Tulsa - First-timer multifamily questions

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Hey, I'm a first-timer with a few questions. I'm planning on looking to purchase a multifamily unit to house hack (probably a duplex but we'll see) in a few months and I'm trying to get ahead on gathering information. For those of you who have experience in the Tulsa market, do you have any suggestions on finding listings? Do you typically rely on a good agent to help you find properties (and if so do you recommend anyone)? Although I'm not yet ready to buy, I've been keeping an eye on some listings and it seems like multifamily units in Tulsa move FAST.

Also, on the rental side of it all, what kind of vacancy percentages are you guys seeing (in general)?

Thanks for the help!

@Kevin S. ... your post is full of questions that will all get different answers unless you narrow them down to a specific area or class of rental... you want A and B areas or C and D? Rehab needed? I doubt you’ll get much response unless you narrow it down...
@Deren Huang is a good person/realtor to work with but keeps pretty busy. If he can’t help directly he may know someone that can work with you to find something.

No matter what area, condition, or size... first thing you need to do is find a lender or have all your financials lined up to move quick.

Good luck!

@Dustin Davis Thanks for the comment, you're completely right that I needed to clarify more. Ideally I'm targeting B to C duplexes/triplexes with minimal to light rehab (since this will be a first for me). That may be shooting for the moon though, as those types of properties seem to be few and far between in Tulsa from what I've seen so far. Also thanks for referring @Deren Huang

@Kevin S. are we talking area or condition? I’d say there are a lot of B and C multis in north Tulsa but it’s a solid C area currently. If you want a deal you’re gonna need to start hustling now or find an area you think will be transitioning and deal with it being “rough” for awhile.

as a buy and hold investor and Realtor, I can confirm that inventory is tight and well priced units move fast.   Your best bet is to sit down and talk with an agent and discuss your needs and wants.   Your wants definitely come into play since you intend to house back and live there at least for a while.   Also, definitely get your financials in order and get at least some form of a preapproval to show your realtor that you can qualify for some type of financing even if it is not specific to a property you are looking for.   The quality of advice you get from a Realtor is generally a direct correlation to your quality as a potential buyer.  


Dustin and Chris both bring up very good points. You need to determine what area you will target and what you want to get out of the property in the long run. I just started investing last year and can tell you from experience that it is going to be a lot tougher for you to find the types of deals you are looking for than it is for a seasoned investor. Someone who has been doing this for a while is going to have a network of people and methods they use to find out about these types of properties before anyone else does. If you see it on Zillow it is already going to be too late. I would concentrate on building your network of real estate agents and other investors. Also you'll need to get creative on how you find these types of properties. The book "Finding and Funding Deals" which you can buy on this website is a great way to learn about how to find investment properties. Don't expect to find something right away, but as with everything, if you are willing to put in the work you will get the results you are looking for.

It looks like you have some really good advice from the others, but I do want to answer some of your other questions about who to rely on for deals and the kind of vacancy you will see.

Most of the clients I work with rely heavily on the wholesalers in the Tulsa market, not just the real estate agents they know. This will help finding the deal before it hits the market. That being said, those wholesalers have a long list of investors they will call when they have a deal so the best way to "get in good with them" is to have your financing in line ready to go when they call you. 

As for vacancies here is what I am seeing: duplexes and triplexes will have slightly longer vacancy times than single family but not always. Usually a 2-3 week vacancy time is normal for these types of rentals. This goes for B class areas. This doesn't really change much in the A class areas sadly. C class areas can see up to 5 weeks but that can be drastically improved if you play your cards right. Hope this helps!

There's not a lot of residential multi's in Tulsa, but if you keep your eyes open you can snag one. If your entire strategy is going to be revolving around smaller multi's, it will be a longer term play. Good luck

Thanks for all the advice @Dustin Davis , @Chris Simmons , @Bobby Spurlock , @Jennifer Hicks and @Deren Huang I really appreciate the input. I figured from the get-go that it would  be more difficult for me as a first-timer without the contacts of a seasoned investor and what you all have said confirms it, but I'm in it for the long haul so I just have to look hard and be patient. Hope you guys have a great weekend

@Kevin S. there's lots of solid multis north of 244 in Kendall Whittier... Pockets of transitioning areas. Depends on what you've got the gumption for. If I were single, I'd be right in the middle of that area buying up property. Just sayin... 

@Dustin Davis hmmm, I haven't driven around that area but wasn't aware there were a lot of multi units there. Guess I shouldn't be surprised since it's just north of TU.

If you can go a little bigger, sometimes Melanie Richardson of First Commercial has some smaller commercial multifamily properties.

Thanks for the suggestion @Dennis Bethel , but I'm not sure I'm ready to take on commercial property yet. I figured I'd give house-hacking a residential duplex/triplex a try first to get my feet on the ground before tackling something bigger (though definitely want to go for bigger properties eventually, economies of scale make it more profitable I'd think)

Sure thing Kevin. I wish you the best and hope you have tons of success.

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