Have you ever wanted to get started in Real Estate Investing?



     There are so many ways an aspiring investor can get started in Real Estate. Tucson is an excellent location to invest in. Property values in Tucson and the surrounding areas are comparatively less than other markets, which can promote cash flow. Tucson and the surrounding area is comprised of many cities. Some of the surrounding cities are: Picture Rocks, Three Points, Marana, Avra Valley, Oro Valley, Red Rock, Sahuarita, Green Valley, and Vail. Each city has it's own individual pros and cons for investment purposes.


     How much do you know about investing in Real Estate locally in Hampton Roads? Do you currently own rental property? Are you looking for a short term investment or a long term investment?

Do you know any active investors or any real estate professional to help you get started? Do you currently own a home that you are living in that has available equity? Do you have good or bad credit? These are basic questions that you should be asking yourself when you think of Real Estate as an investment.


There are four most common ways to invest in Real Estate. There are many variances and differences in each of these ways, but for the most part each is done the same.


Rental Property:


     Rental property is the foundation to every serious long term investor. Acquiring and building a diverse portfolio of rental property is paramount in order to achieve financial wealth and investment leverage. The key thing you must look for when purchasing a rental property is how much cash flow will it yield? What is the standard appreciation in that given area? What are rental rates verse what my mortgage is? Are there any owner paid utilities? What is the risk associated with the investment?

     Once you begin to purchase cash flow properties, you begin to build monthly cash flow. The more properties you own, the more monthly cash you will have, therefore, the more investing leverage you have to buy more properties and to use to invest in other areas such as Rehabs. In essence, this cash flow is Residual Income, money that will come to you each month for the rest of your life as long as you own the property. For Example: You own 5 properties each bringing $300.00/mo after all fees and mortgage. That's $1500.00 a month that you can use to reinvest back into your properties or to use to buy more cash flow properties. Just think, that's $6000.00 every four months you own the houses.

     On top of the monthly cash flow you will receive, your properties will continue to appreciate or go up in value constantly, depending on the current real estate market. Which the difference between market value and loan amount is equity, money that you have sitting in your house that you can leverage to purchase more cash flow properties.

     Thirdly, each year that you rent these properties, the tenants will be paying down the amount owed, increasing equity build-up as well. On top of that, each year rental rates will almost always raise, so each year you own the rental property, the investment will just get better and better.

 As you can see, rental property will be the backbone for your investment endeavors and will create long term wealth as well as residual income. The more rental property you own, the more cash flow you will have to purchase rentals on a consistent basis.


Rehab Projects:


     Rehabs are a lot more complex than rentals. You must be very good with number crunching and have some great contractors, or you'll have problems. Rehab investing can be very risky, and timing is everything. Rehabs are short term investments. The faster the better, the longer you hold on to these properties, the less profit you will make.

     You must have substantial capital in order to rehab properties efficiently. The first thing you must do when you find a fixer upper is know what the property is selling for verses what you can get for it completely renovated. This is your gross profit margin. For Example: A house is selling for $50,000 and has a market resale value rehabbed at $150,000. You have a $100K margin to figure in all the expenses involved.

     What kind of expenses are involved with Rehabs? To begin with, you must have a down payment and closing costs to purchase the property. In most cases, 20% down and 5% closing costs determined upon contract price. On a $50k house, that's $12,500. Next you must figure in rehab expenses after taking bids from multiple contractors and negotiating the price as low as possible. Let's say rehab expenses for this property is $40K, to completely renovate and sell this property in a timely fashion. Now you have $47,500 invested. Next you must figure in your selling expenses. which include commission fees and closing costs. Commission fees are around 6% of resale value, and closing costs are normally very inexpensive depending on sales price, day in month you close, etc....in most cases no more than 1% of sales price. In our case, that would be $10,500 for commission and closing costs  based upon a sales price of $150k. Total capital invested into the project is $62k. Amount owed on property is $40k, after putting the initial down payment of 20%. Add capital invested to loan balance to figure total investment. Subtract sales price of  $150k from total investment of $102 which is the net profit earned of $48K. Which should take no longer than 60 days to renovate and resale once owned, determined upon project size. Any longer than 60 days, you must start deducting net profit for holding costs.

