How To Do Only $5,000 In Repairs on a San Antonio Fixer Upper

One of the challenges of being a real estate investor is how to do investment property repairs affordably without going over budget. If you spend too much on your investment property repairs, you can lose all profit in your deal.

I have done many San Antonio property rehabs in the last 16 years. Some of them cost $10,000, $20,000, $30,000 and more. Those were rental properties, and while I was still able to make a positive ROI on most of those deals, I prefer when I can to limit the repairs on San Antonio investment properties to $5000 or so.

How do I limit repairs on an investment property to $5000, you ask?

Simple. I do not rent the property out. Renting out the property means you have to do extensive repairs of $15,000 or more and have the property inspected by the city in most cases. Spending that much on rehabs makes it harder for me to make money. Another problem with extensive repairs on investment properties these days is construction costs have shot up in San Antonio in the last 24 months.

So, rather than renting the home, I sell the property with owner financing to a blue collar family with a job but no credit. I get $5000 down, 10% interest, and a payment ranging from $695 to $995 per month usually.

The family usually have home repair skills, so they see it as a good deal to buy a fixer upper in San Antonio and perform much of the repairs themselves.

Basically, I just spend $5000 to do inside and outside paint, minor plumbing and electrical, clean up the lawn and get rid of junk. Then I sell it with owner financing. Buy and hold with owner financing is my preferred exit strategy. It allows me to increase my ROI and not have to maintain San Antonio investment properties.

Another advantage I have is that I own a construction company, so I am able to do repairs on San Antonio investment properties very affordably.

Below is a nice under market value San Antonio investment property deal that is great for an owner finance strategy:

  • Address: 1319 S Hamilton St., San Antonio, TX 78207
  • Year Built: 1956
  • Description: San Antonio buy and hold investors and real estate investors  – Another Major cash flow opportunity, 30% instant equity under market value, almost cute cottage, needs minor help, booming San Antonio Market West of Downtown,  2 beds, 1 bath, 616 sqft, lot size: .05 acres, estimated repairs: 5K, clean/lawn maintenance/interior paint/front paint. Max After Repair Value: 69K
  • Cash Price on San Antonio Fixer Upper:  $42,000 CASH ONLY
  • Exit Strategy: Owner Finance with 5k in repairs: 5Kdown payment, $695.00 monthly PI/TI, 30 year amortization, 10% interest, Sales Price: 69K, see attached sold/rental comparables.
  • Sold and Rental Comps: Sold Comps 1301 S Hamiltonrental comps 1301 s hamilton
  • For more information, please contact us. 

What Will Donald Trump Mean for San Antonio Real Estate Investing in 2017?

As a real estate investor in San Antonio, I am well aware over the years of how much uncertainty a presidential election can have on the financial markets generally, and real estate specifically.

Now that Donald Trump has been elected president of the United States, many investors in San Antonio are wondering if his election will be good, bad, or somewhere in the middle for San Antonio investment properties.

Well, I can only speak for myself when it comes to the national economy and the real estate investing market, but I think that much of the ‘economic recovery’ in the last eight years has left behind a lot of the investing class and many middle class Americans.

Many of us believe that the Federal Reserve’s monetary policies have led to many in the middle class feeling inflation, little wage growth and while unemployment is low, many Americans are underworked and are making due with part time jobs to make ends meet.

I think that with Trump in charge, who obviously is a highly experienced real estate investor himself, we are likely to see more economic expansion with infrastructure investments. He also may use debt to encourage growth and will try to lower taxes for the middle class and higher earners, who provide much of the financing for job growth.

It also seems possible that he will reduce regulations in Dodd Frank and make it easier for small investors to borrow money.

Hopefully, a Trump administration will encourage stronger economic growth and greater confidence in the real estate investing markets than we have seen since 2009.

I do know that we have seen a slight drop in San Antonio real estate investment prices in the last six months, prior to Trump being elected.

I do think that with the lower real estate property prices, this is a good time to move into buy and hold real estate investing in San Antonio. Prices are lower, interest rates are still low, and the unemployment rate in San Antonio is very low. There is a strong rental and buyer market here for sure.

