What was your first deal?

7 Replies

What was your first buy/hold/rent deal? I am new to investing and I always wanted to buy a duplex but I wonder if buying a SFR would be a better property to start with. Wouldn't it be easier to find one good renter than deal with two? Or maybe it doesn't even matter and it's really all about the numbers and what will bring in the most cash flow. I would love everybody's thoughts and input. Thanks!

@Jeffrey Giffin

First deal was a rental bought in 2008 and still own.  5/2 rents for $1250, paid $109K.
That first rental gave me a high I will never forget.  I quickly set a goal to own 40 properties by 40.  

Growing up my thinking was different from other people.  I'm not wired like the general public.  If you have the feeling of owning and controlling your own situation then rentals will be a good start.  Take action today and don't over analyze.


@Jeffrey Giffin . My first rental was a two family with a large garage that I rented separately for storage. I think it depends more on your area whether you want to invest in SFRs or multi families. Over by me it is tough to get the numbers to work on an SFR. If you are having trouble analyzing, start with the 2% rule and 50% rule. See which types of properties can meet or get close to those guidelines easier by you. That should point you in the right direction.

In our area, I just don't see the cash flow with SFR that I can get with multi family. In fact, I have yet to find a duplex with numbers that work for me, so we have focused on 3 & 4 unit properties. Yes, you are dealing with more tenants and the interactions between them, but you won't usually have 100% vacancy either.


@Jeffrey Giffin My first was a 2br single family.  I bought it to get my feet wet.  Multi-families will almost invariably cash flow better than single families.  But, with a two-family, unlike two single families, there is a bit higher vacancy rate, sometimes issues between the tenants, and property maintenance stuff, like lawn mowing that you may not need to deal with with single families.

Beyond that, depending on your area, single families may be easier to sell if it turns out you hate being a landlord.

I strictly do single families, but am considering multis.

My first deal is currently underway. 2/1.5 condo purchased for $19,947 (after closing cost). Lead came from my direct mail campaign. Rehab is almost complete (day 12) and cost me roughly $3k. I'm hoping to have the property listed next week for $39K. If I can get at least $36k I will stand to net $10K. If all else fails it will rent for $650 a month. 

Thank you everybody for your responses. I love hearing about first deals. I have yet to make a move on a property myself but I have been doing my best to get as much of an education as possible.  I of course am nervous about it but hope to make as much of an educated decision as possible. 

My first deal was a condo I lived in with my then toddler in Boulder, CO.  I bought it in 1998 for $102,000 and lived in it for a year.  I then rented it out for positive cash flow that I don't even remember and sold it in 2002 for $168,000.  Wish I still had that condo...

My next deal wasn't until last year - 2014.  Bought it for $114,000 and put about $35,000 of rehab into it.  Refinanced it six months later, pulled all of my rehab money back out and bought a second unit just like it.  Both units cash flow somewhere in the 30% Cash on Cash neighborhood.

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