     Always remember that you must figure into your budget, Capital Gains tax will apply on profit made of 15%. Always consult your tax adviser for a more in depth overview. This will apply to all investment properties acquired and sold if you have not physically lived in the property two out of the last five years. In that case however, no capital gains tax would apply.


Flipping Property:


    The meaning of flipping property is to acquire a property and flip it to someone else, sometimes without ever owning it. You normally don't make large amounts of money on a standard flip. You must be very networked, especially with investors. Your job is to find under valued property and essentially flip it to a buyer or an investor. You must always have a buyer on the sideline to buy this property or you can get stuck with it. Which will usually mean to a loss, since there isn't really much of a profit margin to begin with. The best and most efficient way to invest in this nature is to work with several full time investors such as rehabbers or landlords that are consistently purchasing investment property and scout out great deals to sell to them at a slightly higher price to make a profit. Normally you will only make a couple of thousand dollars, but the more under value the property is, the better your profit. You must keep in mind that most investors that work full time are very market savvy and won't pay a dime more than what market value is, and even that is a challenge in itself. The best thing to do, is sell it slightly below market value if there is room, that way it's a win-win and you will more likely strike a deal. Most of the time flipping is done by being able to assign the contract to someone else. However, you must get the seller's consent in order to do this, which isn't always easy. There are many variations to flipping property, but for the most part, this is how it's done.




     Foreclosures are the most risky investment. They can also yield the highest return. Foreclosures can be acquired in three different ways. The first way is when the notice of auction is put into the newspaper in the legal section or when an investor receives a lead from a generated list of upcoming foreclosures. The investor will attempt to make contact with the owners to ask if they would be interested in selling their property at a below market value in order to help them avoid foreclosure and bad credit. The more equity the owner has in the house the better, but the best way to approach these disgruntled owners is with a win-win situation.

     The second way to approach foreclosures is at the courthouse steps on auction day. You must make sure that you have done due diligence with this property and possibly have viewed the interior in order to know what your buying. Many times you will buy a foreclosure and it is infested with termites or has any number of unknowns wrong that may take away from your profit margin. Always know what market values in the area are going for and what you can flip or rehab it for when completed.

     Lastly, if the property is not purchased at the auction, it becomes Real Estate Owned, Or REO. An REO is a bank owned property. Normally they are fixer uppers and great for rehabbers. Hud and VA also have REO property that is listed. Normally these properties are sold below market due to condition and can be great investments, however, there is a lot of red tape in order to purchase these properties. With the Hud properties, you must bid for them, and the first two weeks of being listed is generally a owner occupant bid only time. Meaning, investors get second dibs of the properties after the owner occupants.

     Foreclosure investing is very complex and can be handled many different ways. It can almost become a full time job if done thoroughly and efficient. You must have substantial capital with foreclosures, because many times you must purchase these properties in cash due to the amount of time it will take to qualify and close a loan to purchase.


     These are the four most common ways to invest. If done correctly, you will build wealth and financial independence with no limits. It's a fact that 96% of all millionaires in this country credit real estate for creating some amount of their net wealth. That's an amazing percentage! All these methods point back at the foundation of your portfolio. You must own rental property in order to leverage the money you will need in order to Rehab or purchase forclosures. The equity you will build in your rentals along with your monthly cash flow will help you continue investing.




deductions to deposit for previous repairs

My tenant caused some damage 2 years ago that I did not make her pay for at the time. I didn't want to have any turmoil at the time.
I am preparing the itemized list of deductions that I am making to her deposit. Can I charge her for those past repairs now or did I forfeit them for some reason. I told her during the final inspection that I was going to deduct those from her deposit. She wasn't happy.

Thank you for your assistance.

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Security Deposit Issues

In Dec 2015, I signed a year lease with my current landlord for an apartment in Pennsylvania. The lease was to become month to month after expiration. The rent was $700 per month and I paid an additional $700 for a security deposit and another $700 for last month's rent.