Here is a great under market value fixer upper that will be a great addition to your real estate investing portfolio:



  • Address: 8013 FM 1518, Somerset, TX 78069
  • Year Built: 1955
  • Description: Tremendous cash flow investment opportunity in South San Antonio suburb, excellent school district and low crime rating, 3 beds 2 bath San Antonio investment property under market value, 2150 sqft, land: .16 acres, built: 1955, tax value: 84.9K, yearly taxes: $2,400.00, estimated yearly insurance: $1,000.00, Estimated Repairs:10K, ARV:79-89K
  • Cash Price on San Antonio Fixer Upper:  $49,000
  • Exit Strategy: Owner Finance with 10K in repairs: then resell with: 5K-10K down, $895 monthly PI/TI, 30 year amortization, 10 % interest, Sales Price 89K.


How To Financially Retire on $20,000 ‘Junk Houses’ With Minimal Repairs

Many of our top investors in San Antonio have been buying and selling under market value San Antonio properties since 2001. The majority of my portfolio are properties that are $20,000 to $40,000. When I first started out, I was able to pick up many $20,000 homes in San Antonio and surrounding areas.

For the first few years, I would repair these San Antonio fixer uppers and then rent them out. That would net me in the area of 10% per year and it was fine.

But at one point, some of our investors owned more than 100 rental properties, and all of the repairs were stressful and really started to eat into my bottom line. It was in 2007 or so when one of my mentors advised me to stop fixing up these San Antonio under market value properties and renting them out.

Now, I will usually just buy $20,000 San Antonio investment properties, and do a brief clean up for a few thousand dollars, if that, and then owner finance it to a qualified buyer.

I have learned how to qualify buyers carefully; most of them are blue collar hispanic workers who have a good job and earn $3000 a month or more. I get a $5000 down payment from them, and charge 10% interest. They usually do not have good credit, but as long as they have a steady job, most of my buyers end up paying me on time for years.

I like to deal with cheap, under market value San Antonio houses for $20,000 or so and leave most of the repair to the owner finance buyer. This may not be the most obvious source of regular cash flow; most investors think they have to rent out properties and be a landlord.

I definitely prefer to just do buy and hold real estate with these fixer uppers with owner financing. Here’s a great one for just $18,000 and it needs no repairs:


    • Address: 308 Strong Ave, Ballinger TX 76821
    • Year Built: 1900
    • Description:  Texas fixer upper cash flow king – 3 beds 1 bath, 1300 sqft, ¼ acre lot, yearly taxes: $500, yearly insurance: $500,
    • Estimated Repairs: NONE – Resell AS IS.
    • Cash Price: $18,000
    • Exit Strategy: Owner Finance this buy and hold under market value property with ZERO repairs: 2k down, $395.00 monthly P/I, 30 year amortization, 10% interest, Price: 39k. Strong demand for affordable houses under $500 per month here.

A Different Take on Buying and Holding Investment Properties Successfully

A lot of investors in San Antonio do a lot of flipping properties. Flipping homes has worked well for me in some cases in the last 15 years, but flipping San Antonio houses in the under $75,000 range can be challenging.

I deal mostly in affordable San Antonio properties, and with prices going up and construction costs going up, I have found that turning a profit of more than $3000 on a six month flip has been difficult.

Over the long term, I have been a big believe in buying and holding real estate – getting rich slowly rather than quickly. Taking a slower approach to getting wealthy in real estate might not be what you see on TV, but I think buying and holding San Antonio investment property is the key to long term wealth building, more than flips.

What Is Your Exit Strategy? 

Most of my under market value properties were bought under market value in San Antonio for $25,000 to $75,000. I usually buy and hold them for more than 10 years. Some of my properties I have held for 15 years!

Generally, I buy my houses in cash, do a few thousand in repairs, and then owner finance the homes instead of renting them out. With owner financing, I get a steady $500-$800 per month in cash flow and I have to do no repairs on the home once I have sold it.

Many buy and hold investors only consider renting out the property, and while I do have some rentals, I will usually prefer to owner finance them.

I also recommend San Antonio owner financing properties for the investor who still has a full time job. You don’t have to concern yourself with fixing leaking roofs or water heaters. The new property owner takes care of it and just pays you each month.

While I buy my homes in cash, you can get a mortgage on an investment property that is in decent condition, and then owner finance it just as you would if you bought it cash. This is called a wrap around mortgage. This is an option for people who do not have the cash to buy a bunch of houses for all cash. As long as you are able to clear $300 or so on the property, this can make sense.

