Author Topic: What questions should I ask? Other advice? Possibly buying a two unit  (Read 1070 times)

mtn

  • Handlebar Stache
  • *****
  • Posts: 1322
My wife and I are looking to buy a house to live in. We were originally planning on moving into another apartment that my landlord owns, but then she decided to sell the building instead. So my wife and I, tired of renting, decided to start looking for a house. Then we got the idea to buy that apartment we originally wanted to rent.

So we're newbies. We've never owned a place, let alone been landlords. Heck, if it wasn't a college place our landlords lived either next door or in the same building. What questions should we be asking, other than the inspection? Is there a go to list of things to ask or look for?

The things I know:
the monthly payment for us including tax and insurance would be about $2500
Rent for the other unit is $1400
It could be more, but she likes to keep it low to keep renters there a long time.
Roof is 2 years old
Has a 2 car garage and 4 other parking spots.
Both units are 2 bed 2 bath
We would be living here for 3 to 6 years. After that we'd either sell and roll equity into a single family home, or keep the gravy train rolling from a 15-30 minute drive away (in the single family home)

adamcollin

  • Stubble
  • **
  • Posts: 154
  • Age: 29
  • Location: Texas
Is the property fully furnished?

rothwem

  • Pencil Stache
  • ****
  • Posts: 617
  • Location: WNC
It doesn't sound like a great deal to me, but if its in the area you want, it could be worth it. 

mtn

  • Handlebar Stache
  • *****
  • Posts: 1322
It doesn't sound like a great deal to me, but if its in the area you want, it could be worth it.

This is where I'm struggling. It is our second choice of area. Our monthly housing payment, after taking in rent from the tenant and assuming 1-2 months a year vacant, is lower than any rent or mortgage that we could get in any place big enough (big enough means a large 1 bedroom or modest 2 bedroom). But you're right--as a house, it isn't what we want and at the top of our price range; as an investment property it doesn't make sense either. Combine the two and it seems to be a good option, but are the facts that it isn't exactly what we want to live in and it isn't the best investment property enough to make it a bad deal? And I'm not sure yet.

Enough

  • Stubble
  • **
  • Posts: 154
If the seller (your current landlord) is selling this as an investment property, it needs to be priced appropriately and it doesnt sound like it is ($2800/mo rent vs $2500/mo PITI payments is likely cashflow negative). I'd try to evaluate it as an investor and make an offer that is at least cashflow positive if you were to pay yourself rent.  That way, if you were to move out in the future, you could rent out both units and not lose money.