How I got a 4 plex in Portland for Free!

12 Replies

Investment Info:

Small multi-family (2-4 units) buy & hold investment.

Purchase price: $1,225,000
Cash invested: $100,000

I call this my "Freeplex" because the cash back I received from my commission as an agent ($30k) and tax savings from a cost segregation ($70k) meant I didn't pay a dime for it. Check out the details below on how I got there....

What made you interested in investing in this type of deal?

I wanted to buy a large 4 unit to do a cost segregation on to create tax shelter (look it up on The cost seg resulted in $70k back in tax savings, which was more than my down payment. I was intrigued by the size of the property, great location, and upside once I got the building performing and renovated.

How did you find this deal and how did you negotiate it?

One unit was vacant (which I could occupy for my loan). During the inspection period, I discovered 2 of the other units were 4-8 months behind on rent. I negotiated the seller pay cash for keys to one unit ($9k) & I got the other non-performing tenants performing 2 weeks after closing. Additionally, I negotiated that the seller do a new exterior paint job ($20k), $6,500 in landscaping, and $5,700 in deck work to transform the exterior to attract new quality tenants.

How did you finance this deal?

Purchased with a conventional loan at 80% and seller financing at 15% with 5% down (No PMI!). The seller is carrying 15% for 10 years at 5%, interest only or more payments to support cash flow.

How did you add value to the deal?

Once the non-paying tenants moved out right after closing, I renovated their 5 bed 3 bath (2,600) sqft unit and got it rented up for $3,125. I spent $40k on the renovations and it turned out great! Additionally, the value I added was thoughtful win-win negotiation as the agent to ensure all parties walked away happy.

What was the outcome?

With $100k total invested between down payment and renovations, it now cash flows $1,850 each month (after PITI and cap ex etc). Since my cost seg will give me $70k back and my commission was $30k, I am ZERO dollars into the deal and cash flowing. I also discovered a historical lot line between the two buildings, which means I can divide the 4 plex into 2 duplexes and net another $300k or more down the road.

Lessons learned? Challenges?

It is extremely hard to get a loan on a 2-4 unit above $1,050,000 (conventional loan limit). The week of closing I thought it would all fall apart because the lender couldn't get PMI for the loan. Fortunately, the seller was willing to carry 15%. I highly recommend involving the seller to make the deal work. I originally thought it would cost $15k to renovate the remaining unit...but turns out I should 2x my budget and add some more! Everything is always more expensive than it appears at first.

Did you work with any real estate professionals (agents, lenders, etc.) that you'd recommend to others?

I worked with Umpqua Bank on the the conventional loan. They have an amazing 5% down owner occupied loan. It allows you to received 3% back in credit from the seller, which you can pay all the PMI upfront at closing. I didn't have any PMI, so I exchanged the credit for repairs with the seller so I could still use it.

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@Melissa D.  Did the lender have any issues the the seller financing or did they even know about it?  I've been told recently I can't do that on multifamily but I think that's false and I believe you just proved it.  Wondering if you have any tips on dealing with a lender when dealing with seller financing or PML for part of the down payment.   Great job btw!

Hey @Trace J. the lender I used was Umpqua and they are a portfolio lender. They can be more flexible with their criteria. They called it maximum CLTV, (cumulative loan to value) to decide how much loan I could get and the seller loan had to be at least 5 years in length.

@Jason Brown the total income is $9,750 and by February it will be $9,950. Rents vary from $1,850 to $3,100. Two units are 5 bed 3 bath and the other are 3 bed 2 bath. I have plenty of room to increase rent on two of the units. About $1,000 more cash flow once those are at market rents. 

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