### Author Topic: Where's the 1% Homes At?  (Read 3106 times)

#### specialkayme

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##### Where's the 1% Homes At?
« on: April 23, 2018, 11:08:20 AM »
I've read numerous times, and I don't argue with the logic behind it, that you should be getting 1% of the value of a rental home in monthly rent (\$100,000 home should be getting you \$1,000 a month). If it's less than that, you shouldn't be owning it. I've read articles on BiggerPockets where they'll walk away if they aren't getting 1.5% or 2% a month.

I've been watching the market for about two years locally. I have yet to find a house that fits a 1.5% rate that isn't subject to MASSIVE repair issues (thus likely destroying the 1.5% ratio) or that isn't in the ghetto (sorry, not interested in doing it).

When I run the math on homes in my area that are being rented out, most don't satisfy the 1% rule. I ran 3 homes in a neighboring city, and 4 homes in my city that are currently listed for rent (or rented recently), comparing rental rates to zillow values. I get:

1.3%
0.53%
0.88%
1.19%
0.66%
0.95%
0.81%

For an average of 0.918% (if you exclude the high and the low, you're at 0.917%). The two that were above 1% were actually in the slums of the area, not exactly what I want to deal with as a landlord.

Based on my math, assuming 50% of your rent goes to expenses, and 5% interest rate, 100% financed loan (yes, I wouldn't be 100% financing, but to calculate otherwise would be "forcing cash flow"), my P&I would run ~0.55% of the value of the home per month. Which means I'd need to rent for 1.05% of the value of the home just to break even.

Where are these homes located at?

PS - I own a rental home with a friend, more by accident than design, and the rent is set at 0.62% of its value. Zillow estimates my home would generate 0.78% of its value per month in rent. So I'm not working on entirely hypothetical values.

#### waltworks

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##### Re: Where's the 1% Homes At?
« Reply #1 on: April 23, 2018, 11:47:17 AM »
You need to look outside of your local area. Many places aren't good places to invest in RE, especially now that prices have been rising in most of the US for the last decade.

I sold all my rentals because the prices got insane. At some point RE will crash again and you will find opportunities everywhere. In the meantime, invest in something else.

-W

#### specialkayme

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##### Re: Where's the 1% Homes At?
« Reply #2 on: April 23, 2018, 11:58:03 AM »
You need to look outside of your local area.

But at that point I won't be able to manage the property myself, or do any of the repairs myself, which is really where the profit margin exists in rental homes.

At some point RE will crash again and you will find opportunities everywhere. In the meantime, invest in something else.

Let's just hope that when it happens interest rates are low again. Otherwise cheap homes with high interest rates still may not turn a profit.

I was hoping to diversify a little outside of stocks/bonds/REITs. Plus, my wife is NOT a financially savvy person. I've got her to read Rich Dad, Poor Dad, and she's very open to the idea of getting a rental home. Having her manage it/accept the rent check every month I think could do wonders for her ability to realize the potential gains (and start saving more to repeat the process).

Although I don't disagree with anything you said.

#### ketchup

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##### Re: Where's the 1% Homes At?
« Reply #3 on: April 23, 2018, 12:11:50 PM »
You need to look outside of your local area.

But at that point I won't be able to manage the property myself, or do any of the repairs myself, which is really where the profit margin exists in rental homes.
Hold up, be careful with this thought process.  If a property is only profitable when you're doing the work yourself, what happens if you're on vacation when a toilet is leaking at 3am? What happens when you break your leg and have to hire someone to replace a big ticket item like the roof/water heater/furnace/etc?  Does that torpedo all the money you made on the property?

Plan and budget for hiring absolutely everything out (even if you don't actually plan on doing that).  Otherwise you're buying yourself a handyman job, not an investment.  Nothing wrong with doing both, and making some extra cash, but budget for the worst-case of not being able to.

#### waltworks

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• Posts: 3435
##### Re: Where's the 1% Homes At?
« Reply #4 on: April 23, 2018, 12:20:26 PM »
The 1% and 50% rules assume you are outsourcing (or paying yourself) to manage and repair. Just FYI. The margin/profit in rental RE has nothing to do with hiring yourself as a handyman.

