Author Topic: Should I get more rentals?  (Read 6932 times)

b4u2

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Should I get more rentals?
« on: December 17, 2014, 07:47:45 AM »
Trying to decide if I/we should procure more rentals. My wife and I currently have one. Only because we could not seem to get the house sold when we married. We are making some money on it finally. We have had the same renter for almost 6 years now. Having just one rental doesn't seem to make much sense and it's annoying when issues do come up so I figured if I add another headache that makes some money maybe it might be worth it.
I have a small clue as to how to go about financing a rental. Which leads to my next question. If I have debt (I'm on fire but have been working on a plan for a year now with good results) should I be looking to go into debt further by buying a rental? I have seen some good deals around town in decent areas for around $80k or so.
How do I decide if it's financially wise to get another rental? Like I said we only have the one because we couldn't sell it for some reason. We tried twice to sell it with no luck. We were losing money on it for almost three years. I finally told Well Fargo I would give them deed in leiu of foreclosure. When I told them that they were miraculously able to refinance and now we make money it.
So I am looking for advice. Thanks

waltworks

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Re: Should I get more rentals?
« Reply #1 on: December 17, 2014, 08:22:28 AM »
It sounds like you have a lot of questions. I think you might be better off posting a full case study to get advice on the debt situation, then come back when/if you have specific properties in mind. Based on what you've said so far, I'd say buying rentals would only make sense if they cash flow VERY well, given that you have existing (non mortgage, I assume) debt. You don't want to end up in a situation where a major repair comes up and you can't pay for it.

-W

b4u2

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Re: Should I get more rentals?
« Reply #2 on: December 17, 2014, 08:39:43 AM »
I'll see if I can round up some other case studies to understand what info is needed and try to make my own then.

arebelspy

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Re: Should I get more rentals?
« Reply #3 on: December 17, 2014, 08:50:51 AM »
You sound very similar to these people: http://forum.mrmoneymustache.com/real-estate-and-landlording/investment-beginners/

My advice is similar.. No.  Too many red flags.

Start to learn about it, so when you are in a better position you can take advantage of the opportunities (which you'll then be able to recognize).
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sammybiker

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Re: Should I get more rentals?
« Reply #4 on: December 17, 2014, 10:11:57 AM »
What are your gross rents on your current property?

You may be showing a profit for the last couple of years but looking at the data you've presented, I'm willing to bet you're breaking even, maybe profiting a few bucks a month over the long run.

A 6 year tenant sounds about as low stress, carefree as you're going to get with renting.  No vacancy costs, no turnover costs and a rent check every month for the last 72 months.  If you think that is too much of a headache, you have good reason to reevaluate.  Some would say look into a property manager but I doubt you have the margins to support that.
« Last Edit: December 17, 2014, 10:19:37 AM by sammybiker »

b4u2

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Re: Should I get more rentals?
« Reply #5 on: December 17, 2014, 10:41:43 AM »
You sound very similar to these people: http://forum.mrmoneymustache.com/real-estate-and-landlording/investment-beginners/

My advice is similar.. No.  Too many red flags.

Start to learn about it, so when you are in a better position you can take advantage of the opportunities (which you'll then be able to recognize).

I looked at that one. I understand the information but by the time I am in a financial position to invest in property wouldn't I, in theory, but ready for FIRE or at least FI? Would it even be worth it then?

arebelspy

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Re: Should I get more rentals?
« Reply #6 on: December 17, 2014, 11:24:53 AM »
You sound very similar to these people: http://forum.mrmoneymustache.com/real-estate-and-landlording/investment-beginners/

My advice is similar.. No.  Too many red flags.

Start to learn about it, so when you are in a better position you can take advantage of the opportunities (which you'll then be able to recognize).

I looked at that one. I understand the information but by the time I am in a financial position to invest in property wouldn't I, in theory, but ready for FIRE or at least FI? Would it even be worth it then?

You are in hair on fire debt.  No, I doubt you'll be FI as soon as you're out of that.

Do you have a reason to think you'll be FI in the next year or two when you get out of that debt?

Whether or not it's worth it is a calculation that should be evaluated on an ongoing basis.  At this point in time, no, it doesn't seem worth it.
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b4u2

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Re: Should I get more rentals?
« Reply #7 on: December 17, 2014, 01:35:36 PM »
You sound very similar to these people: http://forum.mrmoneymustache.com/real-estate-and-landlording/investment-beginners/

My advice is similar.. No.  Too many red flags.

