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BRRRR - Buy, Rehab, Rent, Refinance, Repeat

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Adrian Smude
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The BRRRR method is dead

Adrian Smude
  • Rental Property Investor
  • Plant City, FL
Posted Aug 12 2023, 02:30

I believe the BRRR method is dead or at best on life support! The last decade has been easy for investors to use the BRRR method, but now we need to learn other methods. I've been learning these other methods for over a decade because I went through the last recession when banks stopped lending.
Why I believe the BRRR method isn't going to work in the next seasons of investing:

1. Bank rates have gone up which won't allow most properties to cashflow
2. Banks have tightened their lending requirements which aren't allowing most people to qualify.
3. Appreciation has slowed and even flattened in markets which means there isn't free money any more.  

What other reasons do you think the BRRR method is in the past?

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Timothy W.#3 Off Topic Contributor
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Timothy W.#3 Off Topic Contributor
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Replied Sep 27 2023, 14:25
Quote from @Henry Lazerow:

 Real estate should at a minimum get you 6% Cashflow + 8% appreciation  and 2-3% in mortgage paydown all based off a 25% down payment.

You can do that or better on dividends and not have tenants.  The only advantage on real estate in this scenario is depreciation.

Wow, I commented a month ago that the people making money off of BRRRR was the preachers, not the doers of the BRRRR. This thread is proving me right. It's all the real estate agents, brokers and other vendors servicing landlords talking about how great it is. Not much from owners who built up a portfolio of 20-50+ units using this. Pay attention. Their money is made on you continuing to transact in real estate, not you maximizing your own profit.

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Adrian Smude
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Adrian Smude
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  • Plant City, FL
Replied Sep 28 2023, 09:17
Quote from @Henry Lazerow:

Putting money in a CD making 5% but with 3-4% inflation is only a real return of 1-2%. Real estate should at a minimum get you 6% Cashflow + 8% appreciation  and 2-3% in mortgage paydown all based off a 25% down payment.

Yes sir, those are all benefits not always talked about in the real estate investing world!  Some people will argue we have much higher inflation which means our 5% savings are actually losing money to inflation! 

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Adrian Smude
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Adrian Smude
  • Rental Property Investor
  • Plant City, FL
Replied Sep 28 2023, 09:19
Quote from @Timothy W.:
Quote from @Henry Lazerow:

 Real estate should at a minimum get you 6% Cashflow + 8% appreciation  and 2-3% in mortgage paydown all based off a 25% down payment.

You can do that or better on dividends and not have tenants.  The only advantage on real estate in this scenario is depreciation.

Wow, I commented a month ago that the people making money off of BRRRR was the preachers, not the doers of the BRRRR. This thread is proving me right. It's all the real estate agents, brokers and other vendors servicing landlords talking about how great it is. Not much from owners who built up a portfolio of 20-50+ units using this. Pay attention. Their money is made on you continuing to transact in real estate, not you maximizing your own profit.


 Great observation!  

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Matthew Crivelli
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Matthew Crivelli
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Replied Sep 28 2023, 09:20

Buying a property, fixing it up, and refinancing at the higher value will never stop. This has been going on for a 100 years lol. @Adrian Smude

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Adrian Smude
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Adrian Smude
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  • Plant City, FL
Replied Sep 28 2023, 09:23
Quote from @Matthew Crivelli:

Buying a property, fixing it up, and refinancing at the higher value will never stop. This has been going on for a 100 years lol. @Adrian Smude


I didn't mean it'll completely stop, but the fact of it being a business plan I believe it's season is over. It'll come back but those that don't know anything but BRRR are in for a struggle.

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Timothy W.#3 Off Topic Contributor
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Timothy W.#3 Off Topic Contributor
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Replied Sep 28 2023, 10:55
Quote from @Adrian Smude:
Quote from @Timothy W.:
Quote from @Henry Lazerow:

 Real estate should at a minimum get you 6% Cashflow + 8% appreciation  and 2-3% in mortgage paydown all based off a 25% down payment.

