Home Buying in Austin>Question Details

Tom Carver, Home Buyer in San Antonio, TX

i am looking to buy a fourplex for rental as an investment in Austin. what would you say are the best areas to ensure good tenants and full occupancy?

Asked by Tom Carver, San Antonio, TX Thu Dec 13, 2012

Help the community by answering this question:


Austin's rental market is outstanding and rental rates are on the rise. http://www.statesman.com/news/business/soaring-rents-occupan…

I represent many investors that own various types of rental properties here in Austin - from single family to multi-family.

Location, Location, Location is most important. Location to me as an Investor would mean how close is it to an area that is in high demand for rent because of Downtown, Schools, or just a high demand area. This means a location in Central Austin or the ever increasing popularity of East Austin. Students and young adults make up a large rental share, so you'd desire a property that is accessible for them.

Parking is very important. So not simply considering an area, you'll want to consider how much parking there is for a fourplex. Limited parking may affect your rental rates.

The Big Five - important items I would pay a lot of attention to would be windows, flooring, the roof, plumbing and electrical. These five areas can affect the amount of renovation required ultimately and also the amount of repairs annually.

You'll also want to consider the floorplan and flow of the units. Many fourplexes weren't built as fourplexes and result in chopped up spaces which are difficult to rent.

Lastly, there is the return on investment, so finding not only a great location, but a property at a price that will allow you the greatest ROI. You'll also want to consider the resale value of the fourplex and with Austin being a college town, most investors seek to buy properties that can be rented to students.

The best approach is to develop a good relationship with a knowledgeable, competent, and capable Realtor to serve as your Buyer's Representative. Through such a relationship you'll be able to discuss your needs, desires, and then together find the most suited investment property.

Please feel free to contact me if you have any further questions or desire representation.

Shannon T. Schmitz,
Representing Properties of Distinction throughout the Texas Hill Country.
1 vote Thank Flag Link Sun Dec 23, 2012
Please call me, I specialize in 4-Plexes in Austin, Matt 512-947-6299
0 votes Thank Flag Link Tue Mar 18, 2014
I think your better off with a duplex for a couple of reasons. Only two tenants, so less tenant conflicts. More available duplexes than 4-plexes. Areas that have one four plex probably have a bunch of four plexes, these areas tend to be kind of run down or seedy looking simply because only an owner is going to really care what the outside looks like.

I would stick to 78704 or 78751, 78759, 78729 for duplexes. I wish you luck!
0 votes Thank Flag Link Thu Dec 20, 2012
Mr. Carver,

I work with many investors in Austin and would love to provide you with the information you need to make a wise, appreciating, cash-flowing investment. You can call or text me at (512)788-1848 or e-mail me at shawnawhite@kw.com to find out more about what I can do to assist you.

Looking forward to hearing from you,

Shawna White
Keller Williams Realty
0 votes Thank Flag Link Thu Dec 20, 2012
Tom, thats really a tough question to answer excatly without more information, but I will give a generalization. If it were myself... North of Slaughter, West of I-35 (with some exceptions) South of Parmer, East of 620. This would be the highest appreciating area in general. Also if you are in the city limits you can always go Section 8. Before everyone "starts in on Sec 8", do a little research. I own several properties that I lease Section 8. Thats one good thing the goverment does for me. They pay on time! . Its all about tennant screening and property Management. There is one currently listed just north of Ben White for 189k I believe. If you can find a deal outside those parameters especially in area 5 then look East of I-35 from Ben White to 183 going North. I wouldnt go past Airport going East, but the future may change that some. The East side of I-35 is changing drastically due to gentrification so don't rule it out completely. Personally, the East side of 35 near Pflugerville I would stay away from unless its a super deal. For example in Pflugerville: there are more properties on the market (supply and demand) the ground in general tends to have more foundation issues, and there is more land to be developed for your competitors to build New units. The closer to downtown, the safer and higher appreciation. .. Regards,
Investor/Broker 512 799 6623
0 votes Thank Flag Link Wed Dec 19, 2012
Depends on the area. Four plexes fair better in some areas while near campus large duplexes rented by the room are a great investment. Your best bet is to give me a call and I can help you (512) 800-1316.

Joe Casey
Goldwasser Real Estate
0 votes Thank Flag Link Fri Dec 14, 2012
Hi Tom,

I agree with the post below, duplexes are a better investment over four-plexes in the Austin area. Depending on your budget and cash on hand for down payment, there are some great properties out there that will give you 100% occupancy and allow you to build great equity with $0 out of pocket monthly on a 15 year note.

If you have any questions, please feel free to give me a call.

Keyur Gajera
Ellmaker Realty
(832) 541-4393
0 votes Thank Flag Link Fri Dec 14, 2012
There are several great areas for fourplexes in the Austin area as have been previously noted. The challenges (also noted several times) are competition for great fourplex properties by investors is strong as is the rental market.

Make sure you're working with an experienced agent who can provide comparable sales and has an aggressive plan to locate and get your desired property under contract.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Fri Dec 14, 2012
South Austin and Northwest also provide good opportunities, as well as the Pflugerville area which is more affordable. The area east of downtown has older properties which rent well due to their proximity to the University and central Austin and are in an up and coming investment area. It will depend greatly on your budget as well as sound analysis of the expenses to income as central Austin is becoming very expensive for purchase of any property although it commands higher rents.

Please let me know if I can help you.

Elaine Dodd
Habitat Hunters Real Estate
512 482 8651
0 votes Thank Flag Link Thu Dec 13, 2012
Tom, Central and North would be the best areas IMO, although most fourplexes are built in areas strong enough to support a low vacancy rate already. Also, Austin's Rental Market is BOOMING so a well kept/priced property is almost a sure thing.
If you are not yet working with a good Realtor (a must on a property like that, and typically no cost to you), feel free to call on me. I've helped many Investor Clients, am one myself, and also have some great Lenders, Inspectors, etc. on my team to assist us. I am one of the top Realtors with the #1 R.E. Co. in Austin, Keller Williams, also Ranked #1 Nationwide by Buyers & Sellers!! (JD Power & Assoc. 2012)
Joe Jarusinsky, Realtor/Master Instructor, Keller Williams Realty
0 votes Thank Flag Link Thu Dec 13, 2012
Biggest challenge you'll face is that fourplexes tend to reside near other fourplexes. Have a broker or agent pull sales history in Austin and take a drive. It will provide a true sense of what to expect in the locations.

Good luck!
0 votes Thank Flag Link Thu Dec 13, 2012
Hi Tom, while there are some descent 4plexes avaliable in Austin that you should consider Duplex's because as I have learned the first properties to depreciate in a recession and the last to come back are 4plex.
Just a thought.
Let meet know if I may help.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Thu Dec 13, 2012
The rental market in Austin is very strong. If your rental agent is working hard, you should have hardly any vacancy.

I have some ideas on the best return(depending on budget) Please feel free to contact me anytime.

Steven Nusinow
0 votes Thank Flag Link Thu Dec 13, 2012
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