Should I Become a Real Estate Agent as an Investor?

Investing in under market value properties in San Antonio, Texas has provided me with a fantastic, long term passive income. Before the real estate downturn of 2007-9, I was not a real estate agent, and I relied on several investor friendly agents to show me potential under market value distressed properties in San Antonio TX.

After the crash, many real estate agents got out of the real estate business . I discovered that finding a good, long term real estate agent was harder than before to buy below market value property.

It was in 2010 that I made a fateful decision: I became a real estate agent and investor myself, and it has been a great decision for me. It has made it easier for me to buy under market value properties in San Antonio TX.

Being a licensed Texas real estate agent has really helped me to build my distressed property cash flow in the last five years. Currently I own more than 50 owner financed investment properties in San Antonio TX. On most, I am making at least 10% return, which means I have cash flow of $500 to $800 per property. Most of them I own in cash.

Whenever I buy another distressed real estate property for buy and hold, I am able to save at least $1000 on real estate commissions. If I buy 40 houses a year, that’s more than $40,000! What a deal!

If you are buying more than 1-2 below market value properties per year, I think it is a good idea to go ahead and get your real estate license. If you do absolutely nothing else with it, your real estate license will save you majorly on commissions.

On many of my deals, I as the real estate investor agent buy the under market value property, fix it, and then resell it with owner financing. I am able to save TWO real estate commissions on these deals, which in some cases saves me $5000 or more!

Advantages of Being a Texas Real Estate Investor and Real Estate Agent

  • A real estate investor agent can save on real estate commissions for below market value properties, as I illustrated above.
  • You have access to your area’s MLS and can do your own due diligence on potential investment properties. Having MLS access saves you time, and allows you to get offers in before other investors.
  • As a real estate agent investor, you will be able to network with other agents, who certainly know people who want to invest, or may be investors themselves. I often buy unlisted properties because of my contacts with other agents in San Antonio TX.
  • You can do your own BPOs or Broker Price Opinions. This is a 1-3 page report that a licensed real estate agent can do, for a payment of $50-100. This is a great way to earn extra cash flow as you are getting started in real estate investing.
  • You also can sell retail properties to supplement your income, which has really come in handy for me several times each year as a real estate agent investor. Nothing like earning another $20,000 per year!

Clearly, the advantages of being a real estate agent investor  are many for getting texas cash flow. I believe becoming an agent is really worth it if you buy several under market value investment properties annually. I also have found that being a real estate agent investor makes it easier to work with investor looking for a good out of state investment property.

What Is the Worst Mistake in Buying Investment Properties?

I buy under market value properties in San Antonio TX. As the real estate market continues to heat up in San Antonio, more people are jumping into the real estate investment business.

Many people who start to invest in under market value investment property in San Antonio end up never making money or losing a lot of money. That goes the same for people looking for out of state investment property.

Most often, people run into real estate investment problems because they are impatient or do not have a good, long term plan for good cash flow on below market value property.

I have been successful with my San Antonio investment properties (I financially retired at 28) because I have a very simple plan that I always stick to:

I buy distressed San Antonio homes for 20% or more under market value, and resell them with owner or seller financing to make a 20% return long term. The vast majority of my portfolio is long term buy and hold in the best San Antonio investment property.

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That’s my mascot Teddy there, chiming in! Of course, buying good distressed properties under market value in San Antonio is not easy. If it were, everyone would be buying them and retiring early!

Here is the most common mistake I see by far in people who buy distressed real estate properties and out of state investment property: They pay too much for the house and have very little cash flow!

They buy the house often at the top of the market, and the only way they make cash flow each month is if the property is always occupied, and there are no maintenance issues.

As soon as something goes amiss, they end up losing money each month and have no cash flow in their under market value San Antonio investment properties.

The biggest piece of advice I can give you is to always pay as little as possible for the investment property in the best cities to invest in real estate. If you are not skilled in negotiation or are just a beginner, you need to work with a skilled investor who can help you to get a low price on that below market value house.

