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BRRRR - Buy, Rehab, Rent, Refinance, Repeat

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Marcus Watson
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  • Detroit, MI
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Trying the BRRRR in the Detroit Market

Marcus Watson
Pro Member
  • Detroit, MI
Posted Mar 16 2024, 20:40

Hello All,

I'm new to site, but I've heard lots about it. I'm a newbie investor {one property} so far in Detroit. I believe the BRRRR method work best from what I've read. My question is, would anyone know best zip codes to execute this method in Detroit?

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Nadeem Alamgir
  • Real Estate Agent
  • Cleveland, OH
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Nadeem Alamgir
  • Real Estate Agent
  • Cleveland, OH
Replied Mar 17 2024, 04:41

Hey Marcus have you considered Cleveland? Many out-of-state investors have grown their portfolios in Cleveland using the BRRR strategy. The market is investor-friendly and has a low barrier to entry.

Zip Codes to look into - 44111, 44102, 44109, 44125 

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Michael Smythe
Property Manager
#3 Managing Your Property Contributor
  • Property Manager
  • Metro Detroit
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Michael Smythe
Property Manager
#3 Managing Your Property Contributor
  • Property Manager
  • Metro Detroit
Replied Mar 17 2024, 07:29

@Marcus Watson do NOT try to use zip codes in the City of Detroit!

They cover too large an area and will lead to you either getting take advantage of or making a costly mistake:(

Investing in the City of Deroit should actually be done block-by-block. Unfortunately, that is too granular for OOS investors.

So, we recommend investing via City of Detroit Neighborhoods. There are 173 of them and you can find them in Google Maps & Zillow if you know how to search. We have color-coded 104 of them at our website. Working on the rest.

We rank them by Class A, B, C & D.

If you apply Class A assumptions to a Class B or C purchase, your expectations won’t be met and it may be a financial disaster.

So, we recommend you first figure out the property Class you want to invest in, THEN figure out the corresponding location to invest in.

Here’s our OPINION for the Metro Detroit market (always verify each area for yourself!) that we’ve learned in our 24 years, managing almost 700 doors across the Metro Detroit area, including almost 100 S8 leases.:

Class A Properties:
Cashflow vs Appreciation: Typically, 3-5 years for positive cashflow, but you get highest relative rent & value appreciation.
Vacancy Est: Historically 10%, 5% the more recent norm.
Tenant Pool: Majority will have FICO scores of 680+, zero evictions in last 7 years.

Class B Properties:
Cashflow vs Appreciation: Typically, decent amount of relative rent & value appreciation.
Vacancy Est: Historically 10%, 5% should be applied only if proper research done to support.
Tenant Pool: Majority will have FICO scores of 620-680, some blemishes, but should have no evictions in last 5 years

Class C Properties:
Cashflow vs Appreciation: Typically, high cashflow and at the lower end of relative rent & value appreciation. Can try to reposition to Class B, but neighborhood may impede these efforts.
Vacancy Est: Historically 10%, but 15-20% should be used to also cover tenant nonpayment, eviction costs & damages.
Tenant Pool: majority will have FICO scores of 560-620, many blemishes, but should have no evictions in last 2 years. Verifying last 2 years of rental history very important! Also, focus on 2 years of job/income stability.

Class D Properties:
Cashflow vs Appreciation: Typically, all cashflow with zero or negative relative rent & value appreciation
Vacancy Est: 20%+ should be used to cover nonpayment, evictions & damages.
Tenant Pool: majority will have FICO scores under 560, little to no good tradelines, lots of collections & chargeoffs, recent evictions. Verifying last 2 years of rental history and income extremely important to find the “best of the worst”.

Make sure you understand the Class of properties you are looking at and the corresponding results to expect.

What else can we assist you with?

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Travis Biziorek
  • Investor
  • Arroyo Grande, CA
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Travis Biziorek
  • Investor
  • Arroyo Grande, CA
Replied Mar 17 2024, 08:17

Zip codes aren't all that helpful in Detroit.

You really need to know the city on a more intimate level as neighborhoods and zip codes can change quickly.

My advice: focus on strong blocks in areas that are C Class or better. 

