Hey all! After six months, I’m back with an update on our first multi-family rental purchase, but first…
There are a couple of reasons I haven’t been around. The first: we have a baby infestation at our house. They’re cute, they’re amazing, they’re exhausting! But, I can’t fully blame those doe-eyed girls for my absence.
The main reason I haven’t written is because I banned myself from infrequently blogging until I fulfilled one of my biggest dreams– writing a book. Yep, I wrote a book. Please, don’t congratulate me. It’s rough, and still being edited by some poor unfortunate souls who I will owe for the rest of my life. By the end of the summer I’m going to publish it. Probably under a pen name. Regina George, maybe. Or, Gracie Lou Freebush.
Okay, now back to the first reason I’ve been absent: Baby infestation.
These two ladies are growing like crazy! Vera Faye just turned two a couple of weeks ago. She’s the bus driver of our family, and we’re all just trying to hang on to our seats. We love her fierce desire to be independent and lead the way.
okay… enough about babies… on to…
Our First Multi-Family Rental Purchase:
If you’re ever at our house, and I’m pregnant, WATCH OUT. There’s about to be some real estate bought! Two days before I had Vera Faye, we bought our first investment property. Less than a month before we had Annie we closed on our first multi-family. I can’t explain this, it’s just a fact of life.
I thought I’d briefly go through a description of our new property, how we found/financed it, how we’re managing it , and how it’s doing.
Our multi-family property is a fourplex. Also known by sophisticated investors (not myself) as a quadplex. That means, there are four units. Honestly, they’re not much to look at from the outside because the roof and the siding are the same beige color. Think oatmeal. No berries. But, they are sturdy, clean, and in a quiet location, so I was immediately attracted to them.
I wish I could say I found the property by miraculous intervention. But, it was found through average, everyday poking around. Since I have my real estate license, I often look around for potential properties, and I just stumbled on it. It’s located near our first house (the one we lived in, paid off, and turned into a rental), so I knew the units would rent well– plus, I was 7 months pregnant when the process started, and my real estate hormones were starting to rage.
I knew we were going to have to finance the property, because we didn’t have the cash sitting around, and my rich relatives haven’t appeared yet. Still looking for them though! If you want to be related to me, and give me money, let me know.
Getting a mortgage on a multi-family property was… interesting. We have a great relationship at the bank where we do our everyday banking. The branch manager knows my husband by name. I tried to use his relationship with them to finance our first multi-family investment, but they didn’t want any part of it. Long story short: I was ghosted.
Next, I tried using a banker I’d met through my real estate dealings. He was supposed to be THE BEST. And, he is, but only for traditional mortgages. Long story short: I couldn’t even get him to call me back.
So, I decided to give up. No real estate love for the pregnant lady. A few weeks went by… and I read an article written by a real estate investor who recommended using a small local bank. I decided to give it one last shot.
I googled a small, local bank and cold-called their loan officer. I expected to get laughed at or hung up on, but after explaining who I was and giving him the details of the property, he agreed to meet with me! It was the first time anyone had even treated me like a human being instead of a piece of mortgage meat. He asked me to fill out a bunch of financial paperwork and bring it to the meeting.
I filled out the paperwork, meticulously. It was a beast… asking for everything short of a blood sample. On the day we were supposed to go meet with the banker, I had something come up so my husband went to meet with him over his lunch hour. I’m not sure what happened next. All I know is that my husband took in the paperwork, charmed the pants off of the banker man (not literally…), and we got our money, honey!
Managing and Performance:
When I became a landlord, I read a book. The author said it takes approximately three months for a new rental to even out. Meaning, it takes a couple of months to get to know the tenants (or get it rented), get your process set up, and get any repairs done that weren’t done by the last owners.
I completely forgot about this fact immediately after reading it. I was hit with a major case of landlord amnesia and thought we would be smooth sailing as soon as we closed.
In the first three months, we had two tenants move out, we decided to renovate one unit, another unit had a broken water heater, and we fixed a small electrical repair. This may seem like a lot, but it really wasn’t that bad, although I may just be having some landlord amnesia :).
Since then, we’ve haven’t had any issues. This property brings in 1.5% of it’s purchase price each month. We’re pretty happy with these returns since our other properties we get around 1% of the purchase price in rent per month.
The Most Frequently Asked Question
Question: Are you crazy?
Interpretation: Aren’t you worried about tenant problems, repairs, fires, water damage, crazies, zombies, and vampires?
That’s all folks… or at least a big overview of everything.
There are a bunch of details I could get into (like why a pregnant lady gets so obsessed with rental houses or what to do when your renter begs you to allow a puppy), but there’s not enough time for that.
I don’t want to make it seem like our journey has been smooth sailing or, on the flip side, terrible. The truth is, some days are good and some days are bad. We have difficult conversations with tenants about consequences for not paying their rent, but we also have great tenants who pay on time every month. Just like any job, there are good days and bad days. The only difference, with real estate, there’s a lot more freedom. I may decide to take a full-time job next week, but for the time being, it allows me to spend a lot of time with our babies… and write my first book (haha).
Thank you so much for reading this, it truly means THE WORLD to me. I hope you are doing well. I hope you are accomplishing a few dreams! You’re pretty awesome (that means pretty + awesome)! Go charm the pants off someone!