Home Buying in Boston>Question Details

Baran Kutlay, Home Buyer in Boston, MA

I want to buy multifamily houses or condos as investments and lease. I need help and advise.

Asked by Baran Kutlay, Boston, MA Mon Nov 1, 2010

Is it wise to buy around Quincy or Braintree MA? What would you recommend.
I do not need mortgage. How can I bargain on REOs?

Help the community by answering this question:


I meant to answer your Quincy and Braintree question ... Both are good markets.

At the moment there are only 5 multi's for sale in Braintree and in the last 6 months only 10 have sold. The average days on market was 134, the average price was around $350,000 and the average discount off list price was 5%. This just tells you you will have lower inventory to choose from here but the market is fairly healthy.

Quincy on the other hand has more inventory to choose from: 61 on the market now and 55 sold in the last 6 months. Average days on market 91, average price $417,000 and average discount from list price 6%.

Here is every multi for sale in Braintree (just click the "multi-family" tab:

Here is every multi for sale in Quincy (just click the "multi-family" tab):

Web Reference: http://territoryre.com
1 vote Thank Flag Link Mon Nov 1, 2010
Hi Baran -

I'm located in Southern California and have never done business in Brantree, MA. In the Los Angeles County, the trust deed auctions have been a very profitable avenue for many cash investors. They do not finance and all sales are final. I'm sure your local market has similar auctions. Please be sure to do all homework before bidding on any properties. If you buy the right deal, you will be buying a property with instant equity.

I hope this helps!

Andrew Quezada
Web Reference: http://www.AQHomeLoan.com
1 vote Thank Flag Link Tue Dec 7, 2010
Prior to making an offer on any property, you’ll want to do a bit of research to obtain as much information as possible about the property. It’s wise to obtain information about comparable sales in the area, either through a buyer’s agent or from the agent responsible for selling the property. You can also do this through online services like RealtyTrac, which offers a complete set of property valuation reports on its site.

Inquire whether any inspection reports are available, whether the property is being sold “as is” or if the bank plans to pay for any repairs and how offers should be presented to the bank for consideration. You’ll also want to find out how long it takes for the bank to review and accept an offer. In some cases, offer acceptance is subject to corporate approval within five days – a much slower turnaround time than is expected with traditional real estate transactions.
According to real estate investment trainer and author T.J. Marrs, “when presenting an offer to purchase an REO, one essentially needs to follow the same procedure a realtor would follow. Of course this is done without the benefit of having the realtor to help you complete the paperwork.” Marrs suggests the following three strategies to improve your chances of success when making direct offers to banks selling REO properties.
-Have all your paperwork ready. Use a standard purchase and sale agreement and have your earnest money ready. In fact, Marrs suggests buyers have their earnest money already waiting in escrow, and send a copy of their escrow receipt to the bank along with their offer

-Have your loan approval ready and submit it with your offer or have cash in escrow. The more you can prove you are a serious player, the more likely your offer will be taken seriously.

-Do not EVER offer the asking price. “You can't offer too little, but you can always offer too much,” says Marrs. “My rule of thumb is, if they accept your first offer, you offered too much. You can always negotiate a little but you can't go down in price once the offer is accepted.”
1 vote Thank Flag Link Thu Dec 2, 2010
There are several things that you should consider first. Many of these considerations are quite easy to recognize, such as finance and related costs, the neighborhood (or demographic), and the length of time that you would realistically what to be continuing with the 'landlord' situation.

Since I have helped several people in the Quincy and Dorchester specifically for investment, I have come across many different styles and possibilities.

The best and possbily the hardest is to find a 2 or 3 bedroom shortsale or REO. This is the hardest because of the competitionn as well as the pay off. If you were to get a loan for 1 condo, it may be difficult to charge enough rent to be in the black every month, so that is why longevity is a concern as well. You may have to pay the difference but will be adding to your equity as you do it.You also have to consider the neighborhood to help determine who would possibly be occupying the residence and if you will be able to keep people in there the whole time.

Also, there will be banks that will be approaching any loans differently according to you living at the property or not.
This will make repairs and maitenance easier, but is also something that many people do not want. I personally have dealt with property management companies that will do everything for you, but at an additional price. Different companies offer different services, and tend to start around 5% for the basic services.