Start to learn about it, so when you are in a better position you can take advantage of the opportunities (which you'll then be able to recognize).

I looked at that one. I understand the information but by the time I am in a financial position to invest in property wouldn't I, in theory, but ready for FIRE or at least FI? Would it even be worth it then?

You are in hair on fire debt.  No, I doubt you'll be FI as soon as you're out of that.

Do you have a reason to think you'll be FI in the next year or two when you get out of that debt?

Whether or not it's worth it is a calculation that should be evaluated on an ongoing basis.  At this point in time, no, it doesn't seem worth it.

My debt, except my mortgage, should be gone in 4 more years. Then I calculated 10 more years of saving to reach FIRE. I may not have included the increase that I should have going into retirement funds once the debt is paid off in 4 years.

The current rental payment is about $725 and we get rent of $875. So about $150 a month and we have not touched it so far. Trying to save up at least 3 months rent in case current or any future renter was to move out.

waltworks

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Re: Should I get more rentals?
« Reply #8 on: December 17, 2014, 01:50:07 PM »
Yeah, ok, you don't know anything about RE. Read some of the rent vs. buy vs. sell threads here and google up "1% rule" and "50% rule". Then come back and you may be able to ask better questions.

-W

b4u2

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Re: Should I get more rentals?
« Reply #9 on: December 17, 2014, 02:14:19 PM »
Yeah, ok, you don't know anything about RE. Read some of the rent vs. buy vs. sell threads here and google up "1% rule" and "50% rule". Then come back and you may be able to ask better questions.

-W

Thanks. I am trying to learn which is why I asked here. I didn't ask for our first rental we got stuck with it. I know renting isn't a get rich quick deal or everyone would be doing. If it can help me reach my financial goals I am willing to dive into more property. I'll research some more.

Since I didn't originally purchase property and it wasn't originally purchased to rent what number do I use for the 1% rule? The price my wife paid when she bought the house? The price that was used when we refinanced the house? Or do I use appraised value?
« Last Edit: December 17, 2014, 02:23:30 PM by b4u2 »

arebelspy

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Re: Should I get more rentals?
« Reply #10 on: December 17, 2014, 02:31:37 PM »
My debt, except my mortgage, should be gone in 4 more years. Then I calculated 10 more years of saving to reach FIRE. I may not have included the increase that I should have going into retirement funds once the debt is paid off in 4 years.

The current rental payment is about $725 and we get rent of $875. So about $150 a month and we have not touched it so far. Trying to save up at least 3 months rent in case current or any future renter was to move out.

Sounds like you have 4 years to learn as much as you can!  :)

I'm guessing we'll be in a down cycle at that point (but wouldn't bet on it, my crystal ball is in the shop).

Investing in real estate with consumer debt is not the best idea - especially debt that will take you four years to pay off.  Adding leverage increases risk.  When you're going to add another mortgage on top of your current one, and on top of your other debt, you're just asking for trouble.

Not trying to be a downer, but you have a lot of other things to focus on first, don't get ahead of yourself.  Get yourself in a position, both financially and knowledge-wise, to where you are ready to invest in real estate.  You aren't in either place yet (walt could have phrased his first sentence nicer, but google what he said and start reading).
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waltworks

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Re: Should I get more rentals?
« Reply #11 on: December 17, 2014, 02:39:12 PM »
I base 1% rule numbers on market value. So if you can sell for $80k or more, roughly, I'd sell it and invest in something else.

-W

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Re: Should I get more rentals?
« Reply #12 on: December 17, 2014, 05:12:48 PM »
B4u2..

You know i stalk you, haha!! So, i'd just like to chime in and say, if i remember correctly, that most of your debt, ~50k ish is low interest rate student loans.??? Not saying you should jump in and buy another house, just pointing out that that debt isn't aweful...now, your toys on the other hand, well, let's just leave the dead horse dead.

My main point is some people, depending on their risk tolerance, may favor "investing" over your SLs. The key here is to invest in something that makes a lot more for you than your interest rate. It could be your 401k or income property.

If you post your current rental numbers here, these folks can help you determine the best course of action with it, and with another (possible) future property.

Hope this helps!!

