First deal questions!

8 Replies

Hello y'all. I'm looking at a fourplex tomorrow afternoon and want to make sure I ask everything I need to ask. I've got an idea of what I think it's worth and I've asked the listing agent for a t12, maintenance expenses for the last twelve months, and when the soonest lease is up.

I'm wondering a couple of things.
Am I way off base?
Should I be asking to see anything else?
What should I be on the lookout for while looking at the property?

As I said, this is going to be my first deal, and I'd like to do it right the first time. Any advice is greatly appreciated.

Thanks,

Isaac.

@Isaac King , make sure to run through the BP calculator (I assume this is a buy and hold) and put any missing pieces of data on your list. I also use this spreadsheet I cobbled together from a couple books and my own history so make sure you have data for all the applicable fields and the numbers work for you regardless of which tools you are using. Look up the taxes to know how that will impact your cash flow. Also keep in mind that the pro forma numbers are always low so try to get actuals from sources other than the owner / listing agent or add a % buffer so you don't underestimate the costs of owning this property. You are going to want actual rent numbers for each unit so you can do the math properly. Also compare these to market rate to see what the upside is.

When you walk through the property get a feel for the level of maintenance that has been done. Is the basement/attic/etc fairly organized and clean or does it look like someone DIY'd the wiring/plumbing/etc. 

Make sure that all the utilities have been separated or, if not, you get utility bills from the owner. Look for upgrades in the building, like newer windows, and see if there is an additional income possibility through a coin-op laundry room.

Outside, take a look at how the building is situated in the neighborhood and if there would be anything you can do eventually (or immediately) to improve the curb appeal, parking situation, etc. If you are close to a main road, listen for road noise and think about whether it would affect your desire to rent there. Check the roof condition from the ground to see if it needs to be replaced immediately or not. That's generally a significant expense the sellers tend to ignore and it seems like every house I look at needs a new roof.

There is always more to think about and you won't be able to remember and do everything you want but take lots of pics so you can refer back to them afterwards and don't sweat it too much. If you feel good and make an offer, then you get another chance to check things out during the inspection and can have a list of follow up items to check and specific questions for your inspector if you want.

Good luck and feel free to ask lots of questions, everyone here is happy to help. There may be location-specific things to think about that someone in a different region wouldn't know about.

@Will Chamberlin has some good advice.

Asking about existing tenant might be good to see if they were giving any problems. This might be very fact of the motive of the seller. Also talking to neighbors could give you better feel for the area and any info they might have of the property.

Thank you both for the help! I'll keep crunching the numbers and have some of the other tips wrote down in my notebook when I go to look tomorrow!

Download a home inspection report and use that as a reference for what to look for. There's a couple apps you could get too.

Look around to see if any of your local home inspectors offer an investor walk through inspection. At a reduced price some inspectors (like myself) will walk a property with you and verbally report issues. This type of inspection will not have a formal report but can be very cost effective and you can take pictures and notes. 

Will Chamberlin Kaz Miyazaki @Rosston Smith @Kelly R.

Thank you all for the advise!
Rosston Smith do you have any recommendations on a good app to use?

Kelly R. I really wish I had one that was close in my area, the nearest I know of are about 45 minutes away and I'm not sure I could get them to come on such short notice. I would like to stay in touch with you though, I'm an electrician by trade and have been wanting to get my Texas professional inspector license for a couple of reasons.

Originally posted by @Isaac King :

Will Chamberlin Kaz Miyazaki Rosston Smith Kelly R.

Thank you all for the advise!
Rosston Smith do you have any recommendations on a good app to use?

Kelly R. I really wish I had one that was close in my area, the nearest I know of are about 45 minutes away and I'm not sure I could get them to come on such short notice. I would like to stay in touch with you though, I'm an electrician by trade and have been wanting to get my Texas professional inspector license for a couple of reasons.

 Yeah man look up "HIP mobile" I used that one.

@Isaac King take your time ESPECIALLY if this is your first deal. I feel like your rushing into this deal. I recommend you walk-through with your inspector and since your paying him, ask him questions about everything!!
That's what I did and he was happy I did, I learn so much

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