Questions about house-hacking in Rochester NY

20 Replies

I was lost but I am.. a bit more found!

After some sound advice I have decided my best choice to start off is with house-hacking in Rochester!

 I'm having some difficulty finding a good duplex or multi-unit in a decent area within a reasonable price range. My current realtor was helping me locate a single family home so maybe that's one of the issues (any recommendations)? & I have been reading into real estate investing and a lot say one mistake is people choose to do it alone. Yet, I feel as though it would make no sense to link with an investor for something like this but maybe I'm wrong? Any feedback..

Hi @Beverly Anderson , your Realtor should definitely be helping you find multi-family properties if you're looking to house-hack.  If your agent isn't familiar with investing, then I would suggest getting a new agent.  Also, it's typically not beneficial to have a partner in a house-hack in my opinion.  House hacking is a great way to get started with favorable financing.  Just because you don't have a partner on your house hack doesn't mean you should be "doing it alone."  It is always beneficial to be networking with other investors in the area.  Bouncing ideas off of others and getting direction/encouragement is easy to do without having a formal partnership.

Helllo @Beverly Anderson , I agree with @Benjamin Burket . If you are looking to house hack, then your realtor showing you single family homes seems counter-productive, unless you are wanting to rent out each room. Your realtor should be able to set you up with an MLS link with the criteria you are looking for (i.e. multi-family,price, location, etc.). Then it is just a matter of waiting for the right deal. Of course there are ways to look for deals not on the MLS as well.

I am currently house hacking in Rochester and highly recommend it. Rent from the tenants is only about $100/month short of my total PITI and PMI. I was able to purchase my first property on a conventional mortgage for only 5% down.

Good luck!

yeah, do the house hack. No need to bring in another person. Make sure when you do your numbers the future investment property will work with both units rented in the duplex once you move on to the next.     Cashflow

@Beverly Anderson

I have to completely agree with every other post. There is no need to get any other investors involved in a house hack and you should be looking at Multi-families. I know some really great agents that I can refer you to if need be. Have you been pre-qualified? What purchase price can you go up to? If you are going with a multi-family, you should be able to increase your max  limit and count the rental income on the other units at 75% to help you qualify. The market is competitive here!

Originally posted by @Jerry Padilla :

@Beverly Anderson

I have to completely agree with every other post. There is no need to get any other investors involved in a house hack and you should be looking at Multi-families. I know some really great agents that I can refer you to if need be. Have you been pre-qualified? What purchase price can you go up to? If you are going with a multi-family, you should be able to increase your max  limit and count the rental income on the other units at 75% to help you qualify. The market is competitive here!

 Yes I am pre-qualified, I actually almost closed on a single family home but I'm redirecting to a duplex/multi-family. I was actually wondering if that was factored into the max limit so thank you for that information. Please do send me the contact information, i'll take any help. Thank you!

A quick search on Trulia shows dozens of multifamily properties in Rochester (https://www.trulia.com/for_sale/Rochester,NY/MULTI-FAMILY_type/). Trulia is useful because it has a filter for multifamily. I do echo the sentiment of the others - find an agent that's familiar with investor buyers, or at least multifamily house hack buyers. I'd be willing to bet you'll find a few here on BiggerPockets, or get some referrals from people here. I'm a little too far from the Rochester market to be helpful, but @Jerry Padilla offered some referrals. 

I disagree. You'll never find anything worth buying as an investment using a real estate agent. Because most only have access to properties that are located on the MLS. You have two options; either start marketing or start networking. (Or both).

Originally posted by @Matt Honeyford :

I disagree. You'll never find anything worth buying as an investment using a real estate agent. Because most only have access to properties that are located on the MLS. You have two options; either start marketing or start networking. (Or both).

 Hi Matt,

Would you elaborate on this a bit? A lot of books, forum posts, blogs, etc recommend using a real estate agent with experience working with investors - especially for those just starting out. I'd be curious to hear a counterargument as to why this wouldn't be the best route. 

Originally posted by @Austin Welty :
Originally posted by @Matt Honeyford:

I disagree. You'll never find anything worth buying as an investment using a real estate agent. Because most only have access to properties that are located on the MLS. You have two options; either start marketing or start networking. (Or both).

 Hi Matt,

Would you elaborate on this a bit? A lot of books, forum posts, blogs, etc recommend using a real estate agent with experience working with investors - especially for those just starting out. I'd be curious to hear a counterargument as to why this wouldn't be the best route. 

I have nothing against Real Estate Agents, I am one. And was one before I finally started figuring this out. And none of the other real estate agents / brokers could help me figure out how to buy properties that made any financial sense. At the end of the day, agents are agents and investors are investors. Agents live in a world where they are jerked around, taken advantage of and waste a ton of time on people that simply aren't going to be worth it. So, why in the world would an agent help an investor find a property that made sense? It would take them more time and they would make less money. It's also not like there is a secret list of inventory that they have, it's just MLS access. Now, I don't know about other markets but in this market you have to hunt for the deals yourself. Deals that are off market and nobody else knows about them. If you want the deals, you have to find them yourself.

@Austin Welty I agree I have read quite a few of books and they all advise to find the "right realtor".

@Matt Honeyford I could see how what you're saying makes sense. I have been house searching for a bit and at times I feel like I'm one of those people. My realtor always suggest I offer my max (which of course maybe necessary to close the deal) but I didn't agree the home was worth that much, but followed his advice. After the inspection we realized I definitely over paid in the offer yet the buyer wouldn't accept less and the deal fell through. 

So basic point I can see how for the best deals work with someone who themselves searches for the best deals! (Of course realtors are easier to find than investors, especially established ones who wants to guide a newbie).

