Duplex Do or Don't

3 Replies

I have an opportunity to buy a duplex 1bd 1 ba each side for 35k. I plan to live on one side and there are tenants on month to month leases on both sides. Being a newby I don't understand how to determine whether this would be a good buy for me. I'm ready to downsize and live in a a smaller place but did'nt want to buy a condo because of the perpetual hoa fees. The property is in Dallas, TX bult in the 1950's. According to Zillow it has a Zestimate of $42,481. It will need a little work done on it. Not exactly sure of the exact dollar amount. Appear, from my inexperience eye, to need a roof. One tenant shared that she is paying $350 + 50 for water.  The othe tenan mumbled something about $200. Both appear to  be paying below market.  The mumbling tenant's unit has water damage revealed by the bubble in the sheet rock in the ceiling.  Seller has not provided the disclosure,  Help.  Should I buy or say bye.

Wow, I would start by finding out what the owner states the rents are, taxes, insurance etc. then tour the property. I wouldn't personally talk to the tenants until I had a contract in place. Find a good home inspector that is highly recommended and have him/her go through the property with you and this will help point out all that is wrong.

@Val Jaz Don't pull the trigger until you KNOW this is a good deal.  How do you do that?  Look at hundreds of properties online, and dozens in person.  Find investors in your area and ask them what a deal is to them.  You likely won't get a fantastic deal on your first property, but it should be a decent deal, with numbers to justify it.

Using online sites like Zillow for determining value is for a quick analysis. You'll want to determine the actual ARV first. One way is to get a CMA from a Realtor. We call several Realtors and say we are interested in the property and we need a Realtor. We ask if they can tell us about the area and send us a CMA on the property. They want your business, use the leverage for your CMA. Make sure you have a qualified inspector look at it before you buy!

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