Check out biggerpockets.com

http://www.biggerpockets.com/forums?page=2

b4u2

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Re: Should I get more rentals?
« Reply #13 on: December 18, 2014, 10:00:19 AM »
Hi Mazz!
Yeah 3 years of the 5 year plan is student loan debt which is dirt cheap interest. I am planning on asking about that in 2016 when I have the other debt paid.

Walt I did say I tried to sell the house twice. No luck so I will continue to rent it out and live with the meager gains on it.

arebelspy I am trying to learn as much as possible. If it's not feasible to buy now I want to understand for possible future purchase.

Fallenour

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Re: Should I get more rentals?
« Reply #14 on: December 18, 2014, 12:35:01 PM »
"We are making some money on it finally. We have had the same renter for almost 6 years now."

Two key points here. "Making money on it FINALLY. ...same renter for almost 6 YEARS NOW."

This alone, tells me your very clear answer is No.

If you didn't do well in the first year, ok learning the ropes, but you ate 6 years of consecutive losses, or had no gains, with a tenant.

Now if the property sat empty for 30% or more of the time, Id understand, but that would have to mean you didnt have a tenant for at least 2 years. The biggest issue is you didnt.

Honestly, speaking on the square, sell the house with the tenant to another landlord. Get your money out in equity via a cash out refi before the sell. Make sure you have the contract signed already before you do it, and get a net 90 day, no costs incurred contract, leaving you enough time to close the cash out refi. Then sell the house via the already signed contract, and walk away.

This will give you a nice equity check, plus the house sale value, and put that money into a vanguard or fidelity account (your choice).

You lost a lot of time on this investment.

Goldielocks

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Re: Should I get more rentals?
« Reply #15 on: December 18, 2014, 03:39:23 PM »
You have two options..

1) hire a property manager, and if you are very cash positive after paying for management, then feel free to pursue more rentals as a non-work income.
2) treat rental as a work side income (money for effort)....  my DH was quite fine about a 6pm call to unplug the toilet AGAIN (they threw stuff in they should not have), simply because the rental was paying him about $50 per hour for his effort, including time to clean and re-rent it.   He did not mind being pulled from the dinner table once a month to go make $100.

As you don't seem to like the short notice repairs interrupting your week, I recommend number 1, or selling.   A tennant for 6 years is a great tennant, usually.  You won't get something better, and there is a chance of a more demanding tennant who only stays for 4 months...

b4u2

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Re: Should I get more rentals?
« Reply #16 on: December 19, 2014, 07:01:37 AM »
I'll mention this again. I tried to sell the house., twice, no luck. So that isn't happening.

The house was not originally bought to be a rental. It was my wife's house, before we got married obviously. Unable to sell it so we rented it out. Yes for three years or so we made enough in rent to cover the house payment. There was no money for repairs or other expenses, such as the huge dead tree we had to cut down in the back yard($2000). Yes for three frustrating years it was annoying if the renter called with a complaint.

2/26/13 Bank refinanced house when I threatened to give them the dead back because we could not sell the house nor were we making money from renting, just breaking even.

Refi $94,666 @ 4.125% 30 years
PMI 42.28
INS 41.08
P&I 458.80
TAXES 149
New payment 1/01/15 will be $691.11
Rent is $875 We have not increased rent since we rented to this one person.
Total in the rental account is $3,126.06 which includes her one month deposit and a $150 pet deposit.

Total owed today is $91,766.50
House appraised at $114k but never could sell it as I mentioned before.
« Last Edit: December 19, 2014, 07:29:47 AM by b4u2 »

arebelspy

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Re: Should I get more rentals?
« Reply #17 on: December 19, 2014, 07:56:59 AM »
I'll mention this again. I tried to sell the house., twice, no luck. So that isn't happening.

Selling a house isn't "luck."  If it didn't sell, it wasn't priced right.
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Fallenour

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Re: Should I get more rentals?
« Reply #18 on: December 19, 2014, 08:10:19 AM »
I'll mention this again. I tried to sell the house., twice, no luck. So that isn't happening.

The house was not originally bought to be a rental. It was my wife's house, before we got married obviously. Unable to sell it so we rented it out. Yes for three years or so we made enough in rent to cover the house payment. There was no money for repairs or other expenses, such as the huge dead tree we had to cut down in the back yard($2000). Yes for three frustrating years it was annoying if the renter called with a complaint.

2/26/13 Bank refinanced house when I threatened to give them the dead back because we could not sell the house nor were we making money from renting, just breaking even.