The home I have for sale below would work great as an owner financed property to make you 11% or so per month with no repairs.

Only $5000 in repairs to get it sold.


  • Address: 127 Hopkins St. San Antonio, TX 78221
  • Year Built: 1972
  • Description:  Location Location! Very popular neighborhood with extra-large back yard south of downtown. This is a high ROI, under market value San Antonio investment property ! – 3 beds 1 bath, 850 sqft, built: 1972, Lot Size: .16 acres, Yearly taxes: $1,052.00, Estimated yearly insurance $600.00, Estimated repairs: 5K, landscape tree removal, trash removal interior/exterior. ARV: 69.9K
  • Cash Price on San Antonio Fixer Upper:  $39,900
  • Exit Strategy: Owner Finance this San Antonio investment property with 5K in clean up: 5k down, $695.00 monthly P/I, 30 year amortization, 10% interest, Price: 69.9K.


How Pulling Cash Out of Investment Properties Can Increase Your Portfolio

If you are like many San Antoni real estate investors, you only have so much cash to invest in your buy and hold properties.

When many of our investors started out, they only had 10k or 20k or their own money.  When you have limited investment capital like that, you have a few options before you:

  • Buy under market value properties and flip them for a profit
  • Buy and hold rental properties in cash and save the cash flow to buy more
  • Buy and hold rental properties with mortgages and buy more with cash flow

Both of those options for investing in properties can work well, and I have done both. Naturally, both of those strategies have downsides:

  • Flipping properties can be challenging to do profitably in some markets. For example, in 2016, flipping affordable homes in San Antonio for significant profit is more difficult as prices have risen the last two years, and construction costs have increased with the stronger economy. Finding under-market value properties that allow a flip profit have been hard as well. That’s why some flippers i know have been doing few deals lately.
  • I believe in buying and holding properties as rentals or with owner financing for cash flow. But it obviously takes a long time to save up cash flow to buy more properties. I prefer to buy my homes with all cash and it will take a long time to save up the capital for more, but you also can buy them with 3.5% or 5% down if you can qualify for the mortgages. That way you can buy more homes faster.

Another way to build up your portfolio of under market value San Antonio fixer upper properties is this:

  • Buy your first San Antonio investment property with all cash.
  • Rent it out after you fix it, and wait a year.
  • With property values rising, you should be able to do a cash out refinance of that property and get enough cash to at least do a down payment on another property.

Note that you will need to have considerable equity in the rental property; many lenders want 80% or lower loan to value to do a refinance.

Or, consider pulling equity out of your personal residence and buying rental properties, or owner financing them. If you are getting 3-4% interest and you put that money into a property that makes you 12% or 14% per year, you really cannot go wrong. You will need to work with an expert investor to show you how to do it, and you also need to buy the right property, but this is very doable in San Antonio right now, as prices on affordable homes are often under $50,000.

Here is a nice San Antonio investment property I have right now that will return 12-14% per year:


  • Address: 127 Hopkins St. San Antonio, TX 78221
  • Year Built: 1972
  • Description:  Location Location! Very popular neighborhood with extra-large back yard south of downtown. This is a high ROI, under market value San Antonio investment property ! – 3 beds 1 bath, 850 sqft, built: 1972, Lot Size: .16 acres, Yearly taxes: $1,052.00, Estimated yearly insurance $600.00, Estimated repairs: 5K, landscape tree removal, trash removal interior/exterior. ARV: 69.9K
  • Cash Price on San Antonio Fixer Upper:  $39,900
  • Exit Strategy: Owner Finance this San Antonio investment property with 5K in clean up: 5k down, $695.00 monthly P/I, 30 year amortization, 10% interest, Price: 69.9K.

Should You Do a Cash-Out Refinance To Buy Investment Property?

Many people hear about cash out refinances that are the main residence of the borrow, and I do know many people who buy San Antonio investment properties and Austin investment properties who pull money out of their home to buy more buy and hold properties.

After all, if you are able to borrow money on your personal residence at a 3% interest rate and are confidant you can invest that money in San Antonio real estate and make 10% reliably, why wouldn’t you do it?

