My First Rental Property

3 Replies

Hi all. I close on my my first SFH investment for $235k on Friday. I put 20% down and my PMI will be $1635. I have a long term renter lined up in a guy that has worked for me for several years. I’ve seen how well he takes care of his stuff, so I feel pretty good about it. He’s a great employee. I’ve been a GC who specializes in water damage restoration and reconstruction for 22 years. Therefore I have connections for if/when things go wrong. I’m charging my employee $1500 a month, which puts me slightly in the red. But if he stays at least 10 years, I see that as a gain. My question is, on a 30 year loan, 20% down, do y’all try to make any positive cash flow? Or is it more about just having the renter pay off the property for you? I make a good living and have a pretty good chunk of change in the stock market for retirement, but I am still interested in buying more rentals to diversify my portfolio. Not for positive cash flow, but to have assets in 15-20 years to sell off for retirement money. Am I on the right track?

Different people have different goals, Adam. A lot of people do take the approach you have, as single family is the most tangible way to start out, most people are comfortable in that arena. If your goal is a retirement asset I think you are well on your way, especially if there is any chance for appreciation in the property your purchased.

Congrats on your first deal, a lot of people never actually pull the trigger. I think there will be a lot more out there for you if you keep in touch with these forums.

Now for my bad news, I would never do a deal that costs me money each month. There are too many good deals out there to take a lesser one, just need a bit of patience or a bit more marketing to find it. Just remember the money you are paying each month to make up the difference has to be considered a cost input in your ROI calculations. So assuming you lose $100 per month, the bulding cost you $47,000 and additional $36,000 over a 360 month term

Thanks for the reply. So my mortgage payment of principle, interested insurance and taxes is going to be $1635 I believe. What would be a god rental rate in this situation if achievable? $1700-1800 I presume? There are two other houses in the neighborhood that are for rent at .85 sq ft but they haven’t rented being on the market for 4 weeks or so. This is DFW TX btw.

@Adam Boertje It is pretty tough to make homes cash flow in DFW lately. It is possible but you need to source deals from other sources than the MLS, extreme fixers, or in C class neighborhoods or below. I personally don't touch homes that don't have a positive cash flow because if there is a market downturn, you can end up in a world of hurt. That is what tanked a lot of investors on the coasts during the last market adjustment. They were banking only on appreciation and when the opposite happened it ruined their investing career.

I say all of that to caution you, not frighten you out of the deal. I think what you are doing is fine on a one off deal. I would not pick up a second investment that was negative cash flow or super thin on the margin. I think you should work to find a better deal on your next project.