If you have questions about investing for cash flow in under market value San Antonio houses, please contact me! I always can use cash partners and both of us will make a good profit in the best San Antonio investment property.

 

 

Buy and Hold or Flip Out of State Investment Properties?

Anyone who is involved in real estate investing for long will eventually ask him or herself a critical question:

Should I buy and hold or flip San Antonio investment properties?

Flipping houses has become very popular in the last decade, probably due to all the Flip That House type shows on TV. On the other hand is buy and hold investing, which is probably the oldest way to make money in real estate investing.

So which should you do? Well, it depends!

Overview of Flipping Houses

The basic definition of flipping a house is buying a property under market value (20-50% usually), improving it, and then reselling it for a profit. To gain maximum financial advantage, the goal is to sell the house as quickly as possible after the rehab.

A good house flipper in under market value houses will try to buy, rehab and resell the under market value property as quickly as he can. The reason is that holding a piece of real estate without any income coming in costs money. Some of ‘soft costs’ of holding a flip property include:

  • Property taxes
  • Utilities
  • Hard money finance charges
  • Any repair and maintenance

House flippers try to hold the property as little as possible. In the flips I have done in the last year, I held my San Antonio investment properties for about three months each.

Overview of Buy and Hold Investing with Out of State Investment Properties

This type of investing with below market value properties involves purchasing the under market value house, making some amount of improvements, and then keeping the house for rental or owner finance income. To pay for the monthly costs of holding the property in most cases, the house will be rented to a tenant. Typical holding costs for a buy and hold property are:

  • Financing
  • Taxes
  • Utilities
  • Property taxes
  • Maintenance costs

It should be noted here that there are other forms of buy and hold investing, which is the type we usually do. That is, we buy and hold the property in cash, and owner finance the under market value house to a qualified buyer.

The advantage of this type of buy and hold investing with out of state investment properties is that there are no maintenance costs. Also, without a mortgage, this type of under market value investing is usually less risky, especially in a downturn.

Pros of Flipping

  • Short term profits: You can, ideally, realize your profits in a few weeks or months. Your cash will not be tied up in an under market value property for very long, and you can move on to another deal.
  • If you can flip a house in under six months and make at least 15% profit, you have done very well.
  • Good ROI, if you know how to rehab an under market value property without overdoing it.
  • No renters or landlord headaches.

Cons of Flipping

  • Making money at it takes a lot of work. The reality shows make it look easy. Flipping a house and making money isn’t as easy as it looks.
  • Unexpected costs: Anyone who rehabs under market value houses for a living will run into unexpected additional costs. This can be especially damaging when you are trying to make quick profits.
  • Rehab problems: You might think it will take a week to do that roof, but it takes six weeks. That adds to your time line and when you will be able to make a profit.
  • In an appreciating market, you may have trouble finding under market value houses that are truly flippable.

Pros of Buying and Holding

  • Creating wealth: You can really build wealth over time with buy and hold investing, especially with owner financing rather than renting under market value property. Real estate also will generally increase in value over time, which can make you very well off.
  • Steady cash flow: If you own several properties that each make $800 per month, this is a nice way to earn a living.
  • No worry about selling short term: You can usually wait out the inevitable downturn in the market as you are enjoying the cash flow from the property. A flipper could end up in trouble if the market crashes in the middle of a project.

Cons of Buying and Holding

  • Market changes: If you need cash fast, you could need to sell your under market value property but the market dipped so you lose money.
  • Legal problems: Tenants can be a pain in the neck, which is why we mostly owner finance our houses. We only carry the note on our houses, so we have no tenant issues at all.
  • Struggles with being a landlord: A buy and hold rental property can turn into a negative cash flow situation easily if you do not buy the property at the right price, and if there are expensive repairs. Vacancies are another big problem in bad markets. Again, that is the plus of investing with owner financing and buying cash – no mortgages and no tenants.
  • Property management responsibilities for rentals

Overall, in our experience, we prefer buying and holding with owner finance over flipping. Flipping is great if we need to get more cash to buy and hold more houses, but it is not a long term wealth creation solution for us for Texas cash flow.