San Antonio Home Buyers Struggle to Find Homes in Tight Market

The San Antonio housing market has gotten tighter in the last several months as prices are rising and supply of home on the market is getting tighter. For March 2018, there were 2012 homes sold in San Antonio, which was an increase of 3% over last year. The market has gotten stronger and bigger every year since 2012, and is being fueld by the strong local economy and a growing population.

The median home price for San Antonio was $215,000 in February 2018, which was a 6% increase from $202,000 a year ago. There has been a shortage of construction workers and a low supply of affordable homes for sale that have caused prices to rise. Still, prices in the area are still more affordable than many parts of the country, and San Antonio real estate investors can pick up homes in blue collar areas of the city for $70,000 or so that will produce 12% ROI, such as this one:

Excellent investment with tremendous potential. 307 Golodrina Ave., 3 beds 2 bath, 1370 sqft. Lot size: .11 acres, estimated rehab to make new and flip 50K, Max ARV: 169k, asking price: 75K.

Max ARV: $169k
Asking Price: $75,000

Exit strategy: Recommended exit strategy with 20K rehab: 5-10K down payment, sales price: 129K, $1,295.00 PI/TI 30 year amortization, 10% interest or rent $1200 monthly.

The San Antonio area’s inventory of homes on the market, which is measured by the time it takes for a house to be sold if no new homes go on the market, was 3.3 months, which is very tight. The record low was December 2017 at 3.1 months. An inventory of six months shows a balance between sellers and buyers. The last time the San Antonio market was balanced was Nov. 2012.

Interestingly, the San Antonio real estate market has continued to get stronger even as interest rates rise. The national average for a 30 yar loan fixed is around 4.5%, which is nearly 1% higher than early 2017. Still, interest rates are historically low, and the economy is strong, so people’s rising wages may be helping them to deal with the the higher debt costs.

How to Buy Your First Investment Home

Real estate often produces many wealthy people, so there are many reasons to consider buying an investment home. But like any type of major investment, you are wise to understand the subject well before you put your money on the line. With the information below, you will be better prepared to buy your first investment property in San Antonio.

#1 Make Sure You Can Handle It

One of the biggest parts of owning investment property is dealing with its daily headaches, which include plenty of repairs. Do you know how to repair things? Do you enjoy using tools? If not, you can always pay others to handle your repairs, and/or give the responsibility to property managers. But you will have lower profits that way.

Many property owners with a few properties may do their own repairs, but if you do not want to spend your time on this, you may not want to be a landlord.

Many new landlords discover they do not enjoy maintaining properties, so be sure this is something you want to do before you spend a dime.

#2 Pay Down Personal Debt

Some experienced investors may have debt as part of their overall portfolio. But many experts say the novice should get into investment homes with as little debt as they can. If you have student loans, car loans and credit card debt, you may want to pay that down before you start to take on other major obligations.

#3 Have Cash Available

First of all, getting an San Antonio investment home in 2018 will usually require you to put down a larger down payment than you do with a personal residence. You often need 20% down to buy many investment properties today.

One exception is the FHA loan; if you live in the investment home yourself (such as a duplex or triplex) you can get a loan with a 3.5% down payment. But most experts advise putting more money down. Plus, you should have plenty of cash in the bank if things start to go wrong with your property. You could have a major repair needed, or you may have an apartment vacant for months.

#4 Watch Out For Higher Interest Rates

Investment properties are riskier for lenders. So the interest rate on your money will be higher. This higher rate will eat into your profits, so be prepared for this.

#5 Watch Your Margins

Wall Street companies that buy distressed homes usually shoot for 5% or 7% returns because they have a lot of overhead to pay. But you should have a profit margin goal of 10%. It is wise to estimate your maintenance costs at 1% of the value of the property each year. Other costs of owning the property will be HOA fees, insurance, property taxes and various monthly costs. Also, don’t forget to account for vacancy.

#6 Beware of Fixer Uppers

It is always tempting to buy a cheap, distressed home and try to repair and flip it into a profitable investment home. But if this is your first home, you may not want to take on a headache. Unless you are hooked up with a contractor that does good work cheap, or you comfortable making major home repairs on your own, you should probably avoid a home that needs a lot of work for your first investment.

A better idea is to look for a home that is under market value in a decent area that only needs cosmetic repair.