Recently, it's come to my attention that my landlord hasn't been following the law regarding my deposit.

As I understand, in Pennsylvania, during the first year, a landlord may hold up to two month's rent as a deposit against potential damages or non-payment of rent. A "security deposit" and "last month's rent" are considered the same.

After the first year, a landlord must return any portion of the deposit above one month's rent. My landlord should have returned $700 to me, but hasn't.

After the second year, a landlord must put any deposit over $100 into an account and provide the tenant, in writing, the location of the account and the amount. He hasn't done this either.

Any interest on the deposit, starting in the 25th month should go to the tenant, minus 1% that the landlord may keep. Since that's to be paid annually, he hasn't needed to do that yet, my third year ends in a few months.

I've had a generally good relationship with him but he has seemed a bit shady. He has multiple rental properties and I find it unlikely that he is unaware of the law.

How should I approach this situation? I fear that he will retaliate against me for wanting that part of the deposit returned.


FRUSTRATION Hard to find a new tenant

I have a piece of property in North East baltimore that I've been renting out for the past 7 years. I've had a total of 4 tenants and I've found tenants usually within a week to a few weeks. For some reason this time around I'm having a hard time finding a new tenant. One thing to note is that I just have done a moderate renovation to the place (new carpet, repaint, new hardwood floors). There are a few rooms where I've left some of my tools (organized), not sure if this is an issue. There was also two rooms where after new hardwood flooring was put down, the basembord had to be re-attached. Not sure if this is a turnoff, but I tell the tenants this will be all fixed before the move in. I've been advertising for about a month. Here is what I'm noticing and it's real irritating.

1. I'm advertising on FB, Cozy, Zillow, Craigslist. I will get a notification, I will reply back asking some pre-screening questions (i.e. income, credit, move-in date). They never come back. I notice if I get a notification via FB (message), I have to ask question after question to get the pre-screen information. I'm not asking in an obtuse manner, I'm even telling them I ask these of all tenants. They sometimes stop answering or say they will get back to me. The even worse thing is they would message me via FB with "is it available" I would reply back with "Yes", they would never send anything back, it just goes dead...

2. I setup 3 viewings on Monday. I tell them that I work in DC and if you can't make it let me know. I only get one person showing. The other two have no response to emails/calls. I know they are avoiding my call!!! The irritating thing is one person actually sent me a notification that they are interested in it a few weeks after they did a no-show. I was about to send her an email indicating "if you can't show up how do I expect your rent to show up?". I emailed her indicating that she didn't show to the previous showing we scheduled, therefore let me know if you are "truly" interested.

3. I had this desperate person who messaged me via FB, she passed my pre-screening questions. I then asked for her Phone Number, she sends me her phone number and I began to call her. I called that number the next day. I then messaged her that we need to speak before I can proceed. She indicates to me that she's busy. I then contact her again based on a prearranged time, it still goes to VM. At that point she sends me a message saying she can send me her paystubs??????? I then think this person is full of shit and leave her alone, mainly because she seems so desperate that there is likely something wrong with her. She then notifies me saying she's sorry but the phone number was 123-456-7899 not 123-456-7890 (meaning she gave me her wrong number). I left her along and didn't respond. I was about to respond with "if you can't provide me with your correct phone number the first time how can I depend on you with the rent".

4. The viewings I've had seem to go positive, they make nice comments as they roll thru each room, I follow behind them and tell them a little about the place. Then at the end I provide them a paper application, I'm of course using the long-ass Landlord-LPA app, they don't want to fill out that thing here, so I provide them the pdf fillable version, they never send it back.

5. One couple I showed text-messaged me a day after the viewing indicating they are very interested and want to know if I could send an app (I had already sent it). Well, she replied back to the email indicating that she had received it and she never sent it back!!!

Tenant Wage Garnishment in Delaware

Summary: we are out of state landlords and rented to a single mother and things were fine the first few months until the radio silence and sob stories. That pattern would repeat until we finally had enough when she missed 2 payments in the last 5 months. According to her, she is on disability leave from work. We told her we would work with social services to at least get some payments, but the caseworker told us tenant failed to provide necessary work document. Tenant voluntarily moved out on August 31 to avoid involving Justice of Peace.

