There are a lot of smart, successful people all around us. However, not all of them can be self-employed and run their own business. This is a unique skill. In my mind, what differentiates entrepreneurs from other folks is their ability to wear different hats effectively. Remember the saying: Jack of all trades, master of none. I hate this saying. You don’t have to be a foremost expert in a particular “trade” to succeed. Your value might lie precisely in the fact that that you know several trades well enough to explore connections between them and leverage them together for your goals.
Being a Real Estate Investor
Recently we’ve been receiving a lot of inquiries about financing rehabs in Baltimore City. A significant portion of those calls is from borrowers looking to purchase homes with an acquisition price of $60k or below. While we are always happy to discuss any scenario, our 13-year experience taught us one sure thing: not everything is gold that glitters. To apply this saying to the world of real estate investing—not everything that’s cheap is a bargain.
Let’s not beat around the bush. The best source of real estate information is the Multiple Listing System (MLS). Fortunately for the licensed real estate agents and unfortunately for the real estate investors who are not licensed, only realtors have access to it. The good news is that today you have more information than ever floating around. It might be not as nuanced as MLS’s, however, if used correctly, it can help you determine your rehab’s after repair value without a realtor.
As a hard money lender, I have deep respect for the hard work and hundreds of hours our borrowers put into each of their rehabs. Some of that work is exhilarating – think about getting that contract signed, especially when the price is right! Some of it is tedious – pushing through the county bureaucracy and dealing with inspectors. Some of it is downright maddening like when your contractor is dragging his feet or slams you with a change order. When all this hard work is done and your property is about to go on a market, we know you feel like breathing a sigh of relief. But wait. You’re now facing your final challenge – pricing your property right.
The next question you should ask yourself is whether your potential rental property will cash flow. This is why you must understand what the debt coverage ratio is. The debt coverage ratio (DCR) measures the landlord’s ability to make monthly mortgage payments from the income generated from renting that property. It tells you whether a rental will generate enough cash to pay for its expenses. Ultimately, it helps you decide if it’s an appropriate candidate as along term or not.
In the previous article we talked about the differences between flipping homes and keeping them as rentals. The first strategy makes money right away. The other serves as a long-term savings vehicle. Which strategy is right for you depends on many factors. Among them are your financial goals, your current financial situation, and how much time you can afford to spend on the project.