Possible rental purchase sounds too good

12 Replies

I found a posting on CL listed for a month so far for a sale price of $12000 for the following:

Investors property
3 bdrm 1.5 bath city home with yard
Basement and attic can be finished off
Tenants currently in.
750$ + utilities has been going rate.

What questions would you ask the seller if you were meeting with them?  The pics look pretty decent.  It is a inner city row home.  Wouldn't the seller just sell it to the tenants?  I am eager to get started in a real estate venture so this sounds ideal to me...wondering that some experienced investors think.  Thank you! -John 

I always call several property managers to inquire about having them managing the property. I have had times where everyone refuse to manage because of the neighborhood. I don't buy those.

Good Luck.


Yeah, it seems too cheap to me, so you'd probably be facing months and months of vacancies every year, plus issues with vandalism and more. Not for sure... but I'd wager on that. Not sure it would be a good deal, even at $12k. Hard to say though - maybe it just needs a lot of work. 

Dont assume because its written somewhere that the statement isnt a complete lie. I imagine this sale has quite an intricate tale of fiction attached to it.

thanks for the respones...I've been devouring info on this site, and I'm ready to take some action.  I do know exactly where this property is (my mothers lives about 1/2 mi away.  Not a good part of the city or Reading, PA, but not the worst either.  The seller did email me back saying it is vacant and they are selling for personal reasons.  I responded that I'd like to at least check it out,...it's about 15-20 min from me.  

I also have checked out the foreclouse system here, but I'm a little clueless on what to do on it.  Is it as simple as searching a zip and driving out to properties and putting a bid if interested?  do you need a realtor?  I'm currently reading the books offered in the marketplace here, but just started them today so I don't know if it covers that or not.  Is there a user guide for the foreclosures on this site?  sorry for all the questions, my interval drive is in high gear...always

GREAT vids and podcasts Brandon!

also,...what would you ask the seller if you were checking out possible cheap rental?  on that note, say it was a good deal, why wouldn't I buy it and put it on the market for sale right away...what would be the reasons why the current seller isn't or hasn't?  

Hey John,

If you do need a Realtor, I'll be glad to help. Otherwise, I can also help with any questions you may have. I've dealt with plenty foreclosures in Reading.

I wold check it out, has it been stripped yet?  What are the neighborhood comps?  There are neighborhoods where that is what houses go for, this may or may not be a deal.

Ask for rent records to support occupancy history over the last three years.

will do Bob...thanks!

@John Heck

Hey John - Curious, did you ever buy that property?   I've been doing some number crunching in the Reading area too.   


It is definitely possible to find one in Reading for 12k. I would run a craigs tester rental ad if that was your intention. See if you can get $750 or see what some others are going for. If that pans out check the property out for all the maintenance issues..roof, furnace etc...if it needs everything... might be overpriced. Go State!



This is how I usually proceed....

I would have my title guy check to ensure it has a clean unencumbered title.

Check for any code violations with the Building Inspector esp any pertaining to lead based paint encapsulation. Do they require the installation of a sump pump on/after sale with french drains. (The latter was an expensive issue for one of our group). 

Then (if your experienced) check it out thoroughly, mechanicals, plumbing, roof & roof joist sag & the proverbial foundation issues aka floor tilt or 'flooring vertigo' as my wife calls it.

Repair costs add up fast.

Up here if you rehab ...

.... any outside walls you may be required to install all new insulin in the outer walls. 

.... any window replacement will need to meet egress codes. 

.... Knob & tube = new electrical runs, possibly a new service & a circuit breaker panel. Complete with a thorough electrical inspection by the town. (plumbing requires the same).

etc etc

good luck

Thanks "team"...however I did speak with the owner via emails. Upon my request to set a show time with occupancy records to view our communication ended and the listing on craigslist was pulled within the hour! On to bigger and better things!

Join the Largest Real Estate Investing Community

Basic membership is free, forever.

By signing up, you indicate that you agree to the BiggerPockets Terms & Conditions.