#7 Get a Good Location

This can be easier said than done. You need to find a home with reasonable property taxes, good schools, a neighborhood with lower crime rates and a good job market. But if you find this type of neighborhood, the homes there could be beyond your budget. This could tempt you into buying cheaper homes in bad neighborhoods. This isn’t always a failure, but it is definitely riskier. When you buy homes in worse neighborhoods, you will have more problems with crime, repairs, tenants, etc.

#8 Determine Operating Expenses

The operating expenses on your property will probably be between 35% and 80% of the total income on the property. If you are charging $1500 for rent and your expenses are $600, this is 40%. Some investors use the 50% rule. This means if you charge $2000 for rent, expect $1000 per month in expenses.

The bottom line on your first investment home is that it can be a great thing if you do your homework. But if you do not really understand what you are doing, your first investment property can end up costing you money. So be sure that you buy the right home at the right price and have determined your budget and operating expenses as realistically and accurately as possible.

 

 

 

Why Seller Financing Often Makes Sense in San Antonio

As a successful under market value real estate investor in San Antonio, I own plenty of rental properties and owner finance properties. Depending upon market conditions, I may do one investment property type more often than the other, but I will always strongly believe in the San Antonio owner finance market as a way to grow your wealth.

Some real estate investors are afraid of owner financing a property. Why would you want to be the bank? Most investors want to put down 20% on a property and rent it out. Or they want to flip the house and move on to the next real estate investment deal. But there is a lot of money to be made by owning the property in cash and owner financing it. You also can have a mortgage on the home and do a wraparound mortgage as well as you like, but that is a topic for another blog post.

The major benefit of owner financing a property is that you enjoy having checks mailed to you each month for the mortgage payments, and you do not have to do anything else. Owner financed property is a nice fit for the weary landlord, tired of the repairs and hassles of rental property. That is a major reason why owner financed houses in San Antonio became my favorite way to invest.

Offering seller financing on a fixer upper will open up many opportunities to make a lot of money with your investments. Many potential buyers of a home do not qualify for a traditional mortgage. In San Antonio, we have millions of Hispanic renters who want to own their own home. But they have bad credit or no credit; many deal only in cash. These potential buyers need someone to give them financing if they are ever going to buy. This is a great opportunity for you to make a good ROI on your home.  You can ask a higher price for the home and get a good rate of return.

For example, check out the following San Antonio property:

Booming south side market, 318 Elks Dr. San Antonio Texas 78211, lot size: .12 acres, 3 beds 1 bath, estimated rehab 7K, paint interior/exterior, plumbing/electrical up to code, Max ARV: 85K, Asking Price: 49K, sold comps are excellent in this neighborhood.

Max ARV: $85,000
Asking Price: $49,000

Exit strategy: owner finance, 5k down payment, 85K sales price, $850 monthly PI/TI, 30 year amortization, 10% interest or rent $850 monthly.

This home is $49k and needs only $7k of rehab to sell it, in my opinion. Thus you are in at $66,000 and can sell it for $85,000 (ARV) and charge 10% interest and make $850 per month.

Those terms are pretty typical for this type of house, but as the bank, you can charge whatever you want. If you ask too much, you may take months to sell it. But if you negotiate lower terms, you can sell it faster.

I strongly recommend as a real estate investor having at least some of your real estate portfolio as owner financed properties, especially in San Antonio.

San Antonio Real Estate Investing Random Thoughts 2018

I started investing in under market value real estate in 2001. It was a rough experience at first. With more than $40,000 of college loan debt and not much cash, I struggled to get going in real estate. First, I tried to invest in Boston, where I attended college. Of course, prices there were out of sight. I came back home to Texas, and tried Austin. Still, even back in 2001, prices in Austin were too high for a guy with only $10,000 or so to invest.

Eventually, I migrated south to San Antonio. In those early days, I was able to find undermarket value properties for $20,000 in acceptable areas where I could get decent renters. That is how I made my investing home in San Antonio.

These days, prices are much higher, but there are still good deals out for real estate investors in 2018, if you have reasonable expectations. You will have tough sledding if you want to get a house in 78201 for .50 on the dollar. Today, I’m generally able to get houses at .70 on the dollar. The market is strong and economy is doing well. There is a lot of competition and prices are higher.

I have found that investing in San Antonio fixer uppers has not been too risky. The demand for affordable homes here is strong, and the economy is good. The biggest thing to remember is to not pay too much for the property. But as I said, don’t expect to get a house for .50 on the dollar unless it’s in a real hell hole. It is not 2009 anymore!