Refi $94,666 @ 4.125% 30 years
PMI 42.28
INS 41.08
P&I 458.80
TAXES 149
New payment 1/01/15 will be $691.11
Rent is $875 We have not increased rent since we rented to this one person.
Total in the rental account is $3,126.06 which includes her one month deposit and a $150 pet deposit.

Total owed today is $91,766.50
House appraised at $114k but never could sell it as I mentioned before.

What area is the house in?

Also, this:

Rental @ 1%, 114k value, 1140 rent, minimum range you should rent for, 925/m, Optimal sell value: 114k, realistic sell value range: 102,600-108,300, minimal sell value: 92,500, your valuation of the house: 87.5k.

Based on those numbers, you are looking at 161 ideally in profits, because of 1/8 of all rents going to repairs (A realistic number), and your overall costs being 691 (minus repairs). Total losses you are leaving on the table for not pricing at 1% is 265 USD, or 30% additional profits. An increase to the suggested minimum would increase your profits by 50 USD per month, roughly 5.7% respectively.

Best solution here is to slowly increase the rent per year, noting inflation as the cause for the increase, increasing by 35 if the current tenant reups soon (less than 2 years), up it by 50 initially, so you meet your 1% of current vested principal.

Once you get another tenant, again, increase by 35. Micro transactions are far easier to slide past consumers than larger increases, and it helps you to avoid any shock to their budget.
« Last Edit: December 19, 2014, 08:12:03 AM by Fallenour »

b4u2

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Re: Should I get more rentals?
« Reply #19 on: December 19, 2014, 09:19:53 AM »
umm I am sure to open a whole other can of worms here. My tenant we did a one year lease when we first rented to her. Since then it has been month to month. I have the paperwork at home in a file. Should I be doing a year lease at a time with her? Do the increase at the time of the lease renewal? If I keep her on month to month do I just give her 30 days notice that the rent is increasing?

I am not against increasing rent but at the same time I don't want to chase away a really good tenant. I believe all but one of her kids have moved out and I think the main reason she stays is because we allow her dogs.

When we first rented this house out we were desperate to cover the house payment so we jumped in and rented it out. Now a little more financially stable and I am trying to fix a potential mess. My wife went to some landlord classes hosted by the city and I do not recall them telling us we need to change our lease agreement. They did help us understand some of our rights and also pointed out mistakes we had made that we quickly fixed. We are still learning so be easy. 

The area the house is in is an older area, 1940's I think. It's way up on top of a hill. It's not a great are but it is wooded. The house does not have a garage which also hurts when trying to sell it (Iowa). People want a garage here in winter. The house has a lot of upside if I lived in it and did the work myself. It does have a covered carport. It could be enclosed and made into a one stall if I had the time. It is a walk out basement which is awesome. The backyard is basically a hill. If I lived there I could have a backhoe come in and fix the yard for me at a reasonable rate and reseed the yard. Some retaining wall work would need to be done. It's a 4 bedroom house 1.5 bath. The .5 bath in the basement was not even enclosed I built a room around it for privacy. If I lived in the house I would put a shower in that bathroom. The furnace is old and my personal friend that does my furnace checks for me has told me I really need to look into replacing it. The air conditioner is ok. The dining room is part of the kitchen and it's kind of small. Again if I lived there I would make some changes. I would add a sliding door in the kitchen and put a large deck on the back of the house with a patio underneath it. I have a lot of ideas but a small pocket book and even less time.

Another issue would be with the location. If you tell someone the streets it is close to they think "flood house". Yes our house was close to the 2008 flood area except it's at the top of the hill and only Noah's flood is going to put it under water. But because of the nearby streets people think it is a flood house.

As for selling we really didn't even get any reasonable offers. We are not ready to take a loss on selling it. We are making some small amount off of it and if nothing else maybe in 15+ years we might sell it when we can retire or it's paid for.
« Last Edit: December 19, 2014, 09:32:41 AM by b4u2 »

Fallenour

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Re: Should I get more rentals?
« Reply #20 on: December 19, 2014, 09:42:50 AM »
umm I am sure to open a whole other can of worms here. My tenant we did a one year lease when we first rented to her. Since then it has been month to month. I have the paperwork at home in a file. Should I be doing a year lease at a time with her? Do the increase at the time of the lease renewal? If I keep her on month to month do I just give her 30 days notice that the rent is increasing?

