Analyzing 1st investment - Los Angeles Duplex

6 Replies

Hi all,

New member here.I’ve been learning about and following the real estate industry for over three years now and am trying to get my feet wet.Currently have an offer out on the following property – plan to buy and hold for 3-5 years, and do considerable renovations during that time.The numbers seem promising to me, but I would like to hear your opinions!

Details:

Property type: Duplex in high rental demand area in Los Angeles Price: $530k Up front investment: $80k down payment + $20k renovations Rental income: $3800 / month* P&I, Tax, Insurance, Trash/Water/Sewer: $3050 / month Vacancy Rate 2% ($75) Repairs 5% (~$200) Property Management 6% ($230) (already verified rate with company)

Net operating income: ~$250

*Note that I would be living in one of the units.That unit would go for $1600 if I were renting it out.Since I will be living there, I only want property management services for the other unit, reducing PM fee to $130.Likewise, I don’t see why repairs on the other unit would exceed an average of $100/month.That brings net income to $450 monthly.A little fuzzy since I’d be paying half of the “rent” for my unit but to make the point…

To put it another way, living in one of the units and renting out a room, the rent from that room plus the rent from the other unit cover P&I plus trash/water/sewer completely.So I would go from paying rent north of $1k per month currently to ~$500 per month to cover property management fees and maintenance.Depending on the state of the market, I plan to sell within 5 years or hold and purchase / move into a second property?

How does this sound for a first time investment?Good, low-risk starter opportunity or do I have rose-colored glasses on?

Hi @Patrick M. . Welcome to BP.

I purchased a duplex last year and live in one of the units, very happy with my choice.

Your numbers look much better than mine, I would buy it.  

Do you really need a property management company for the unit next to you? I think it's ok to account for it in the analysis but for the time that you leave there you can save the $130 a month.

Why do you want to sell in 5 years? Hard to say what is going to happen to the value of the property, but I don't think that the rents will go down. Worst case you keep it for another few years and get the extra cash flow.

If for some weird reason you decide not to get it, I would like to know the address :D.

Originally posted by @Patrick M. :

Hi all,

New member here.I’ve been learning about and following the real estate industry for over three years now and am trying to get my feet wet.Currently have an offer out on the following property – plan to buy and hold for 3-5 years, and do considerable renovations during that time.The numbers seem promising to me, but I would like to hear your opinions!

Details:

Property type: Duplex in high rental demand area in Los Angeles Price: $530k Up front investment: $80k down payment + $20k renovations Rental income: $3800 / month* P&I, Tax, Insurance, Trash/Water/Sewer: $3050 / month Vacancy Rate 2% ($75) Repairs 5% (~$200) Property Management 6% ($230) (already verified rate with company)

Net operating income: ~$250

*Note that I would be living in one of the units.That unit would go for $1600 if I were renting it out.Since I will be living there, I only want property management services for the other unit, reducing PM fee to $130.Likewise, I don’t see why repairs on the other unit would exceed an average of $100/month.That brings net income to $450 monthly.A little fuzzy since I’d be paying half of the “rent” for my unit but to make the point…

To put it another way, living in one of the units and renting out a room, the rent from that room plus the rent from the other unit cover P&I plus trash/water/sewer completely.So I would go from paying rent north of $1k per month currently to ~$500 per month to cover property management fees and maintenance.Depending on the state of the market, I plan to sell within 5 years or hold and purchase / move into a second property?

How does this sound for a first time investment?Good, low-risk starter opportunity or do I have rose-colored glasses on?

 I am not sure that I follow all of your numbers here. It looks like you will come out of your pocket with $80K down and $20K in renovations, so you are in for $100K right? Do you know what your return on investment is ? Have you considered managing the other rental yourself? Your vacancy rate, repair rate and PM rate seem a bit low? I typically see 10% for each of these categories. Also, will the rent from the unit almost cover your unit or will you have to pay each month for your own unit? Sounds like you are paying $1000 a month to help cover expenses? Is the $250 net operating income after you pay $1000? 

It seems a little ridiculous to pay for a PM when you are living next door.  Why  would you want to do that?  You see everything that is going on next door a PM  can not do that.   You are the best PM for this property.

Originally posted by @Barbara G. :

It seems a little ridiculous to pay for a PM when you are living next door.  Why  would you want to do that?  You see everything that is going on next door a PM  can not do that.   You are the best PM for this property.

 I do exactly what he described in a 4 plex I own and live in one unit and have property management for the other three units. 

I work an extremely demanding job 50-60 hours a week. I work unusual hours, have unusual days off and work holidays. I have to be out of town for weeks at a time. My job is not M-F 8am-4:30pm sitting in an office. I work outdoors much of the time, and my office is my vehicle. The places I work are remote small towns and villages 60-100 miles away from my home and those places don't have good cell service. 

Originally posted by @Rhondalette W. :
Originally posted by @Patrick M.:

 I am not sure that I follow all of your numbers here. It looks like you will come out of your pocket with $80K down and $20K in renovations, so you are in for $100K right? Do you know what your return on investment is ? Have you considered managing the other rental yourself? Your vacancy rate, repair rate and PM rate seem a bit low? I typically see 10% for each of these categories. Also, will the rent from the unit almost cover your unit or will you have to pay each month for your own unit? Sounds like you are paying $1000 a month to help cover expenses? Is the $250 net operating income after you pay $1000? 

Thanks all for the input!

Anthony is spot on with the reason I want a PM. Currently working 60 - 80 hours a week and don't have time for tenant issues. I will reconsider managing tenants on my own once things slow down significantly next year (hopefully).

Rhondalette, $100k is correct. Plus likely another $10k for renovations spread over the years I hold the property. Assuming I sell in another 3 years for $625k, IRR is 18% and ROI is 58%. Assuming a sell price of $600k I get an IRR of 13% and ROI of 39%. How am I arriving at sell price of 625k? Although I am purchasing for 530k, the property was appraised at 545k. Adding in 30k of renovations to bring value to 575k. Assume 3% average annual appreciation for next 3 years to bring value to 625k. Does this seem reasonable?

The property management company I plan to hire only charges 6% and has an excellent track record of leasing out units. The local vacancy rate is 4%, I am cutting that in half since I will be living in one of the units. Perhaps the maintenance costs could be higher though...

To answer your last question. Mortgage + prop tax + trash/water/sewer = $3050. Rent from other unit - PM fee will be roughly $2050. Assuming I live by myself in my 2 bd and don't rent out a room, I will be chipping in $1k per month to cover the remainder + $275 to cover vacancies / repairs. If I rent out the other room for $1k (very do-able for my area), I just need to worry about the $275.

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