After she moved out we starting learning more from the neighbor: unreported broken appliances (we have a warranty service), unreported litters of cats (she told us she had 2 neutered cats and 1 small dog), unreported subletting of rooms (one tenant smoked and the other had a ferret). On top of that, we learned that the tenant has been a danger to herself and her young children and was reportedly involuntarily committed a couple of times, which resulted in loss of child support.

We contacted her current employer to verify if she is still working there, but they referred us to Equifax and her colleague told her that we called. Several DE lawyers told us they couldn't help us b/c of conflict of interest with her employer (large mortgage company).

My questions: how do we pursue a debt action if we can't find a lawyer? Also, she may or may not be employed so is it even worth it to hire a lawyer (and dig ourselves an even bigger financial hole) if she turns out to be judgement proof (eg, already wage garnishment on her record) or if she is not employable due to her purported disability and has no income/assets.

Lastly, since we did not go through the Justice to get a summary possession and she voluntarily left, how soon can we dispose of her abandoned property (our agent stated that it looked like a hoarding situation with cats still living inside the house)?

Thank you for any advice or feedback you can provide. This has been a nightmare so please be kind; we acknowledge our naivete.

ESA Emotional Support - Low Allergen Unit *FAS

Why has no one been able to turn down ESA requests based on the wording of the actual FHA law?

From the FHAA Federal Housing Authority:
[Landlords are required to accept ESA requests] unless doing so would impose an undue financial and administrative burden or would

**fundamentally alter the nature of the housing provider's services.**


Granted this might not apply to the majority of situations, but for a small percentage of landlords going after the "low allergen market" it seems pretty solid!

Ok, so lets say a landlord had a building that was specifically marketed towards tenants who have allergies. When they bought the building, during renovations they tore out carpeting, hepa vacuumed as much trace of any previous pets in buildings, removed and replaced subfloor where needed, ran hepa filters, painted walls, etc etc. Maybe
even hired allergy consultants to measure allergens. The end result is lower rates of pet dander and allergens in the buildings.

Surely they could market this as a "reduced allergen" apartment (or in case of new construction actually claim "no pets have ever lived here") and there would be a solid niche market of folks who suffer from allergies who would love to live in a unit like that!

Now since the landlord had undertaken renovations to create a low allergen place to live, marketed their building as such - being forced into accepting an ESA would "fundamentally alter the nature of the services provided" and thus allow them to legally decline the request!

You would need proof (pics) of renovations, of marketing to "reduced allergen living", and possibly letters from any tenants & their doctors stating that said tenants are indeed impacted by allergies and that is one of the big reasons they chose to live their.

Why has no one tried this, surely there must be a few buildings in this situation!! Legally speaking, is this a solid defense? Why or why not? What am I missing here?

Landlord Holding Deposit

Rental location is in NJ. Landlord is out of state. Landlord is asking more money over and above deposit amount. Couple of questions:

1. If tenant sues landlord does the landlord have to appear in person to Nj?
2. If landLord sues tenant, can she file in her local court in CA? Or she has to file in the court where the property is located?
3. It has been more than two months post lease end date, can she bring in anymore new issues beyond what has been submitted formally within 30 days of lease ends.

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Michigan-mobile home manager

I manage a private park in Michigan. The tenant has vacated their unit, leaving it there, moved to a new park. I've made serval attempts to contact the tenant..nothing.
I want the unit removed!!!! Can I legally contact a demolition company and have them remove or tear down?

New Liabilty of Property managers?

Can I get help with finding case law examples
I am a landlord and a third party and dont have any ownership interest in the rental properties. A judge is weighing on a decision regarding the property manager is or is notheld liable to the Property owners/landlords decision regarding if they approve/deny repairs, decisions about lease termination, and so on. Does anyone know of a case that I could use? As of right now, a free legal for the tenants is trying to make a law that says property managers are 100% liable for actions or inactions that landlord/property owners regarding approving/denying repairs. (I'm sure Many property managers here would really want to avoid this slippery slope issue)


Kassandra T