You can do that or better on dividends and not have tenants.  The only advantage on real estate in this scenario is depreciation.

Wow, I commented a month ago that the people making money off of BRRRR was the preachers, not the doers of the BRRRR. This thread is proving me right. It's all the real estate agents, brokers and other vendors servicing landlords talking about how great it is. Not much from owners who built up a portfolio of 20-50+ units using this. Pay attention. Their money is made on you continuing to transact in real estate, not you maximizing your own profit.


 Great observation!  

 Thanks.  Saw you're a mobile home landlord.  VERY very smart down here.  I've been in the insurance claims business for 20 years and not everyone gets that a modern mobile home tends to weather a hurricane better than most framed homes.

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Melissa Nash
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Melissa Nash
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Replied Sep 28 2023, 11:14

I get that this is probably a post to engage in conversations.... but I will play this game. Its only dead if you are looking in the wrong markets. I am not sure what you talking about. I can cashflow great at an 8% loan, banks are still lending..... you just need the right bank. And appreciation has NOT slowed down and flattened all markets. 

You are being very broad- each market is it's own market- and you can't categorize this broadly. For example We know historically areas like Memphis, Birm, Little Rock only appreciate 3-4% a year but areas like SW FL are about 8-10%. In the last few years they grew much higher, but you need to look at the historical numbers not the last few years. Did you know that Atlanta was one of the first markets to crash in 2009? And the smaller areas in the south didn't take a dive for a few years later?  

You can't assume all markets are the same. Plenty of opportunity out there- you just have to know what you are looking for and what strategies/expectations are set. 

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Adrian Smude
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Adrian Smude
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Replied Sep 28 2023, 11:36
Quote from @Timothy W.:
Quote from @Adrian Smude:
Quote from @Timothy W.:
Quote from @Henry Lazerow:

 Real estate should at a minimum get you 6% Cashflow + 8% appreciation  and 2-3% in mortgage paydown all based off a 25% down payment.

You can do that or better on dividends and not have tenants.  The only advantage on real estate in this scenario is depreciation.

Wow, I commented a month ago that the people making money off of BRRRR was the preachers, not the doers of the BRRRR. This thread is proving me right. It's all the real estate agents, brokers and other vendors servicing landlords talking about how great it is. Not much from owners who built up a portfolio of 20-50+ units using this. Pay attention. Their money is made on you continuing to transact in real estate, not you maximizing your own profit.


 Great observation!  

 Thanks.  Saw you're a mobile home landlord.  VERY very smart down here.  I've been in the insurance claims business for 20 years and not everyone gets that a modern mobile home tends to weather a hurricane better than most framed homes.


 Yes sir!  As I was once told when I was scared of mobile homes… there are 1965s still around… they’ve been through more hurricanes than you have! :-)

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Adrian Smude
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Adrian Smude
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  • Plant City, FL
Replied Sep 28 2023, 11:40
Quote from @Melissa Nash:

I get that this is probably a post to engage in conversations.... but I will play this game. Its only dead if you are looking in the wrong markets. I am not sure what you talking about. I can cashflow great at an 8% loan, banks are still lending..... you just need the right bank. And appreciation has NOT slowed down and flattened all markets. 

You are being very broad- each market is it's own market- and you can't categorize this broadly. For example We know historically areas like Memphis, Birm, Little Rock only appreciate 3-4% a year but areas like SW FL are about 8-10%. In the last few years they grew much higher, but you need to look at the historical numbers not the last few years. Did you know that Atlanta was one of the first markets to crash in 2009? And the smaller areas in the south didn't take a dive for a few years later?  

You can't assume all markets are the same. Plenty of opportunity out there- you just have to know what you are looking for and what strategies/expectations are set. 


 You are correct, I worded this to generate responses because I wanted to know people’s views. Thanks for playing along and giving your input!


