High Maintenance or Low? Decide Carefully

I went out with some experienced Kansas City real estate investors today.  And it’s always an eye-opening experience when I do.  First, I learn from my clients as much as they learn from me.  Second, sometimes I’m shocked at what people are thinking.

For instance, we saw 5 houses today.  Four of the houses for sale were all pretty similar and would make great rental property.  They were all ranches (three had basements) and were all fairly simple to maintain.  The 5th house was by far the cutest.  It had that Grandma’s house feel to it.  Easy resell, which is certainly worth quite a bit.

But the roof had at least 3 layers.   The outside was stucco.  And the walls were plaster.  And the basement was rock.

No biggie.  There are lots of houses like that in the Kansas City area, and probably your area, too.  But the plaster walls and rock basement and many layers of roof mean a lot of maintenance issues as the years will roll by.

When you are looking at buying investment real estate do you keep maintenance in mind?

2 Comments

Filed under Kansas City Real Estate, Real Estate Investing

2 responses to “High Maintenance or Low? Decide Carefully

  1. Justin in KC

    My first property was a beat-up duplex I bought as an owner occupant. I had limited funds and saw it as the quickest way to get my feet wet. I knew I could do most of the needed repairs over time as I lived there (and still have rental income). After 2 years of replacing virtually everything from carpet & countertops to gutters & mechanicals, the property was finally up to snuff. It worked out in the end and is still a great rental. The difference is: 1) now I’m thinking in terms of what/when repairs will be needed, and 2) now I understand how to figure my monthly reserves.

    Pay now or pay later…just know you’ll pay eventually. It’s good to know the A/C will be paid for by the time it goes out.

  2. This is a choice that has to be weighed carefully. Many times, that bargain home ends up costing more to get up to standards, than a place that costs more, but will allow you to have a life!

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