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Jake Baker
Tax & Financial Services
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#1 BRRRR - Buy, Rehab, Rent, Refinance, Repeat Contributor
  • Investor
  • San Diego, CA
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Jake Baker
Tax & Financial Services
Pro Member
#1 BRRRR - Buy, Rehab, Rent, Refinance, Repeat Contributor
  • Investor
  • San Diego, CA
Replied Mar 17 2024, 12:05

@Marcus Watson

We do 20 Flips/BRRRRs per year in Jacksonville FL and we use a hybrid approach. It is also very hard to "perfect BRRRR" here as with most cities. We BRRRR 8-10 per year and the flips supplement the money left in the BRRRRs.

I personally care more about the location of the BRRRR rather than the money pulled out or the cash flow. You will make a lot more money from holding a property in a B neighborhood than getting an extra $1000 in cash flow per year in a C neighborhood.

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James Wise#1 Classifieds Contributor
  • Real Estate Broker
  • Cleveland Dayton Cincinnati Toledo Columbus & Akron, OH
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James Wise#1 Classifieds Contributor
  • Real Estate Broker
  • Cleveland Dayton Cincinnati Toledo Columbus & Akron, OH
Replied Mar 17 2024, 16:47
Quote from @Marcus Watson:

Hello All,

I'm new to site, but I've heard lots about it. I'm a newbie investor {one property} so far in Detroit. I believe the BRRRR method work best from what I've read. My question is, would anyone know best zip codes to execute this method in Detroit?


 Going anything more risky than C-grade is not advisable for a newbie.

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Replied Jun 10 2024, 19:05
Quote from @Michael Smythe:

@Marcus Watson do NOT try to use zip codes in the City of Detroit!

They cover too large an area and will lead to you either getting take advantage of or making a costly mistake:(

Investing in the City of Deroit should actually be done block-by-block. Unfortunately, that is too granular for OOS investors.

So, we recommend investing via City of Detroit Neighborhoods. There are 173 of them and you can find them in Google Maps & Zillow if you know how to search. We have color-coded 104 of them at our website. Working on the rest.

We rank them by Class A, B, C & D.

If you apply Class A assumptions to a Class B or C purchase, your expectations won’t be met and it may be a financial disaster.

So, we recommend you first figure out the property Class you want to invest in, THEN figure out the corresponding location to invest in.

Here’s our OPINION for the Metro Detroit market (always verify each area for yourself!) that we’ve learned in our 24 years, managing almost 700 doors across the Metro Detroit area, including almost 100 S8 leases.:

Class A Properties:
Cashflow vs Appreciation: Typically, 3-5 years for positive cashflow, but you get highest relative rent & value appreciation.
Vacancy Est: Historically 10%, 5% the more recent norm.
Tenant Pool: Majority will have FICO scores of 680+, zero evictions in last 7 years.

Class B Properties:
Cashflow vs Appreciation: Typically, decent amount of relative rent & value appreciation.
Vacancy Est: Historically 10%, 5% should be applied only if proper research done to support.
Tenant Pool: Majority will have FICO scores of 620-680, some blemishes, but should have no evictions in last 5 years

Class C Properties:
Cashflow vs Appreciation: Typically, high cashflow and at the lower end of relative rent & value appreciation. Can try to reposition to Class B, but neighborhood may impede these efforts.
Vacancy Est: Historically 10%, but 15-20% should be used to also cover tenant nonpayment, eviction costs & damages.
Tenant Pool: majority will have FICO scores of 560-620, many blemishes, but should have no evictions in last 2 years. Verifying last 2 years of rental history very important! Also, focus on 2 years of job/income stability.

Class D Properties:
Cashflow vs Appreciation: Typically, all cashflow with zero or negative relative rent & value appreciation
Vacancy Est: 20%+ should be used to cover nonpayment, evictions & damages.
Tenant Pool: majority will have FICO scores under 560, little to no good tradelines, lots of collections & chargeoffs, recent evictions. Verifying last 2 years of rental history and income extremely important to find the “best of the worst”.

Make sure you understand the Class of properties you are looking at and the corresponding results to expect.

What else can we assist you with?


 I went onto your website and was looking at your neighborhood rankings in Detroit. How often is this list updated?

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Michael Smythe
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  • Property Manager
  • Metro Detroit
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Michael Smythe
Property Manager
#3 Managing Your Property Contributor
  • Property Manager
  • Metro Detroit
Replied Jun 11 2024, 07:35

Was updated quarterly, but we've concentrating on creating an interactive map that would be updated monthly.