-W

#### boarder42

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• Posts: 7849
##### Re: Where's the 1% Homes At?
« Reply #5 on: April 23, 2018, 12:22:53 PM »
if you're managing the property to get the proper return you're working - its not passive income - you should be looking at it from a 100% outside managed perspective otherwise just buy index funds and you'll come out ahead most likely.

#### specialkayme

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##### Re: Where's the 1% Homes At?
« Reply #6 on: April 23, 2018, 12:31:01 PM »
Oh yeah, no doubt. My estimates on profitability are based on me hiring someone else to manage it and hiring someone else to do all the repairs. That's where the 50% comes from (along with actual repairs, insurance, taxes, ect.).

But it seems like a fool's errand to put yourself in a situation where you aren't able to do any of the management/repairs.

#### boarder42

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##### Re: Where's the 1% Homes At?
« Reply #7 on: April 23, 2018, 12:37:26 PM »
Oh yeah, no doubt. My estimates on profitability are based on me hiring someone else to manage it and hiring someone else to do all the repairs. That's where the 50% comes from (along with actual repairs, insurance, taxes, ect.).

But it seems like a fool's errand to put yourself in a situation where you aren't able to do any of the management/repairs.

as a first time property owner i can see how this may seem hard - and its why i dont get into the RE game b/c there isnt really anything good near me right now but ARS a prominent moderator and teacher who retired at 30 built his empire around the country.

The fools errand is using your location b/c its comfortable for you- the savvy investor would go where the money made sense.  And if it didnt make sense - as a few have pointed out properties are becoming over priced again.

#### specialkayme

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##### Re: Where's the 1% Homes At?
« Reply #8 on: April 23, 2018, 12:57:04 PM »
The fools errand is using your location b/c its comfortable for you- the savvy investor would go where the money made sense.

I understand what you're saying, but I'm not sure it's computing with me.

My basic rules for investing: NEVER invest in something you don't understand. That includes the market overall and the industry overall. When buying a rental home, that would include understanding the home you're buying, the neighborhood its located in, and the prospective tenant market.

If you get one of those wrong, i.e. you bought something you didn't understand, you could buy a home with an f*ed foundation, or a home in a horrible location, or a home where the only tenants you get are the ones that trash the home and bounce.

So how do you get around that when buying a rental home? Know the location, know the home, know the market. That's where you live (unless you have the time and availability to research, indepthly, the location of a prospective rental home).

Are you saying the answer is to trust someone else, states away, that tells you about the home/market/neighborhood? (legitimate question)

#### boarder42

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##### Re: Where's the 1% Homes At?
« Reply #9 on: April 23, 2018, 12:59:28 PM »
last i checked the internet has been invented and all of that research could be done online.  If you're really serious about any of this biggerpockets is a better forum for advice in the RE area than these forums.  most here are too lazy to do something thats so much more active than buying VTSAX.

#### waltworks

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##### Re: Where's the 1% Homes At?
« Reply #10 on: April 23, 2018, 01:00:40 PM »
The answer is that you identify good possibilities online, and then you either travel there, or you hire competent pros to do some of the legwork for you.

It does take effort. But if you want to make money in RE and your local market doesn't work... them's the breaks.

-W

#### specialkayme

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##### Re: Where's the 1% Homes At?
« Reply #11 on: April 23, 2018, 01:20:41 PM »
If you're really serious about any of this biggerpockets is a better forum for advice in the RE area than these forums.

It depends on how you define "serious."

A guy with \$30k looking to diversify and play the RE market by buying a rental home? Yes.
A guy with access to \$3.2M looking to diversify in a portfolio of multi-family complexes, apartment complexes, or a portfolio of single family homes? No.

