Why I Buy and Hold Investment Properties with ‘Foundation Problems’

Most San Antonio real estate investors are afraid of ‘foundation problems’ on their fixer upper properties. I understand why that is:

A serious foundation issue on a property can kill the profits on a buy and hold deal. If you have a $25,000 budget to rehab a San Antonio wholesale property, a $10,000 foundation repair can turn it into a negative cash flow situation.

However, one of my millionaire mentors in real estate investing taught me many years ago to not usually worry about foundation problems on buy and hold investments. Actually, I tend to be attracted these days to foundation problems.

The reason? Because most other investors are scared of foundation issues and the competition for these distressed properties is lower. Meanwhile, if you try to buy an old fixer upper for $50k in San Antonio with no foundation problems, you will probably be fighting off a lot of investor competition, which drives up the price.

By buying a foundation problem fixer upper, you often find that you can get the house 5k cheaper, which you can then put into fixing the foundation.

When I am looking at San Antonio wholesale property to buy, I keep these ideas in mind about the foundation:

  • Uneven floor is not a big problem in an old house in San Antonio

Most of the buyers of my properties are accustomed to being in a house with a foundation that is not perfect, so a floor that slopes a bit is not a deal killer.

Some investors in San Antonio will see that minor sloping floor and freak out. However, my experience with the houses I buy between 1900 and 1950 usually have a somewhat uneven floor with a pier and beam foundation.

This can be caused by rotting floor joists, ground settling over the decades or shoddy construction.

When I do my inspection, I usually get under the house and see how serious the problem looks. For many of the houses I buy, all that needs to be done is to replace some floor joists for a few thousand dollars.

It is unusual for me to buy a pier and beam foundation house in San Antonio that needs more than 5k of repairs.

  • Wholesale prices on foundation work

Going to a regular foundation contractor could leave you with a deal busting foundation bill. I have workers who can fix a foundation for half of that price. This includes permits and the engineering report.

That’s why it may be a good idea for you to work with an experienced investor who has the network to get a foundation repaired affordably.

  • Foundation problems can mean profits

I have bought houses for $25k that had foundation problems, but all they needed was about $3000 in repairs for the foundation. On one of these deals, I fixed the foundation and sold it to an investor for a 5k profit.

She then did 5k more in repairs and owner financed that 25k house for $50k and $550 per month. She is making 14% a year on that deal.

All on an under market value San Antonio investmentĀ  property with a foundation problem.

So, don’t always be afraid of dealing with a foundation issue; it can turn out to not be a deal breaker, especially if you work with an expert investor who can help you do repairs affordably.