Just pre-qualified for a loan in Tampa... Now what?

13 Replies

I just pre-qualified for a 200k loan in Tampa at 5%. Since I currently rent very cheap I plan on making my first house purchase an investment property. For my Tampanians out there, which part of Tampa would be best right now for a rental property? I currently have a real estate agent on the lookout. Note: I was told by a seasoned investor to look for good deals to fix up and only use my mortgage to buy the house and NOT the fix up expenses (because of the 5% interest rate).... Any tips help fellow investors! ūüėĀ -Jake

Congrats Jake!

Sounds like your in a good spot right now.

Regarding your question

"which part of Tampa would be best right now for a rental property?"

That's a bit like asking "what kind of car is a good car to buy"

I suggest you decide what kind of property and what kind of tenants you want to market to first. Then folks here can give you a better answer.

Hi Jake! I'm local to Tampa myself, and work on both sides of the business (residential retail, and investment). 

There are a few more things I'm wondering about with your case. Are you looking for something you can live in yourself *as well as* rent out to a tenant? (Example -- rent out spare bedrooms, or even a multi-unit duplex or triplex?)

Also, do you have enough money stored aside right now, or at least have access to loan funds post-closing for any updates or repairs? This will determine whether you'll need to find something habitable right away or if you can get something needing some work where you can start building equity right away.

I agree with above posts. First try seeing what areas of Tampa work for you. Although you indicated that you might continue renting, how about a duplex?

I do recommend a realtor that has been nothing short of extraordinary.   His name is @JeffCopeland. He is here on Bigger Pockets.  Feel free to drop him a PM - he is very quick to reply.

Good luck!

Hey Devin... Well I'm actually looking to continue living where I am right now and rent out my first property. I want to have a few rental properties before buying my own home (personal residence). Like I mentioned before, where we live, we don't pay much and so we feel investment properties are the way to go right now. I would love to own in a nice neighborhood (middle-class). My father has owned in low-income neighborhoods in the past and it was just a nightmare. I have some money put aside for fixing up but not much; maybe around 5k.

Jake, 

You should strongly consider house hacking. It allows you to significantly lower the amount of your down payment. Significantly. Buy a duplex and live in one side. Buy a single family home and rent out the rooms. Even if you only do this for a year, the money you will save yourself up front will be substantial. 

I remember this‚ÄĚ if you have money but don‚Äôt know how to invest it, you can save it on Bank but don‚Äôt tell others this. There will have millions people KNOW how to invest your money‚ÄĚ. ūüėĄ

Just do what you feel comfortable and you will figure out the situation with experience.

@Cris Mullen House hacking is indeed great, but Jake expressed his desire to stay where he is at the moment. Also, for anyone interested, it can be a real challenge to find a reasonably priced small multi-family (2-4 units) property in Tampa that most owners would actually *want* to live in. That said, it's not impossible, just worth knowing what you're up against. 

@Jake Calle Based on personal experience and market knowledge, the first areas I would suggest looking into are the neighborhoods south of Gandy Boulevard in South Tampa, West Tampa, and, if you're open to wood-frame build houses in an up and coming / hot area, certain parts of The Heights (Tampa Heights & Seminole Heights). 

You might also consider certain areas more on the outskirts or less high-demand areas, like parts of North Tampa or Town N Country. You can get more bang for your buck in these areas, but you'll have higher rents and a much larger tenant pool in the other areas I mentioned. 

If you'd like to talk more about this, I'd be happy to get together with you or have a conversation by phone. 

@Jake Calle

Make sure you are "pre-approved" not just "pre-qualified." I just recently learned there is a difference and it has burned a few people looking to buy a first property.

pre-qualification is based on the questions asked and information given to the broker/ loan officer usually via a quick phone conversation and is a quick credit check process to show qualification.

pre-approval is more in-depth, meaning you sent tax returns and pay statements to them to verify all information you told them over the phone or in person. 

You likely are still okay, just wanted to bring this up in case you or others didn't know the difference like me. 

Originally posted by @Devin Beverage :

@Cris Mullen House hacking is indeed great, but Jake expressed his desire to stay where he is at the moment. Also, for anyone interested, it can be a real challenge to find a reasonably priced small multi-family (2-4 units) property in Tampa that most owners would actually *want* to live in. That said, it's not impossible, just worth knowing what you're up against. 

@Jake Calle Based on personal experience and market knowledge, the first areas I would suggest looking into are the neighborhoods south of Gandy Boulevard in South Tampa, West Tampa, and, if you're open to wood-frame build houses in an up and coming / hot area, certain parts of The Heights (Tampa Heights & Seminole Heights). 

You might also consider certain areas more on the outskirts or less high-demand areas, like parts of North Tampa or Town N Country. You can get more bang for your buck in these areas, but you'll have higher rents and a much larger tenant pool in the other areas I mentioned. 

If you'd like to talk more about this, I'd be happy to get together with you or have a conversation by phone. 

 The only problem with South Tampa at the moment, is the prices are up, and the rents have not kept up; They will not cash flow well or at all. The other variable you want to keep an eye out for is flood insurance, that is another deal killer. 

For that kind of money from the OP, i would be looking in the Gibsonton / Riverview area. there is a lot of new construction that you can pick up for a decent price.

Hey @Aaron T., 

What are your thoughts on Pasco/Hernando area? Trying to find a duplex in a decent neighborhood up there.

Originally posted by @Cris Mullen :

Hey @Aaron T., 

What are your thoughts on Pasco/Hernando area? Trying to find a duplex in a decent neighborhood up there.

 Cris, I could not speak intelligently on those areas, as they are not where I focus. I do know they have better price points, and therefore would cash flow better. There are still good deals in those areas for fix and flips, and rentals. There are several board members here that could give you a bit more granularity as that is their strike zone. 

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