Apartment Investing Basics: 6 Warning Signs of a Bad Deal
|Apartment properties are preferred by many investors as they bring in passive income (and its my favorite type of deals to do!). When buying apartments, it is normally a longer-term investment, but you need to make sure your money is used in the right place. Below are a few factors that may help in deciding which property to invest in.|
Buy an affordable property
One should always choose a rental property they will be able to afford; it's not just about being able to buy a piece of land. Investors calculate that the rent will be able to payoff the debt of the loan and provide extra money at the end of the month for their own pockets. Until a unit is rented out, the owner (that's you!) has to pay the mortgage, so he or she should have enough monthly income to settle the payment. Apart from the mortgage, other expenses also need to be fished out from the owner's pocket. One should have enough funds raised so an investment does not end up in a loss.
Neighborhood and surroundings
A good neighborhood ensures how soon a property goes on rent. As an investor, one should purchase a property in a safe and reputable neighborhood. Neighborhoods are generally categorized into A, A-,B+, B, B-, etc. properties Properties near colleges go on rent easily, as every season students enroll and they look for a cheap residence. The surroundings of the property should have all the basic amenities like schools, parks, shopping malls, supermarkets and so on. A property that is far away from these basic requirements might not be able to hold tenants for long.
Get the information
Get know-how of the area, and before signing the deal, visit the area for a few days and at different times. This way one will get to know about the area and the crowd that lives there. Getting information from those who already live there will be a deciding factor in the purchase.
6 Early Warning Signs of a Bad Deal
Your job as a real estate "rainmaker" is to find the deal and make it happen. Leave the building management and operations to others. The big money is made in the deal and that's where your time is best spent.
Obviously you want to focus only on stellar deals. Forget the marginal ones. It takes just as much time to work on a deal that brings in peanuts as it does to lock down a deal that makes you wildly rich. There are 6 red flags that tell you quickly if a deal will be a time-waster. If you spot just one of these 6 warning signs, move on to the next potential property.
1. The Numbers Don't Add Up
The bottom line is you want to make a lot of money. If the numbers don't add up and the seller won't drop the price, or you can't get better terms, move on.
2. Missing Numbers.
If the seller can't provide you with the year-to-date profit and loss statements, plus the actual numbers from the previous two years, move on to another deal.
3. Made-up Numbers.
Pro forma numbers are pure guesswork. They may be educated guesswork, but they are still a projection. Lenders won't give these made-up numbers any weight and neither should you.
4. Troubled Property.
A property may look good on paper: The numbers are real and they add up. But a site visit paints a different picture. Major repairs are needed because the seller has been deferring the maintenance hoping to pass the headache on to the buyer. Don't let it be you.
5. Wrong Area.
Don't spend your money trying to reverse a trend. If the neighborhood is in decline, the property carries that stigma. Tenants will be moving on, and so should you.
6. Months on the Market.
Good properties go fast. Bad properties linger in the listings for month after month. With detective work you can figure out why it's a dud. And that's a viable learning experience. But your time will be better spent going after good deals.
You create a beautiful garden by getting rid of the weeds. It's the same with building a real estate portfolio: you must quickly weed out the lousy candidates and focus only on the prime properties.
|David Lindahl has rehabbed over 820 houses in just under 10 years and currently owns over 7,400 apartment units. Starting out as a struggling landscaper with no experience in construction.|
Within the first 14 months, Dave's apartment buildings created a positive cash flow of over $10,300 a month for him and his family and with in three and one half years Dave became a multi-millionaire.
Dave Lindahl, author of 2 #1 bestselling books, Emerging Real Estate Markets, and Multi-Family Millions. His third book is through Donald Trump's organization, and is called Commercial Real Estate Investing 101: How Small Investors Can Get Started and Make It Big.
Among other publications David has been featured in Reader's Digest, Creative Real Estate Lifestyles, AOL and Kiplinger Magazine.
Dave Lindahl, with no Real Estate experience, created systems that allowed him to create enough monthly positive cash flow to retire within 3.5 years.
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