But another cash out refinance to consider is in your investment properties. A few years ago, these types of loans were hard to find after the crash, but now there are many mortgage lenders that offer buy and hold investment property owners the chance to use equity in their investment properties.

Many real estate investors are able to drop their interest rate when they do a cash out, which improves their cash flow too.

If you are thinking about doing a cash out refinance on investment properties to buy more, please keep these thoughts in mind:

Do You Have Equity? 

The more equity in your property, the better position you have when you get a new loan. Most lenders for Austin investment properties, San Antonio investment properties will loan up to 75% of the home’s appraised value. This is the maximum that has been set by Fannie Mae.

So before you opt for an investment property cash out refinance, you have to have good equity in the home. I think the best candidates for this rental property strategy are houses with 30-40% equity in them.

Non-Owner Occupied Cash Out Refi 2016 Rules

  • Maximum LTV is 75% for a one unit property and 70% for a 2-4 unit property.
  • If your buy and hold investment property was listed to sell in the last 1/2 year, the max LTV is 70%.
  • You also cannot do a cash out refinance on an investment property bought in the last 180 days.

Note: Cash out refinance loans on investment properties are riskier for lenders, as you are not living in the house. Expect tougher qualifications and a lot more paperwork than for your own home’s cash out refi.

Expect to need excellent credit scores and six months of cash to handle all of your mortgages.

Some lenders will not allow you to do this if you already have over four financed investment properties.

Is Cash Out Refi the Right Move for You? 

If you have equity, meet all requirements of the lender, and you think a lower interest rate will help, also keep these factors in mind:

  • Look at how much your monthly payment will go up. Can your rental income handle it, when you consider repairs and vacancies?
  • Think about if you are going to buy more rental properties. Taking on more debt could affect if you will be able to get another loan.
  • Do the terms of the refi loan make sense for your goals? Different lenders have all kinds of different terms for refinances for under market value investment properties. If you have an ARM, you want to be sure you can handle change in payment.



How Long Should I Hold My Buy and Hold Investment Property?

Many people are interested in long term buy and hold real estate investing, but some people wonder if they should sell their properties at some point. I know many buy and hold investors in San Antonio, and once in a while, one of them will call me and tell me they want to sell. I’ve picked up some nice under market value deals on some of those calls!

In any case, how long you should hold onto your real estate investment rental properties depends on many things:

  • What is happening in the market
  • Costs to maintain the properties – vacancies, taxes, insurance
  • Amount of rent you receive
  • Interest rate on loans you have, if any
  • Type of property – single family, multi family, condo

There is not any assurance that your properties will appreciate in value, but if your buy and hold properties are in decent areas, you can assume that the value will at least hold in most markets, and may increase by at least 1% per year. In San Antonio, my fixer upper investment properties typically appreciate in value by 3% per year. Their REAL value, of course, is that they generate $500-$900 per month in positive cash flow ; )

Many commercial investment property firms often look at investment properties with a five year outlook. Whether they want to develop the properties or hold them for cash flow, they want to maximize ROI for their investors quickly.

Of course, as a private, single investor, you do not have to worry about all that; you can focus on what is most important for your own portfolio of rental properties. Let’s assume in 5 years that your San Antonio investment properties are worth 10% more than today and you decide to hold onto them. If in five years you gain zero appreciation, those five years you waited would mean a worse return on investment. However, your properties were still paying you each month some amount of positive cash flow, assuming you are running your properties responsibly.

Before you actually purchase Texas investment properties, you should determine what your investing goal is and stick with it, regardless of what happens in the market:

  • Paying for major expenses: Some investors end up selling their properties to pay for college tuition. If you need cash and the only other option is taking out student loans, you may want to sell the properties regardless of what is going on in the market.
  • Second income source: You do not necessarily ever need to sell your properties – I’m certainly not ever selling mine. Investment properties give me residual income and have for 15 years. Also, my properties can be depreciated for 27.5 years and that cuts my tax burden.
  • Maximize return ASAP: This means you are flipping investment properties. Flipping properties is more difficult in an appreciating market, as you need to find under market value properties and this can be tough. Flipping works best in a depreciating market.


Why Some Investors Are Flipping in Austin and Buying and Holding in San Antonio

Forbes magazine recently had another one of its Best Real Estate Investing Cities list, and Texas did very well. Austin was listed as the #1 city to invest in, and San Antonio real estate investing came in at #3. Houston, Dallas and Ft. Worth also made the top 10 list.