Biggerpockets is no joke. They know their stuff over there. I've learned a ton, and barely scratched the surface. But my experience has been it really isn't geared toward the guy looking to pick up a local rental home. Or a single rental home. It's about the guy that is way more serious about it than I know I can ever be.

most here are too lazy to do something thats so much more active than buying VTSAX.

Haha, hilariously accurate.

The answer is that you identify good possibilities online, and then you either travel there, or you hire competent pros to do some of the legwork for you.

So lets throw out some random numbers here. Lets say I'm able to find a home a few states away, \$100k purchase price, 1.3% rental rate. Lets say I put 20% down, rest financed at 5% interest. 50% of rent covers expenses (fully outsourced). 0.55% of the value of the home monthly covers P&I. Total expenses equal 1.2%. Profit equals 0.1%, or \$100 a month. Total investment of \$28,000 (\$20k down, \$2k closing, \$6k upfit). At \$100 a month it would take 14 years to get your initial investment back from rent (excluding appreciation in value of the home, and tax savings from depreciation). Now, if you have to spend another \$3k in travel costs, \$5k in competent pros to do the legwork, or both, wouldn't it just stretch out the time to get your money back, increasing it by 2.5-6 years?

Biggerpockets just realizes that you have to assume the risk that some homes are duds. Which is fine, when you can diversify by buying 20 homes. You can't take that risk when you're buying one home. And I'm not sure it makes sense to shell out the cash to pay professionals to make sure you don't get a dud, which makes the whole thing unprofitable. Or am I simply viewing this as too much of a "backyard" thing?

#### ysette9

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##### Re: Where's the 1% Homes At?
« Reply #12 on: April 23, 2018, 01:24:14 PM »
Real estate that is 0.8% to me sounds amazing! I think I would struggle to find anything locally that even hit 0.5%. Solution: don’t invest in real estate in my area. Skip it, look elsewhere, or invest in a REIT. No one says you have to have a successful real estate investment income stream to FI.

#### boarder42

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##### Re: Where's the 1% Homes At?
« Reply #13 on: April 23, 2018, 01:36:49 PM »
a savvy mustachian would get that trip for free with credit card points.  3k in travel costs is nuts thats a luxurious vacation not a trip to look at a house and understand if tis valuable.

#### waltworks

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##### Re: Where's the 1% Homes At?
« Reply #14 on: April 23, 2018, 01:42:47 PM »
\$1300/mo in rent. 50% rule takes \$650. P&I on your \$80k @5% loan is \$429/mo. Expected profit of \$221/mo, \$2892/year on your \$28k investment.

I have no idea how you came up with \$100/mo for your profit there.

Now, you will have to put down 25%, probably, but the basic numbers don't change much. And yes, you'll have to spend some money and time finding the property and hiring good people.

That's a solid property, though. Get yourself a dozen of them and you're probably FIRE.

-W

#### specialkayme

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##### Re: Where's the 1% Homes At?
« Reply #15 on: April 23, 2018, 01:56:06 PM »
I have no idea how you came up with \$100/mo for your profit there.

\$1,300/m Rent.
\$650/m expenses.
\$524/m P&I (at 100% financed (\$100k at 5%, 30Y Amm). Yes, you're financing 80%, but if you calculate it at \$429/m you're forcing cash flow with equity). Round up to \$550/m for math's sake.

\$1,300 - (\$650+\$550) = \$100/m

By saying you're actually cash flowing \$221/m by doing 20% down, you're forcing cash flow with equity. The money you put down isn't giving you a return. You could increase your down payment to 30%, thus giving you cash flow of \$274/m, or to 50%, thus giving you cash flow of \$382, but that's not really comparing apples to apples.

#### specialkayme

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##### Re: Where's the 1% Homes At?
« Reply #16 on: April 23, 2018, 01:59:45 PM »
3k in travel costs is nuts thats a luxurious vacation not a trip to look at a house and understand if tis valuable.

I assumed you had to visit three homes, on three separate locations to find one that worked.

\$1k for a day trip across country isn't really absurd. Maybe higher end of reasonable.