Many of my recent real estate investors have come from the California and Austin markets. Those are much more expensive than San Antonio. Even with the higher prices in the $50,000 to $70,000 range in San Antonio for my houses, you still can earn a 10-12% return on buy and holds. This is a very solid return and is mostly what I have made over the years.

If you have $50,000 or $75,000 available, San Antonio real estate can definitely make a great return for you. I strongly encourage people to consider investing in under market value real estate here, in addition to their stock portfolio.

Thinking of Buying Investment Property? New Tax Law Makes It Time To Buy

The Tax Cuts and Jobs Act was passed through Congress very quickly at the end of last year. The law, which affects the tax returns we file for 2018 through 2025, has several parts that may make it more profitable to be a real estate investor in San Antonio and in many areaas.

The tax law offers benefits especially for landlords who are working as LLCs. It allows these landlords to pay less tax on their income, which will lower the rate. To take full advantage of this, you must file as an LLC when you buy investment properties and start to rent them. Here is more information about this tax benefit:

  • LLCs will be able to deduct 20% of their qualified business income. This means if you are a real estate investor as an LLC, you could be able to pay taxes on only 80% of what you are earning from rents.
  • LLCs are what are known as pass through entities. This means the income that you get from the LLC will flow directly to your personal tax return. If you are in the 37% federal tax bracket and have rental property income, you will now pay 29.6% because of this new 20% rule. The tax rate was not dropped for LLCs, but the end result is lower taxes for landlords who run their business this way.

Next, you could enjoy more demand for your rental investment properties. This is because some financial experts think fewer people will buy their own homes. People who are not sure about buying may rent longer. Here are three tax changes that could increase demand for your rental properties:

  • Standard deduction was hiked: The new law doubles the standard deduction to $24,000 for married couples filing jointly and $12,000 for an individual. This means fewer people will save money through itemizing. One of the big reasons people buy homes is gone for many folks.
  • New limit on local and state property tax deductions: A homeowner can deduct their state and real estate taxes on their federal income tax return. The new tax law states the deduction is limited to $10,000. So one major cost of ownership of a home went up for some peopole.
  • Limit on mortgage interest deductions: The tax law lets homeowners write off interest on mortgages up to $750,000. This is a decrease of $250,000 from the old law. People who wanted to upgrade to homes worth more than $750,000 might now think twice. So the supply of cheaper homes could be smaller. This may cause some people to rent homes longer.

Lower demand could cause lower home prices, which can be a boon for real estate investors. If you have thought about buying market value or under market value investment property, 2018 could be a great time!

San Antonio Housing Market Still Booming in September 2017

Home sales continue to climb in San Antonio and are staying on track for another strong, record-breaking year even though there are fewer homes available on the market.

In August, there were nearly 3,000 homes sold in San Antonio, for a 2.3% increase from 2016. The total number of homes sold for 2017 are 20,867, which is 4.3% above last year at this time. Experts believe that the market is going to break the previous record when almost 30,000 homes were sold in a year.

The median home price in San Antonio is up 3.1% in August to $218,400. This is the fourth highest median price ever in the San Antonio market. Local home prices are shooting higher as there is a shortage of construction workers and more housing demand caused by the growing population in San Antonio.

It is true that housing prices are going up in San Antonio. Still, I am finding plenty of under market value, San Antonio investment properties available for my portfolio. Blue collar workers flocking to San Antonio for jobs need houses to buy with owner financing or to rent, so my business is still doing well.

San Antonio generally is still a good place to invest in under market value, high ROI investment properties, even if prices are higher than 2010. The strong, growing population and low unemployment rate indicate that this is a growing, robust economy with little signs of slowing down.

I am seeing more accredited and non-accredited investors with solo 401ks and self directed IRAs buying investment properties in San Antonio for their portfolios.  Below is a great under market value property that will see major appreciation in the next five years.

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Potential more than 40K in profit on this investment. 1614 Alametos, San Antonio, Texas 78201. Excellent location, just north of downtown with a short distance to the river walk and the new San Pedro creek river walk extension (multi-billion dollar inner city revitalization project).

Properties in this location are expected to appreciate by more than 50% in value over the next two to three years. 1614 Alametos has a large back yard with shady trees. Currently the property is set-up as 2 bedrooms and 1 bathroom with a large patio in the back of the house. To get the maximum value out of this property and location, another bedroom and bathroom should be added. Estimated repairs: $65K with purchase price: $69K. Max After Repair Value: $199K.

