Smaller, investment properties, often, offer, significant financial / economic benefits, in terms of creating a combination of asset growth, return – on – investment, and some degree of safety! However, this is true, only, if, the purchaser, first, thoroughly, understands, what to seek, and why! Different potential properties, have, varying, potential, for optimal performance, etc! While, everyone, cannot, consistently, take care of, afford, or get involved, in major real estate deals/purchases, far more, are able to take advantage of smaller properties, etc. These vehicles, often, include, one, to four, family/unit, houses, and, while some, offer, attractive investments, others, may not, always! With, that in mind, this article will attempt to, briefly, consider, examine, review, and discuss, 4 significant, meaningful, main/essential considerations, and evaluations.
1. Cash flow: Cash flow, when it comes to these, usually, refers to, the difference, between, the funds/revenues, received, and the monthly costs. It is important to consider these, in a conservative manner, by, basing evaluations, not, on the highest, potential rent – rolls, but, by market – based rents, and, no more than 75% occupancy (to avoid, a potential , cash – crush, if there are any interruptions, due to a variety of possibilities/ contingencies). In addition, the investor, must, be careful, to ensure, his personal cash flow, does not suffer, by using too high a percentage of his reserves, for up-front costs, as well as creating reserves, etc!
2. Area/neighbourhood/local market: Before, making – the – leap, thoroughly, consider, and evaluate, local real estate market conditions, and discover, the marketplace, for rentals, in terms of, availability, demand, advantages, and/ or, disadvantages! Thoroughly, know the specific area, and determine, if it offers, the best scenario, for you, and your priorities and purposes!
3. The 6% Rule: Many pay close attention to, what is often, referred to, as the 6% Rule, when it comes, to purchasing, smaller, investment properties. This means, three-quarters, of a realistic rent-roll, must achieve, at least, a six percent profit. Expenses, must include: mortgage-related expenses, including principal, interest, taxes, and escrow; landlord – paid utilities; repairs; renovations; upgrades, and reserves, etc.
4. Property condition: Understand, the existing condition, of the subject property, and, what, will need to be addressed, immediately, on an intermediate – basis, and in the longer – run. Reserve funds, must be used, and prepared, for as many contingencies, as foreseeable, etc! On the other hand, don’t be, overly – influenced, by staging, and overestimating, rent – rolls!
After, over 15 years, as a Real Estate Licensed Salesperson, in the State of New York, I believe, strongly, in the possibilities, and advantages of investing in smaller, investment properties, but, only, when, this is done, carefully , and in a focused manner! The smarter, you proceed, the better – off, you will be!