#### ketchup

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##### Re: Where's the 1% Homes At?
« Reply #17 on: April 23, 2018, 02:13:37 PM »
\$1k for a day trip across country isn't really absurd. Maybe higher end of reasonable.
My GF does plenty of day trips across the country for her business.  Her most expensive recent one (and only due to last minute booking) was about \$600 for flights and rental car.  Travel is cheap unless you're going somewhere weird.

#### waltworks

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• Posts: 3435
##### Re: Where's the 1% Homes At?
« Reply #18 on: April 23, 2018, 03:17:25 PM »
\$1,300/m Rent.
\$650/m expenses.
\$524/m P&I (at 100% financed (\$100k at 5%, 30Y Amm). Yes, you're financing 80%, but if you calculate it at \$429/m you're forcing cash flow with equity). Round up to \$550/m for math's sake.

\$1,300 - (\$650+\$550) = \$100/m

Erm, ok (that wasn't what you said in your example previously where you mentioned financing 80%), but if you're financing 100%, you have ZERO cash down/at stake. You're making your \$100 a month for nothing... buy 1,000 houses and you're a millionaire in a year!

You are also counting equity/paydown for zero, and depreciation tax advantages for zero. That's fine, but they are both meaningful benefits.

It's ok if RE isn't for you. Lots of us here got rich with RE, but it does take effort and creativity and a little appetite for risk. Nobody will think any less of you for just dumping money in the market instead.

-W

#### kendallf

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##### Re: Where's the 1% Homes At?
« Reply #19 on: April 23, 2018, 07:12:12 PM »
2% was possible around here (Jacksonville, FL) as recently as 4-5 years ago, and 1% would be relatively easy to find now.  We just found a house for my daughter in a great neighborhood here.  She financed through FHA and received some down payment assistance and therefore had to pick a house within the constraints of those programs (i.e. no fixer uppers).  It would still probably meet the 1% rule.

All that to say, there are still areas where it's a slam dunk to buy vs. rent.  I paid \$34k for our current house in early 2013 (not a typo).

#### Nate79

• Posts: 98
##### Re: Where's the 1% Homes At?
« Reply #20 on: April 23, 2018, 10:45:22 PM »
Save up cash and wait for the right property to come along or market crash. Sure putting as little down as possible and financing the rest is the popular thing to do but very risky. When the market (housing, stock, and economy) crashes there is going to be a lot of highly leveraged people holding the bag.

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#### Mr Mark

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##### Re: Where's the 1% Homes At?
« Reply #21 on: April 23, 2018, 11:11:03 PM »
If you're serious about RE then I think you can learn a LOT on bigger pockets. There care still a lot of foreclosures in USA every day. I like the adage "you make money on real estate when you buy it, not when you sell it". Another method is to get those properties that are 'ugly' but in a good location and do a bit of DIY fix up.

I'm looking at 1.5% - 2% properties.  Anything less than 1% I just wouldn't touch. You're better off with VTSAX.

#### cchrissyy

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##### Re: Where's the 1% Homes At?
« Reply #22 on: April 23, 2018, 11:23:21 PM »
Is it 1% of the current home price?  I think lots of people accept 1% of the mortgage, or 1% of the original purchase price, both of which can be very different from the current value.

#### boarder42

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##### Re: Where's the 1% Homes At?
« Reply #23 on: April 24, 2018, 06:13:31 AM »
Save up cash and wait for the right property to come along or market crash. Sure putting as little down as possible and financing the rest is the popular thing to do but very risky. When the market (housing, stock, and economy) crashes there is going to be a lot of highly leveraged people holding the bag.

Sent from my SM-G950U using Tapatalk

leveraged RE is the only thing that makes it more profitable than just passively indexing - if you're going to spend the time and invest the effort in learning you should leverage it. Otherwise its pretty much a waste of your little green soldiers.

#### specialkayme

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##### Re: Where's the 1% Homes At?
« Reply #24 on: April 24, 2018, 06:40:22 AM »
Erm, ok (that wasn't what you said in your example previously where you mentioned financing 80%), but if you're financing 100%, you have ZERO cash down/at stake. You're making your \$100 a month for nothing... buy 1,000 houses and you're a millionaire in a year!