Note: 1622 Alametos just down the street was sold to an investor in 2015 for $65,000. With $15,000 of rehab, the property was sold for $99,000 with owner financing for a 13% ROI. Home was sold within one week.

Price: $69,000

Exit Strategy: Buy, Rehab and Hold this San Antonio investment property.

How an Investor Can Make 13% ROI in Their 401 or IRA Retirement Portfolio

Many people today are worried about saving enough money for retirement. If you are going to rely on the stock market to ensure that you can live comfortably in 10, 20 or 30 years, I understand why you may be nervous. While the historical returns of the stock market may be in the 8% range, there is no doubt that some years, the return is much less. If you are planning to retire in a few years and the market dives, you may find yourself not retiring at all.

I know someone who planned to retire in 2007 and live comfortably. After the market crashed, he had to go back to work for another five years.

The good news is that you can make a reliable 10% or even 15% ROI per year if you purchase under market value real estate investments. I have made a fortune with San Antonio investment properties over the years.

A popular way to make money for retirement today is to invest in under market value real estate in San Antonio in a solo 401k or self directed IRA. These funds can grow tax deferred over time, and you can often make an excellent rate of return.

Even after you technically retire, you still can invest in under market value real estate and enjoy cash flow. It may not be tax deferred any more, but you can still enjoy positive cash flow. Meanwhile, your friends and relatives are living off their retirement savings accounts based upon the stock market, which frequently dwindle over time.

Below is a great example of what you can do with an under market value investment property with a solo 401k or self directed IRA.

new front
$65,000 cash price, $15,000 rehab, resold for $99,900 owner finance, $1041 per month, 7 DOM, 12.9% ROI.

Still, we have CA investors coming into our fine city and buying property investment homes and making 12-13% ROI annually, with no property maintenance.

This San Antonio investment property was purchased by a CA cash buyer in July 2015 at 1622 Alametos St. This house is in 78201, and is north of downtown. This region is seeing rapid growth and appreciation.

The bottom line on this property was with only $10,000 of rehab, it was sold with owner financing at $99,900 in only a week after it was rehabbed. Here are the numbers:

  • $1041 per month
  • 30 year note
  • 10% interest rate
  • $5000 down payment
  • $99,900 final price
  • $216/mo. taxes/insurance

The total return on this San Antonio investment property was 13% per year.  That money is being returned to the investor’s solo 401k account each month, and he will use that money to eventually invest in more San Antonio investment properties.

This is what you can do with investing in real estate properties from within a solo 401k or self-directed IRA. Whether you are an accredited investor or a non accredited investor, this can be a great financial move.

Now Is a Great Time for Cash Flow AND Appreciation in San Antonio

When I first started investing in San Antonio TX in under market value properties, I did not typically see a lot of appreciation on my properties. Most of the San Antonio fixer uppers I invested in saw appreciation in the range of 2-3% or maybe 5% per year maximum.

But that was more than 15 years ago since I started to invest here, having financially retired nearly 10 years ago. Today, I am seeing more possibilities to both enjoy appreciation AND cash flow on under market value fixer uppers in San Antonio.

Today, there is a general affordable housing shortage in San Antonio. It is harder for lower income renters and home buyers to find places to live. This is creating real opportunities for real estate investors in Texas. Also, we are seeing major investment into San Antonio in the downtown area. This is coming from the state and city government, and also out of state and even out of country investors.

For example, the Pearl Brewery off of 281 near downtown was a real hellhole in 2008. It was abandoned, run down and not somewhere you would either want to live or invest. However, an outside investor poured nearly a billion dollars into the Pearl Brewery complex. Today, it is the second hottest tourist attraction in San Antonio, after the downtown Riverwalk. It is full of nice hotels, chic restaurants, and bars, and is a general great hangout spot for San Antonians and tourists alike. Very expensive townhomes of $500,000 and up also are being built around the Pearl complex.

There is plenty of other development occurring in San Antonio that is leading to good appreciation and cash flow potential for affordable home investors. For example, the area north of downtown, not far from the Riverwalk, is also near the new San Pedro creek extension. The city is pouring billions of dollars into this area. Properties located in this region are believed to be poised for appreciation of 50% or more in the next three years.

I have a property at 1614 Alametos 78201 that will return the investor at least $900 per month in rent, and with a potential ARV of $199,000. That is some serious appreciation for a home that is worth $69,000 today.