I agree with your statement! 
to keep in the general conversation though I do think relaying on fast growth with a BRRR strategy like people have been able to over the last decade is on life support. There is always an exception tot he rule. But I feel those that don't learn other strategies will be left behind in this new market just like they were in the last major shift in the market. :-)

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Fran Pratt
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Fran Pratt
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Replied Sep 28 2023, 14:05
Quote from @John Morgan:

@Adrian Smude

You're 100% right. The BRRRR method doesn't work in most markets anymore like it did in 2017. However, people want to sell books about it and gurus claim it still works in today's environment. Lol. I've found other ways to cash flow like pivoting to renting by the room or sec 8. The days of cash out refis to scale up and make a killing are gone. I've bought 12 rentals from cash out refis by pulling equity out to scale up. But it doesn't make sense anymore with current interest rates. Today's environment will "thin out the herd." Many investors will go away until the numbers work. And many noobs who want to hit a home run right away without "planting that tree" and willing to wait several years will get a hard lesson on the reality of what we're dealing with. I'm ok planting some trees in todays environment and waiting a decade for it to produce. But the impatient ones that need to make a ton of money off their investment quickly will be disappointed.


I really appreciate this take. I haven't been able to find cash flow to save my life. And not for lack of grinding looking every day. So today I put offers on two duplexes that I think are a "base hit." Long term play, what some are calling BEAF: Break Even, Appreciation Focus. I like your planting trees metaphor - it comforts me. When all around me - podcasts, books, etc - I'm hearing "cash flow cash flow", and I'm over here looking for assets that will hopefully appreciate and cash flow in year 3 or 5. 

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Timothy W.#3 Off Topic Contributor
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Timothy W.#3 Off Topic Contributor
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Replied Sep 28 2023, 14:50

I really appreciate this take. I haven't been able to find cash flow to save my life. And not for lack of grinding looking every day. So today I put offers on two duplexes that I think are a "base hit." Long term play, what some are calling BEAF: Break Even, Appreciation Focus. I like your planting trees metaphor - it comforts me. When all around me - podcasts, books, etc - I'm hearing "cash flow cash flow", and I'm over here looking for assets that will hopefully appreciate and cash flow in year 3 or 5. 


Don't sweat it.  Back around 2008 I was mocked mercilessly on here for finding cashflow, lol.  I was picking up SFRs in South Bend, Indiana for between 5k and 12k each and renting them out for around $500 a month.  I was called everything from a scam artist to a slumlord to an idiot.  More than half of the advice on here is driven by an agenda so you have to hear it but not necessarily listen to it.

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Dan Heuschele
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Dan Heuschele
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Replied Sep 28 2023, 19:57
Quote from @Timothy W.:
Quote from @Henry Lazerow:

 Real estate should at a minimum get you 6% Cashflow + 8% appreciation  and 2-3% in mortgage paydown all based off a 25% down payment.

You can do that or better on dividends and not have tenants.  The only advantage on real estate in this scenario is depreciation.

Wow, I commented a month ago that the people making money off of BRRRR was the preachers, not the doers of the BRRRR. This thread is proving me right. It's all the real estate agents, brokers and other vendors servicing landlords talking about how great it is. Not much from owners who built up a portfolio of 20-50+ units using this. Pay attention. Their money is made on you continuing to transact in real estate, not you maximizing your own profit.

>Not much from owners who built up a portfolio of 20-50+ units using this

I have.  However, I have not purchased since Dec 2021 (purchased $4m that month).  This is because I find the hold after the refinance in my market has negative cash flow so the properties that were previously good BRRRR candidates are now better flips than BRRRR (assuming you do not want your profit to decline each month after the refinance).  
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Tyler Lingle
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Tyler Lingle
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Replied Oct 1 2023, 05:15

*The Fully Cash-out BRRRRR is dead. The BRRRRR is not dead and value add investing will always make sense when one looks at alternatives.