@Beverly Anderson that's right! If it were as simple as logging on to the MLS to find great flip and rental properties then everybody would be rich. The brutal honest facts are that you have to establish yourself by networking and marketing to find these deals. Once you've done that the deals will come to you. Almost every week somebody send me over an off market opportunity.

Now, here's where working with an agent (or being one) has its advantages. Once you have a deal you can quickly run comps using the MLS. It can also give you an overview of the markets, helping you identify areas around Rochester NY that may be in front of the path of progress.

@Matt Honeyford has some good points. @Beverly Anderson I've worked with an agent and the deals he can provide me access to are usually a bit larger budget than I am ready to jump into. Say a 4 plex in the south wedge at $250 needing maybe $100k in renovations for an ARV of $450. While this is a deal, and he got me into see the place, I wasn't comfortable jumping in that deal right now. I just closed on my second deal, a $35k place on Norton that needs maybe $15k and will ARV for $65k. This will be a tight budget BRRR deal. This is a budget I can work with for now, learn a few more things in this deal and hone my skills. I found this by networking in the Rochester Area and connecting with some people who have been wholesaling for 20 years here. I highly recommend going to the RREIA meetings and meeting people there. That helped me find my property manager, wholesaler, lender, and my first two deals. It also helps learn who is trustworthy and who isn't very fast because you can get referrals.

The other advice I have is to walk as many properties as you can. MLS, Wholesale, off market, occupied, vacant, etc. This will give you a really good feel for a property if it is a good deal or not. I walked two houses in one week both priced at $35k. It was very easy to see which one had a good chance at being a deal, and which one is just a project someone is trying to get rid of.

Originally posted by @Matt Honeyford :

@Beverly Anderson that's right! If it were as simple as logging on to the MLS to find great flip and rental properties then everybody would be rich. The brutal honest facts are that you have to establish yourself by networking and marketing to find these deals. Once you've done that the deals will come to you. Almost every week somebody send me over an off market opportunity.

Now, here's where working with an agent (or being one) has its advantages. Once you have a deal you can quickly run comps using the MLS. It can also give you an overview of the markets, helping you identify areas around Rochester NY that may be in front of the path of progress.

 Thank you for all the info, much appreciated! So where/how exactly do you recommend I start "establishing myself by networking and marketing"?

Originally posted by @JD DiGiacomandrea :

@Matt Honeyford has some good points. @Beverly Anderson I've worked with an agent and the deals he can provide me access to are usually a bit larger budget than I am ready to jump into. Say a 4 plex in the south wedge at $250 needing maybe $100k in renovations for an ARV of $450. While this is a deal, and he got me into see the place, I wasn't comfortable jumping in that deal right now. I just closed on my second deal, a $35k place on Norton that needs maybe $15k and will ARV for $65k. This will be a tight budget BRRR deal. This is a budget I can work with for now, learn a few more things in this deal and hone my skills. I found this by networking in the Rochester Area and connecting with some people who have been wholesaling for 20 years here. I highly recommend going to the RREIA meetings and meeting people there. That helped me find my property manager, wholesaler, lender, and my first two deals. It also helps learn who is trustworthy and who isn't very fast because you can get referrals.

The other advice I have is to walk as many properties as you can. MLS, Wholesale, off market, occupied, vacant, etc. This will give you a really good feel for a property if it is a good deal or not. I walked two houses in one week both priced at $35k. It was very easy to see which one had a good chance at being a deal, and which one is just a project someone is trying to get rid of.

 Thank you, that makes a lot of sense! So I found the RREIC (Rochester Real Estate Investors Club) which I will be attending. What is the RREIA? 

I see there's a lot I don't know so I'm going to hit pause to become more informed through books and networking!

@Beverly Anderson I would highly recommend listening to as many BiggerPockets podcasts as you possibly can if you haven't already. There really is no easier tool to get all of the baseline knowledge you need. Listen any time you're driving, doing dishes, laundry, it doesn't matter! Listen at 1.5x speed if you can! I have found that networking is extremely important, BUT it is honestly not very effective until you have a solid foundation of "basic" REI knowledge from podcasts, books, etc.

Originally posted by @Beverly Anderson :
Originally posted by @Matt Honeyford:

@Beverly Anderson that's right! If it were as simple as logging on to the MLS to find great flip and rental properties then everybody would be rich. The brutal honest facts are that you have to establish yourself by networking and marketing to find these deals. Once you've done that the deals will come to you. Almost every week somebody send me over an off market opportunity.

Now, here's where working with an agent (or being one) has its advantages. Once you have a deal you can quickly run comps using the MLS. It can also give you an overview of the markets, helping you identify areas around Rochester NY that may be in front of the path of progress.

 Thank you for all the info, much appreciated! So where/how exactly do you recommend I start "establishing myself by networking and marketing"?

 Start by going to FFREIA. Go regularly. For Marketing - I'd try a couple books and try what they say.  

Originally posted by @Ali Boone :

Not sure if this is at all helpful, but here are things to think about with a househack-

https://www.biggerpockets.com/blog/considerations-...

Just remember as you go, it's very possible that the numbers just won't work there. If that's the case, don't force it. There are a lot of markets that it just doesn't work in.

 Nice article, @Ali Boone!  We are in Rochester, NY.  House hacking definitely works in our market.

Originally posted by @Benjamin Burket :
Originally posted by @Ali Boone:

Not sure if this is at all helpful, but here are things to think about with a househack-

https://www.biggerpockets.com/blog/considerations-...

Just remember as you go, it's very possible that the numbers just won't work there. If that's the case, don't force it. There are a lot of markets that it just doesn't work in.

 Nice article, @Ali Boone!  We are in Rochester, NY.  House hacking definitely works in our market.

Nice! Wish it worked in mine ;)

Create Lasting Wealth Through Real Estate

Join the millions of people achieving financial freedom through the power of real estate investing

Start here