Some real estate investors have been pulling out of the Austin market, however, due to the high costs of real estate there. Forbes magazine gives us a clue why: The gross metro product for that city grew 24% from 2011 until the end of 2015, but houses there appreciated by 34%. 

Meanwhile, the average home price in Austin was $334,000 in 2015. So clearly real estate prices are seriously on the rise in Austin. That’s why many investors call me up and are looking for San Antonio investment properties. San Antonio real estate properties are much cheaper; you still can buy a good affordable fixer upper in San Antonio for $45k to $50k.  And the average home price here is about $210,000.

Given how much cheaper houses are here, there is lots of interest in San Antonio investment properties. However, you should note that days on market is longer in San Antonio than Austin. So what some investors who are interested in flipping under market value properties are doing is doing a flip or two in Austin and then doing buy and hold in San Antonio.

As a San Antonio property wholesaler, I have flipped many properties in San Antonio TX over the years, but in this current market, we are seeing profits on our flips of $7k to $10k. And days on market can be 90 or 120 days. For that reason, I am not strongly seeking out fix and flip investors at this time. I will do them for the right property and right investor, especially if the investor has the cash to do 4-5 at once. That way, both of us can make a good profit. Also, if you are a patient investor, then a San Antonio flip can work well. Just do not expect a house to sell in 20 days like in Austin.

I think the flipping market will get better in San Antonio once the market slows down in the next year or two.

So I have some investors flipping in Austin, and once they have 100k or 200k, they buy and hold in San Antonio with one of our $50k San Antonio fixer uppers:


    • Address: 1723 W Ashby Pl  San Antonio, TX 78201.
    • Year Built: 1925
    • Description:  Under market value property, investors dream north of downtown, 3 beds 1 bath, 1000 sqft, built: 1925, lot size: .19 acres, yearly taxes: $1,700.00, estimated yearly insurance: $800.00; estimated repairs: 50k in repairs to flip, includes new HVAC, updated kitchen/bath, flooring, paint in/out, exterior skirt, appliances, plumbing/electric up to code, paint out door storage exterior, trash, lawn maintenance.
    • Max After Repair Value: $125,000.00
    • Cash Price: $65,000.
    • Exit Strategy: Owner Finance with 35K repairs: 5-10k down or more, ~$1295.00 monthly P/I, 30 year amortization, 10% interest.
    • Or 15K rehab, new HVAC, paint in/out, kitchen/bath repairs,  then FSBO at 105K, 10% interest, $1095 monthly PI/TI, 30 year amortization.
    • Alternate Exit Strategy: Flip with $50k in repairs. $8000 to $10000 profit.

I made the vast majority of my money in San Antonio real estate investing in buy and hold over the long term. Buy and hold in San Antonio is always a good deal because affordable homes seldom rise above 75k.



Why Our Investors Still Buy In San Antonio

I advertise a lot online and on Craig’s List to find new cash buyers out of state for our San Antonio investment properties and San Antonio turnkey properties.

I want out of state property investors to know they are dealing with a serious San Antonio real estate investor and operator in me. I know what I am doing and I have a long track record that proves it.

Sometimes, however, I get silly responses from some of my ads from negative, bitter types who don’t like my San Antonio real estate investing. Usually they are failed real estate investors, in my experience, and they’re jaded and cynical. Here’s the most common silly email I get:

Negative Type: ‘If you’re so rich, why don’t you just buy the house yourself?’

Me: ‘Bye.’

I do not waste my time debating with negative people. But here is the answer to that question: I buy houses in cash every month that I do not find a buyer for 🙂. If the contract is about to expire, I buy it cash and hold onto the property. I raise the price by $5000 and I look for another investor to sell it to. I find one eventually.

Example: This below under market value San Antonio turnkey property was for sale for $55,000:


  • Address: 262 Bogle St. San Antonio, TX 78207-7471
  • Year Built: 1946
  • Description: Under market value cash flow investment, excellent back yard, well established neighborhood, 4 bedrooms, 2 bath, 1236 sqft, lot size: .16 acres, estimated yearly taxes: $2,000.00, estimated yearly insurance: $700, estimated repairs: 25K includes paint in/out, new HVAC, flooring, foundation, update kitchen/baths, etc.
  • ARV:  $99,900.
  • Cash Price: $55,000.

