out of a Hard Money loan but then you are paying twice basically for two loans in various closing costs. I have seen renovation loans close in 30 days if that's quick enough for a wholesaler not sure. Good news on HomeStyle is no one cares how rundown the house is or if its not inhabitable and you don't need landlord experience that some Hard Money lenders want.

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