We also had a property on 1622 Alametos that we sold in 2015 for $65,000. The investor put $15,000 into it, and sold it with owner financing for $99,000. Today, that home is easily worth $115,000.

So, I recommend buying certain homes in San Antonio today in areas where the city is investing money. You should see substantial appreciation and good cash flow.

Homes in Southern California See Near All-Time Price Highs

Southern California home sales dropped 5% in May 2017, yet home prices have still hit a record high in that areas.

According to recent real estate research in California, approximately 8.5% fewer homes were sold in Los Angeles County since March 2017, but home prices are still at a near-record high average of $485,000. This is almost as high as the all-time high of $500,000 in 2007.

Southern California is hardly the only part of the state where real estate prices are testing the ability of workers, families and real estate investors to afford homes. Prices in May 2017 in California hit a record high in Orange County, California, and San Diego County, California.

Also, Forbes reports that the San Francisco, California area is seeing soaring median home prices. Around San Jose, Sunnyvale, and Santa Clara, the median home price topped $1 million in the first quarter of 2017. It was just $535,000 a year ago.

Why the Rise in Home Prices in California? 

The biggest reason this is happening is not enough homes are being built in much of California’s major metro areas to meet booming demand. This is because it is harder to get building permits in much of California.

On the other hand, Texas has a very liberal policy on building new homes. Both states feature cities with high job growth; San Francisco and Oakland added 356,000 new jobs in 2016, and in Dallas, there wee 413,000 new jobs added in the same period. But in San Francisco, only 20,400 new homes were built, and there were 120,000 new ones built in Dallas.

This difference in building permit policy has had various effects. Homeowners in Calfornia are enjoying huge increased in property values, which is great for them to pull out cash and invest in real estate. But for people who want to buy, it is extremely difficult to buy in current circumstances. Many home buyers and real estate investors are priced out of the market.

In areas such as San Antonio, Texas, prices only have doubled in the last 20 years or so, but many more people can afford to buy a home for themselves or for real estate investments.

As home prices in California have soared, we have seen increasing demand for under market value real estate investments in San Antonio. Investors want to see high-ROI investment opportunities in Texas. Many affordable homes are available in San Antonio for under $60,000 wholesale. With $20,000 in rehab, the home can be rented for $800 per month. That is the type of positive cash flow that many California real estate investors want to see.

 

Strong Demand for Affordable Rental Properties Should Attract New San Antonio Investors

As the economic recovery gathers steam, many real estate investors in Texas are finding that there is even stronger demand today for affordable rental properties than a few years ago.

The San Antonio economy is doing well with low unemployment rates, rising wages and a growing population.  But there are signs that the prices of new and existing homes in San Antonio are taxing the budgets of middle-class families. Many of them have good incomes, but may not be able to afford rising home prices and down payments.

Last month, the National Association of Realtors stated that the sales of existing homes in San Antonio dropped 2.3% in April 2017. Prices have continued to surge, and sometimes multiple offers are coming in on some affordable homes.

The increase in prices in the last few years of existing homes has somewhat exceeded the rise in wages. So, how is this good news for investors?

Well, investors interested in buy and hold properties and high ROI investment properties in Texas should strongly focus on rehabbing under market value properties and renting them out.

There are plenty of San Antonio families who have enough cash to pay for a rental deposit and $1000 per month in rent, but lack the down payment or income to qualify for a mortgage. In our owner finance market, we are seeing many people who have the income to afford the mortgage payment, but simply lack the cash for the down payment.

This means there is a serious opportunity for the rental property buy and hold investor. Also, with San Antonio properties increasing substantially in value, the buy and hold rental property investor will have a serious chance to increase their equity.

Here is a really nice buy and hold rental property deal I am featuring:

Address: 106 and 110 Dewitt, San Antonio Texas, 78210

Description: Location Location, just south of downtown, short distance to the river walk and the new San Pedro creek river walk extension project (multi-billion dollar inner city revitalization): properties are going to double in value in the next 5 years. Both homes need to be converted into 3 beds 1 bath: estimated repairs for both projects: 80K-40K each, purchase price for both investments: 80K, Max After Repair Value: 119K each or 230K for both, Package deal.

Price: $80,000 cash

Exit Strategy: I recommend buy/remodel/rent then resale in 5 years

The under market value San Antonio investor can buy both for $80k and rehab each one for $40k each. You should be able to rent each property for more than $1000 each. And the increase in equity due to their location will make this a very high ROI investment opportunity.