I did not find a buyer for the Texas turnkey property in time. So I bought the San Antonio wholesale property myself – cash – and a month later I sold it for $65,000 to an investor who used hard money. I made $10,000 on the house that no one wanted :).

I do that about once per month. But there are other reasons I still buy and sell wholesale properties in San Antonio: Because I love it! Most successful entrepreneurs never retire.

My real estate mission also is to transform San Antonio neighborhoods and clean up the city; a lot of progress has been made and I am proud of the part I have had in that. But to make more progress, we need out of state property investors to bring in more capital.

That is why I continue to advertise for out of state property investors in San Francisco, Seattle, Los Angeles, San Diego and Las Vegas, among other places. Those are good places to sell Texas turnkey properties.

My last word on this subject to the negative types is this: Your chances of real estate investing success are much lower if you have a bad attitude. Wise up.

How to Turn $10,000 Into $30,000+ in a Year

Most of the time, I only work with under market value property investors with at least $50,000 cash, and preferably $250,000 cash or more.

However, I once started out in San Antonio investment properties without any capital, so I wanted to sketch out quickly how you can make $30,000+ out of $10,000 in a year.

It is possible with my guidance to buy an under market value property with a hard money lender, do $1000-$5000 in clean up and rehab, and flip it to another investor/cash buyer.

On each of these hard money deals, you will need to have $8000 to $10,000 invested. Then, when the deal sells, you will make $8000 to $10000, after your hard money expenses and closing costs.

Hold On!

This is the point where many typical below market value property investors will smirk and say, why bother? Who cares about making a piddly $8000?

Ah :), that is why I financially retired at 28 and you most likely did not. I NEVER turn up my nose at making $5000 or $7000 or $8000 on a deal! Never!

You know what I do? I do 50 of those deals per year, in addition to my large buy and hold investment portfolio, and make another $300,000!

I strongly believe in doing a lot of small San Antonio investment property deals. When you do just four of those deals per year, you can triple your money….transform $10,000 into $30,000 or more. Then you can afford to do more than 1 flip at a time, and do eight per year and make $64,000…..see where this is going?

Of course, in the end, I am a buy and hold investor, and I would advise you after you have at least $100,000 to invest in long term buy and hold, owner financed properties in San Antonio. Then do 2-3 of these quick flips per year to increase your cash as you need it to do more buy and holds.

Here is a fantastic San Antonio investment property for the out of state investor that will make you a quick $8000 to $10,000.


Before I show you this San Antonio investment property, if you want to turn $10,000 into $30,000, you need to do the following:

  • Listen to what I tell you to do and do not question it.
  • Do not doubt my ARVs or rehab costs.
  • Do not call me every day asking when your house will resell.

I know exactly what I am doing, and it is important for you to trust me.

Out of state investment property investors, this San Antonio investment property has two houses on one lot and offers you a quick $10,000 on a clean and resell flip, or 13-14% ROI on a buy and hold.

front man

    • Address: 3230 La Violeta St., San Antonio, TX 78211-3728
    • Year Built: 1950
    • Description: 2 homes for the price of one;  Home #1, 3 beds 2 bath, 928 sqft, built: 1950, lot size: .15 acres, home needs minor plumbing, carpentry, paint, cleaning, estimated rehab cost 10K, Home #2, 2 beds, 1 bath, 600 sqft, has been remodeled no repairs needed
    • Cash Price: $58,000.
    • Exit Strategy: Owner Finance with 10K repairs: 5-10k down, $900.00 monthly P/I, 30 year amortization, 10% interest, Price: 89K, ROI will be 13-14% per year. ; or do $1500 in quick clean up and flip to another investor at $69,900. This is a 2 for 1 deal and will resell quickly.
    • Contact us for more information or to make offer.
    • Rental Comps 3230 La Violeta St Sold Comps 3230 La Violeta

More Pictures:

Living Kitchen Kitchen 2 Bedroom Bath

Investors, you will never see a San Francisco investment property, Los Angeles or a Seattle investment property at this price point and rate of return! This under market value property is a good option to invest in real estate with IRA, or invest in real estate with 401k.