I am not against increasing rent but at the same time I don't want to chase away a really good tenant. I believe all but one of her kids have moved out and I think the main reason she stays is because we allow her dogs.

When we first rented this house out we were desperate to cover the house payment so we jumped in and rented it out. Now a little more financially stable and I am trying to fix a potential mess. My wife went to some landlord classes hosted by the city and I do not recall them telling us we need to change our lease agreement. They did help us understand some of our rights and also pointed out mistakes we had made that we quickly fixed. We are still learning so be easy. 

The area the house is in is an older area, 1940's I think. It's way up on top of a hill. It's not a great are but it is wooded. The house does not have a garage which also hurts when trying to sell it (Iowa). People want a garage here in winter. The house has a lot of upside if I lived in it and did the work myself. It does have a covered carport. It could be enclosed and made into a one stall if I had the time. It is a walk out basement which is awesome. The backyard is basically a hill. If I lived there I could have a backhoe come in and fix the yard for me at a reasonable rate and reseed the yard. Some retaining wall work would need to be done. It's a 4 bedroom house 1.5 bath. The .5 bath in the basement was not even enclosed I built a room around it for privacy. If I lived in the house I would put a shower in that bathroom. The furnace is old and my personal friend that does my furnace checks for me has told me I really need to look into replacing it. The air conditioner is ok. The dining room is part of the kitchen and it's kind of small. Again if I lived there I would make some changes. I would add a sliding door in the kitchen and put a large deck on the back of the house with a patio underneath it. I have a lot of ideas but a small pocket book and even less time.

Another issue would be with the location. If you tell someone the streets it is close to they think "flood house". Yes our house was close to the 2008 flood area except it's at the top of the hill and only Noah's flood is going to put it under water. But because of the nearby streets people think it is a flood house.

As for selling we really didn't even get any reasonable offers. We are not ready to take a loss on selling it. We are making some small amount off of it and if nothing else maybe in 15+ years we might sell it when we can retire or it's paid for.

You have a lot of costs mounting up very quickly there.

All I could see was if I..if I...if I....if I....it will do a lot better.

If I spend 30% of the value of a house to improve it to the point to where its doing awesome thats great....if I initially bought the house for 1/3 its actual value on a short sale. Otherwise, I'm just burning money immediately. If I do tons of addons, I'm setting money on the side for long periods of time with hopes of decent profits over time.

Honestly, and I really hate to tell people this usually, but if you cant lock the current tenant in a lease at the present time, put the house up for sale as a rental property with tenant, take a break even if you can get it, or up to a 10-20% loss if you cant, but try to get rid of this property, its a very bad investment, just ticking away towards an economic time bomb.

b4u2

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Re: Should I get more rentals?
« Reply #21 on: December 20, 2014, 05:30:58 AM »
The "what if's" were if I lived in the house. I am not going to do all that lol. I am not selling the house. Quit offering that as an option. I didn't even get offers on it the two times we listed it. I am at least making the house payment and have been for almost 6 years. The house is not a gold mine. No one wants to buy it for whatever reason. I am trying to learn so that if/when I can purchase another rental I don't make mistakes. This rental was a home before. I am dealing with it as I can.

Setters-r-Better

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Re: Should I get more rentals?
« Reply #22 on: December 20, 2014, 07:30:50 AM »
Yes, raise the rent. Lock her into a lease. Tell her the new month to month rate is 1075, but if she signs a 12 month lease its only 975. Then she will pick 12 month lease. Id probably keep the property and find ways to increase your profitability.  You aren't too far off, you have a good tenant,  you're also receiving principal paydown on the mortgage. 

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Re: Should I get more rentals?
« Reply #23 on: December 20, 2014, 05:00:22 PM »
   My advice is no do not buy more rentals. Your hair is on fire so put that out first. Also, being a landlord is not for everyone. Me, I love a deal, buying selling, fixing, flipping, renting houses gets me amped. If you do not have a powerful desire, do not do it, IMO. Later, when you are in a very strong position financially, revisit to see if now it is a better thing to do. 

clarkfan1979

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Re: Should I get more rentals?
« Reply #24 on: December 20, 2014, 08:10:44 PM »
I agree with previous posts that you don't seem to have the strong desire to make it work. I could be missing it in your post. If you are passionate about it, I think it might be different.