You are also counting equity/paydown for zero, and depreciation tax advantages for zero. That's fine, but they are both meaningful benefits.

With all due respect, I'm not sure you understand what I'm trying to calculate. I'm looking to calculate cash flow. That's it.

When you calculate the cost of financing 100%, you can see the true cash flow that the property provides (in our example, with 1% rent, \$126/m). You can "increase" the cash flow by putting more money down. If you only financed 80%, it looks as if your cash flow increases to \$221/m. But that isn't actually what you're doing. You aren't increasing your true cash flow, you're just paying yourself back the money you put down (in this example, you're paying yourself back \$95/m on a \$20,000 down payment, or paying yourself back the down payment over 210 months, or 17.5 years). So while you may be getting \$221/m, \$126/m is unencumbered cash flow, and \$95/m is repayment of your investment. Not really the same thing.

It's easy to find a property that isn't cash flowing at 100% financing, then increasing the down payment enough to "make" it cash flow. But that isn't really what you're doing. You're just taking a property that isn't cash flowing and tying up more equity in it.

Realistically speaking you're never going buy a rental home with 0% down. But you will calculate it as if you will put 0% down.

And of course there are a number of added benefits to owning a home. Some still financially related (depreciation benefits, mortgage interest benefits, increase in equity over time), some not financially related (the "joy" factor, the "learning" factor). But when calculating cash flow I"m not interested in looking at any of those. They're fringe benefits that make it very worthwhile, but don't impact my monthly or daily impact on operating a rental property. I'd never own a rental property that costs me money every month but turn and say "well, at least I'm getting good tax benefits." If it doesn't cash flow, I'm not interested.

#### specialkayme

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##### Re: Where's the 1% Homes At?
« Reply #25 on: April 24, 2018, 06:46:28 AM »
There care still a lot of foreclosures in USA every day.

I worked in the foreclosure market for the past 8 years. I'm very familiar with it. The deals exist, but they are few and far between locally. You can pick up a home, pay \$40k for it, put \$15k into it, and own a \$80k home, but the bank will require cash and fast movement.

For every 3 of those deals I saw that worked, I saw one fail miserably. Foundation issues, environmental contamination issues, fights over lien rights or quitclaim issues, you name it. If a "good" deal cost \$15k to fix up, a "bad" deal might cost \$60k to fix up. So you spend \$100k to get a \$80k house. If you buy 4 of them, you're still better off, no doubt (make \$75k on the good ones, lose \$20k on the bad one, still up \$55k). But it requires some serious time, serious patience, serious stomach, and a good amount of liquidity. When you're buying one, it's too risky for my taste.
« Last Edit: April 24, 2018, 06:48:29 AM by specialkayme »

#### MaikoTsumi

• Posts: 97
##### Re: Where's the 1% Homes At?
« Reply #26 on: April 24, 2018, 09:26:00 AM »
I'm heavily geared to class B properties, that with a remodel, could be class A.  I cash flow about \$30k. I have about \$15k principle reduction each year.  My properties do not meet the "rules".  I may have one or two that are close to the 1% rule, but most aren't.  My cash on cash returns are 15% - 22%.
I see these "rules" as geared to what someone who expects to make a living solely from real estate and/or who invests in class C or less properties need to hit.  I don't even try meet the rules.  My target is cash flow on cash.  I keep hearing that, "you're losing money long term when you account for repairs". I don't buy that. On a 5 year period, someone's going to tell me that 1, 2, or hell, even all 6 properties having a roof replaced(carpet, whatever) is going offset \$150k cash and \$75k principle?

There are actually, still, quite a few areas in my town that I could hit the magic 2% rule, but then I would have to accept a lot more headaches and probably costs as well.

