How I Buy Investment Properties in Texas Below Market Value

I financially retired at 28 with more than $20,000 per month in cash flow. The most important factor in my success in buying the best San Antonio investment property is every house I buy is under market value. That is, I buy under market value properties that require rehab. It also helps that I invest in one of the best cities to invest in real estate.

I have more than 50 buy and hold, owner finance properties that I own in cash that I purchased under market value between 2001-2012.

How I Determine Market Value

One of the biggest reasons I became a real estate agent was so I could determine market value of the best below market value San Antonio investment property on my own. It is never a good idea to use Zillow to determine market value of a property. Zillow is notoriously off base, especially when you are dealing with off market properties or an out of state investment property that are not in the MLS.

Also, bear carefully in mind that the value that you come up with will largely depend upon the repairs your under market value properties need. I like to buy properties that are at least 20% under market value. So if the house is worth $90,000 and needs $25,000 in rehab, buying the house at $115,000 is a waste of time and money. I will not make any money. I want to buy that house for at least 20% under $90,000, or about $72,000, so I can make a good profit.

How I Buy Under Market Value Properties

There are several ways that I use to buy under market value properties in San Antonio TX:

  • Buying fair market sale houses: These are houses that are owned by a private person who has equity in the house and there is no bank involved. Most of these sellers are in no rush to sell, so this can be tough. But I have bought many under market value properties in estate sales; that is where I get the bulk of my deals. Often times, there are several children involved and they just want to be rid of the house that needs repair.
  • Buy off market properties: Given my level of success in real estate investing, I tend to find many good deals that are not in the MLS. Agents and investors in the business send me below market value deals. Of course, you need to get experience in the business to work this way, but know that if you do become successful, good deals often find you. I have many of my below market value properties for sale on this website that will make you a good profit.
  • Buy REOs under market value: These are Real Estate Owned properties, and these are houses that the banks have foreclosed on. REOs are usually in the MLS, and some of them will be repaired and some will not. Of course, REOs are tougher to find now and many of them need a lot of work. To make your offer more attractive, you may want to tell the seller you don’t need to do an inspection. Pay all cash if you can – cash is king!
  • However you buy your under market value investment property or out of state investment property, do not spend too much money on the rehab. Rehabs are where many investors lose their rears. Spend too much on your rehab and you will never make any money. I own a construction company and I am able to do rehabs for 50% less than most contractors on the best San Antonio investment properties.

That in short is how I buy below market value properties in Texas. The big thing to remember is to stick to your guns on your numbers – if you need to buy that house 20% under market value to make money, don’t go over it. Move on to the next under market value property deal if you have to – there are lots of them out there!

Why You Should Ignore Popular Advice About Real Estate Investing

This article now appears on Inman News.

  Key Takeaways

  • Ignore what your eyes tell you about property’s appearance: study the numbers, cost of repairs and the area.
  • Pay 20 percent to 30 percent under market value or move on to another deal.
  • Buying in poorer areas means less competition for the deal, and it could make you 12 percent ROI or better.

There are so many myths out there about purchasing distressed properties in what people often call “problem” neighborhoods. Raise your hand if you ever heard this before: “Don’t ever buy a real estate investment in a bad neighborhood.”

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I hear it all the time. It’s baloney. Many of the best San Antonio investment properties are in so-so areaa.

If you just trust your eyes and only buy in nice areas, your chances for making money are slim. For instance, a major real estate investing company is a perfectly good organization that focuses on selling rental properties and related training.

In a recent blog, however, the company said this: “The whole idea of buying property for investment is to buy in hot or an up-and-coming neighborhood. Don’t waste your time or money investing in a property located in a poor or declining area.”

It is correct in the sense that you should definitely buy in an up-and-coming neighborhood. I do that all the time when I buy under-market value houses in San Antonio.

I study the market and find the neighborhood near a hot area that I think is going to get hot next, and I snatch up $40,000 houses for cash before they go up to $80,000. I make 10 percent to 15 percent a year on most of these best San Antonio investment properties.

However, the rest of the quote is questionable: “The whole idea of buying property for investment is to buy in hot or an up-and-coming neighborhood.” If this means paying anywhere near market value, I don’t agree at all. That’s how investors end up making zero cash flow.

I will buy a 20 percent to 30 percent under-market-value house in a hot, affordable neighborhood (under $80,000 wholesale is my strategy). That makes a lot of sense. That type of deal will produce excellent, positive cash flow if you don’t over rehab.

For example, a California investor bought this three-bedroom, one-and-a-half bathroom house in a rising area north of downtown San Antonio:

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The investor bought it from me for $62,000 — approximately 30 percent under market value — and did $10,000 in repairs. He resold it with seller financing with $5,000 down, $89,900 price, $937 per month property, taxes and insurance (PITI). That’s 12 percent ROI.

This company might consider this a poor neighborhood, but my investor doesn’t have to repair the house, and he makes 12 percent on his money. What a great out of state real estate investment.

“Don’t waste your time or money investing in a property located in a poor or declining area.” I don’t buy in declining areas, but what defines a poor area?

Does that include households that make $2,500 or $3,000 per month? That’s 90 percent of the owner-finance buyers that helped me to financially retire before I was 30 on distressed sales.

The majority of the neighborhoods that I invest in are considered poor areas, but they are on the way up, as the city is pouring revitalization dollars into parks, green space, walking paths and more.

For instance, this three-bedroom, one-bathroom home west of downtown is in a so-so area:

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Sure, it’s not pretty, but smart investors ignore what their eyes tell them and study the numbers, the nature of the repairs and the area. The repairs on this house to resell it were minor, and the nearby area has seen millions and millions of dollars in new construction and city funding.

The investor purchased it from me for $29,900 — about 30 percent under market value. After $7,000 for paint inside and out, foundation repair and clean up, it sold with seller financing for $5,000 down, $55,000, $550 per month PITI. That’s 11 percent ROI.

And this is in an area that most investors would consider poor. It is, however, on the way up.

Of course, you cannot simply go into any poor area and start buying cheap, distressed sales with positive cash flow. That’s also a path to ruin. But if you only purchase investment properties in nicer areas, you will be fighting a lot of investors for any of the few deals that generate cash flow. That drives prices up to market value and beyond, and you can kiss your profits good bye.

Invest in distressed, fixer upper homes or under market-value properties for true positive cash flow, but be certain to:

  • Carefully study the market to learn which area is near a hot area and will likely go up in value in the next year.
  • Get the property for at least 20 percent under market value to leave room for a profit of at least 25 percent on a flip and 10 percent ROI on a buy-and-hold.
  • Buy out of state investment properties in areas that are less expensive, especially in B and C neighborhoods.
  • Owner finance the property to a qualified buyer — save yourself thousands in rehab costs. Do enough to sell the house and leave the rest to the new owner.

If you invest carefully in properties in poor or bad areas, you will end up with cash flow that all the poser investors simply dream of.