The best thing to do is find a good agent as well as do some research to help decide the route that you may want to take.
1 vote Thank Flag Link Thu Nov 4, 2010
Quincy and Braintree are great areas. I own an investment property in Quincy myself. Your decision to invest in either of these areas should come down to your overall investment objectives. Are you looking for long term appreciation or more cash-flow now?
Give me a shout and we can further discuss how to create a plan for your investments.

Willie Mandrell, III
617 755 4938
Web Reference: http://www.wjmandrell.com
1 vote Thank Flag Link Mon Nov 1, 2010
Baran Kutlay,

Before I can answer if it is wise to buy in any place, I need to understand your investment goals and appetite for risk.

There are different ways to make money in real estate. You can flip properties. You can buy and hold income producing properties. You can develop property. Or you can do a combination of these. It sounds to me like you are looking to buy income producing properties.

When it comes to income producing property, a general rule of thumb is more units are better. More units get you economies of scale. To analyze income producing property, many people compare the cap rate. The cap rate is the net operating income divided by the cost of the property. The cap rates of property in more expensive areas are generally lower than cap rates in less expensive neighborhoods.

Since it sounds like you are considering income producing property, you need to know how to find and keep good tenants. It's very important to do your due diligence when you select tenants. And it is very important not to violate fair housing laws.

I'm a Realtor and investor in multi-family properties. I'll be happy to help you.


1 vote Thank Flag Link Mon Nov 1, 2010
Hard to bargain with REO's period because there is so much bureaucracy involved (you are negotiating with a company with lots of layers and paperwork). Cash is king so this would be your biggest negotiating advantage if it's an advantage. Biggest advice: avoid short sales and stick with foreclosures.
The other thing to remember is REO'S are sold in "As Is" condition and because most haven't been taken care of for years because the last owners ran out of money (short sale period to foreclosure and then foreclosure period to resale = 2-3 yrs total sometimes) they can require a lot of work and can be Pandora's Box scenario. Bottom line is they are not for the faint of heart. You need to have serious patience because REO deals can linger for months without closing. That said, if you have your team lined up: agent and contractor you can do very well.

Hope that helps.
Web Reference: http://territoryre.com
1 vote Thank Flag Link Mon Nov 1, 2010
Multifamily properties are unique, and residential realtors aren't usually savvy when it comes to the inherent intricacies of an apartment complex. Other commercial realtors likely aren't well-versed in this property genre, either. Visit this site http://commercialinvestmentstrategies.com/ They're good with multifamily!
0 votes Thank Flag Link Sun Feb 10, 2013
If you decide to work in the Boston center areas: Back Bay, South end, Fenway, Charlestown, Allston/Brighton, Mission Hill, please let me know. I would be more than happy to work with you.
Best regards,
C.H. Naamad
Boston Luxury Residential
Cell: 617-407-9740
0 votes Thank Flag Link Sun Apr 17, 2011
Condo is easier but had to make sense to buy . After overpaying for it and then condo fees and then tax all the good stuff I bet it would be hard to make money each month. Muli fam is a lot of work but maybe better Break-even number.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Tue Mar 29, 2011
Brian: "turn-key" rent ready Investment Home with positive cash flow and "worry-free" property management.
If you have $40,000, I can get you a 3bed + 2 bath house that sold in 2006 for $430,000 at less than $175,000. Where? Do you ask! Las Vegas, where all your trips will now become tax-deductable when you "inspect" your investment.

The downward spiral has stopped, and with the new "tax breaks for the rich" Las Vegas will once again be attracting the millionaires and billionaires to spend their kids inheritance.

Forward your email, mand I will show you what I am doing for other investors sincve 1994

David Cooper davidcooper@lasvegaswinner.org
0 votes Thank Flag Link Tue Dec 14, 2010
I have a realtor that deals exclusively with REOs and foreclosures and would be happy to refer you to her if you wish.

Lynn and the others did point out that banks (including mine) as well as agencies (such as HUD, FannieMae and FreddieMac) don't necessarily negotiate or approve low bids. They all get appraisals in advance of offering the REO for sale

Good luck with your purchase or purchases!
0 votes Thank Flag Link Tue Dec 14, 2010
GREAT MYTH to bargain on REO the lenders do know the value of home keep in mind not all sales offer are accepted by the lender.