#### rothwem

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##### Re: Where's the 1% Homes At?
« Reply #27 on: April 24, 2018, 12:30:55 PM »
I have a feeling that the people locally that are picking up 1% properties are the annoying wholesaler types that send a letter to/call every single person in the city, hoping they get one lead for every 1,000 letters they send.  Its kinda like that friend that everyone had in college that would hit on EVERY SINGLE girl at a party/bar.  Eventually he's going to get lucky just out of sheer numbers.

The foreclosure market around here is a bit strange, you need to put down 5% on the spot and the auctions are held during the day at the courthouse.  It basically closes off forclosures to the common person, since you need to (a) be present during the day (b) have an undetermined amount of cash ready and waiting (c) be able to absorb a crappy home easily since you probably won't be able to get a good inspection of the home

#### afox

• Bristles
• Posts: 251
##### Re: Where's the 1% Homes At?
« Reply #28 on: April 24, 2018, 04:12:45 PM »
This thread reminds me of the old joke:

How do you make a million dollars in the RE business?

...You start out with two million.

#### LessIsLess

• Posts: 92
##### Re: Where's the 1% Homes At?
« Reply #29 on: April 26, 2018, 10:33:11 AM »
This thread reminds me of the old joke:
How do you make a million dollars in the RE business?
...You start out with two million.
Well, you have to start somewhere.  Success isn't guaranteed to anyone but hard work helps a lot.

#### afox

• Bristles
• Posts: 251
##### Re: Where's the 1% Homes At?
« Reply #30 on: April 26, 2018, 01:20:33 PM »
This thread reminds me of the old joke:
How do you make a million dollars in the RE business?
...You start out with two million.
Well, you have to start somewhere.  Success isn't guaranteed to anyone but hard work helps a lot.

Point was if property doesn't have positive monthly cash flow you just put more money down on purchase till it does.   some people are willing to do this because they are speculating that there will be very high price appreciation.  I guess you could call that subsidized housing.

#### Mr Mark

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##### Re: Where's the 1% Homes At?
« Reply #31 on: April 27, 2018, 04:27:16 AM »
I'd say the most important thing is to run the numbers wrt longer-term after-tax cash flow relative to your best alternative,  i.e. your cost of capital.

Fire up the spreadsheet and thus force yourself to capture the underlying assumptions. See how sensitive the results are to those unknowns (like eventual sales price, vacancy rates, etc etc).

• Handlebar Stache
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##### Re: Where's the 1% Homes At?
« Reply #32 on: April 27, 2018, 12:15:00 PM »
Another thought for OP:

Many of the 1-2% investment properties won't ever reach the market. If I had property worth \$200k that brought in \$4k/month, why in my right mind would I just hand it over to you? You might have better luck looking off market.

I bought a property last for \$350k that rents for \$4400. Nowadays we have an influx of out of state investors buying a bunch of stuff and driving up prices. So no more purchases for me for a while. No need to make a suboptimal investment for a lower return when you can invest in VTSAX and make more, doing less work. That's where my money is going until the next downturn in the housing market, whenever that is. No one knows.

#### Slow2FIRE

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##### Re: Where's the 1% Homes At?
« Reply #33 on: April 27, 2018, 09:31:10 PM »
This thread reminds me of the old joke:
How do you make a million dollars in the RE business?
...You start out with two million.
Well, you have to start somewhere.  Success isn't guaranteed to anyone but hard work helps a lot.

Point was if property doesn't have positive monthly cash flow you just put more money down on purchase till it does.   some people are willing to do this because they are speculating that there will be very high price appreciation.  I guess you could call that subsidized housing.

No doubt.

I've been looking for a place to live in Raleigh-Durham area of NC and around there you can pay \$1400-\$1600 to rent homes that sell for \$240,000-\$285,000.  I am looking forward to enjoying my subsidized housing and letting someone else unclog the toilets.

#### afox

• Bristles
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##### Re: Where's the 1% Homes At?
« Reply #34 on: April 27, 2018, 10:15:22 PM »
in my town I just saw a beautiful house for rent, just remodeled 3 bedroom that sold for \$430,000 in 2016 renting for \$2200 per month.  Some people have more money than brains.