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Bob Stevens
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Bob Stevens
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Replied Oct 1 2023, 05:18
Quote from @Adrian Smude:

I believe the BRRR method is dead or at best on life support! The last decade has been easy for investors to use the BRRR method, but now we need to learn other methods. I've been learning these other methods for over a decade because I went through the last recession when banks stopped lending.
Why I believe the BRRR method isn't going to work in the next seasons of investing:

1. Bank rates have gone up which won't allow most properties to cashflow
2. Banks have tightened their lending requirements which aren't allowing most people to qualify.
3. Appreciation has slowed and even flattened in markets which means there isn't free money any more.  

What other reasons do you think the BRRR method is in the past?


 You need to get better deals. I just got, about 20 all will be about 80k all in, All with have values of about 115- 120k, All will have about 15% or better net caps, Its all about you network and knowledge.

All the best  

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Adrian Smude
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Adrian Smude
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  • Plant City, FL
Replied Oct 2 2023, 06:48
Quote from @Tyler Lingle:

*The Fully Cash-out BRRRRR is dead. The BRRRRR is not dead and value add investing will always make sense when one looks at alternatives.

Agree, thanks for adding clarity to my post. 

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Adrian Smude
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Adrian Smude
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Replied Oct 2 2023, 06:49
Quote from @Bob Stevens:
Quote from @Adrian Smude:

I believe the BRRR method is dead or at best on life support! The last decade has been easy for investors to use the BRRR method, but now we need to learn other methods. I've been learning these other methods for over a decade because I went through the last recession when banks stopped lending.
Why I believe the BRRR method isn't going to work in the next seasons of investing:

1. Bank rates have gone up which won't allow most properties to cashflow
2. Banks have tightened their lending requirements which aren't allowing most people to qualify.
3. Appreciation has slowed and even flattened in markets which means there isn't free money any more.  

What other reasons do you think the BRRR method is in the past?


 You need to get better deals. I just got, about 20 all will be about 80k all in, All with have values of about 115- 120k, All will have about 15% or better net caps, Its all about you network and knowledge.

All the best  


Congrats & I agree!  I’m not a BRRRR guy, but I see a lot of struggling investors these days that are a one trick pony. :-)

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Bob Stevens
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Bob Stevens
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Replied Oct 2 2023, 06:55
Quote from @Adrian Smude:
Quote from @Bob Stevens:
Quote from @Adrian Smude:

I believe the BRRR method is dead or at best on life support! The last decade has been easy for investors to use the BRRR method, but now we need to learn other methods. I've been learning these other methods for over a decade because I went through the last recession when banks stopped lending.
Why I believe the BRRR method isn't going to work in the next seasons of investing:

1. Bank rates have gone up which won't allow most properties to cashflow
2. Banks have tightened their lending requirements which aren't allowing most people to qualify.
3. Appreciation has slowed and even flattened in markets which means there isn't free money any more.  

What other reasons do you think the BRRR method is in the past?


 You need to get better deals. I just got, about 20 all will be about 80k all in, All with have values of about 115- 120k, All will have about 15% or better net caps, Its all about you network and knowledge.

All the best  


Congrats & I agree!  I’m not a BRRRR guy, but I see a lot of struggling investors these days that are a one trick pony. :-)

 Once " I got out of my own way" that's when I went to the next level. It's a very simple, NOT easy business.  Buy right, fix right, sell/ rent right, everyone spends so much time making it more complicated.

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John O'Leary
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John O'Leary
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Replied Oct 2 2023, 11:54

A significant challenge with the BRRRR method is the rising rates and extended seasoning periods for cash-outs. For instance, DSCR loan interest rates are determined by LTV and credit score, functioning much like coordinates on a graph (think X any Y axis). If you aren't securing properties at a substantial discount, you may end up maximizing the LTV, resulting in higher interest rates. This can negatively impact cash flow and DSCR ratios.

To navigate this, we're advising clients to integrate a few fix-and-flips into their strategy. This approach enables investors to continue purchasing rental properties without needing a cash-out post-rehab. Proceeds from the flips aid continuous buying, and when refinancing, a lower LTV results in favorable interest rates, optimizing cash flow. While BRRRR remains viable, its feasibility has decreased in certain markets, such as Central Florida.