RECOMMEND: work with real estate consultant who can review your short / long term goals which can provide you advice you require. I work with investors world wide amazing what they thought be GREAT opp ended up in more favorable direction.

Lynn911 Dallas Realtor & Consultant, Loan Officer, Credit Repair Advisor
The Michael Group - Dallas Business Journal Top Ranked Realtors
0 votes Thank Flag Link Mon Dec 6, 2010
Don't know your area, but I do know that buying investment properties will, in the long run, be a hedge against inflation and set up a plan for future wealth. I helped a number of folks to accomplish something along these plans, one in particular, in just six short years parleyed a first time investment of $6,000 into a boon of more than $600,000! Not bad! Now as for not needing a loan, that is even better, but you ought to consider leveraging your investment by buying more than one property, even if you finance these, because the principal makes it so that you buy more for less (of your money). Just be sure to not over extend yourself (either).
0 votes Thank Flag Link Fri Dec 3, 2010
Valuation methodologies and other thoughts on commercial real estate are provided by Odessa Realty Investments for free on their website.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Tue Nov 30, 2010
This is a very smart move. Perhaps you should also look at low maintainence new builds in areas with production builders who have been hit hard by the crisis. This way you could buy single family residential in a block. A lot easier to rent and alot easier to manage and a lot easier to maintain.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Wed Nov 3, 2010
Hello- I'm a landlord and a builder; I may be able to offer you some practical advice in this area. Feel free to contact me. Thanks and good luck,
Ken L.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Wed Nov 3, 2010
Hi Baran- A willing buyer with cash is the favorite for any realtor...
I'm a landlord and a builder as well. If you'd like to talk about strategy, please let me know. One good idea might be to speak with/ network with other Mass. RE investors.
Both those towns have good areas and maybe a couple areas that I'd be leery of- but you could say the same about almost any town/ city.
Good luck,
Ken L.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Wed Nov 3, 2010
hi Baran,

I agree with what others have said that you really need to know what you are doing to be a landlord. Some think you can just sit back and collect the money but that's not the case. That said, there are lots of deals out there if you have the money to fix the house. Because most are fixer uppers.

To learn more about being a landlord join a landlord group. There is a group called the Massachusetts Rental Housing Association (MRHA - http://www.massrha.com). This is a statewide organization and there are several local affiliate organizations spread out around the state. There is a group in your area called MetroSouth. That would probably be the closest. Check out their web site for other organizations.

Web Reference: http://www.massrha.com
0 votes Thank Flag Link Mon Nov 1, 2010
Hi Baran

When buying multifamily - condos as investment to lease -- my first questions to you is have you been a landlord before? -- Do You know what is involved in being a landlord? -

Being a landlord is not for the faint in heart like one realtor stated -- it is a business -- so do think hard about this and talk to landlord in the area that you are thinking of investing in -- this will give you a good sense of what the business is like -- each area is different and each area has good and bad problems with it -- join a local landloard association(usually made up of small landlords) in the area or even in your own area to find out what problems and solutions are -- most small landlords are very helpful because they are all looking for help ad support - if you are interest for more information that you think I can help you with please email and I will be glad to email you back -- Good Luck in your search
0 votes Thank Flag Link Mon Nov 1, 2010
When negotiating with Banks, you have the upper-hand when making an all-cash offer; I have lost on a couple of deals to other investors that had lower offers but no finance contingencies...

Quincy has great rental market conditions because its easy access to highways and the red line)...

Shoot me a quick e-mail so we can discuss in further detail..


Nicolas Uribe
East Coast Realty
0 votes Thank Flag Link Mon Nov 1, 2010
Hi Baran,
I am a Realtor in Boston and specialize in Multi-family home purchases and sales. Buying a multi-family is in many way like buying a business and you should definitely consider working with a specialist versus a generalist.
If you would like to give me a call, I would be happy to assist you through the buying process
For more information on me and what services I provide my clients, please visit my website at http://www.wjmandrell.com.

Willie J Mandrell, III
617 755 4938
Web Reference: http://www.wjmandrell.com
0 votes Thank Flag Link Mon Nov 1, 2010
Hi Baran,

I would be happy to discuss your options with you further in person if you'd like.

We could definitely help you find properties to purchase as well as work with you to find rental tenants.

Feel free to contact me any time with questions.

- Nick
0 votes Thank Flag Link Mon Nov 1, 2010
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