With the cost of money being as low is it is right now, and with interest rates projected to rise, it may be better to leverage your funds and finance low balance loans so you can purchase three or four properties instead of two. In each scenario, you will have to look at your return on investment (ROI) to make sure the numbers make sense. We do have a preferred lender that charges no lender fees to our clients (underwriting, processing, etc.) while keeping the rates competitive which will eliminate much of the loan cost, so really you just have appraisal cost and lender title insurance to pay in addition to the costs you would normally pay with a cash purchase.
In the Las Vegas market with so many cash buyers (about 50%), you won't get much of a discount for a cash offer. The benefit of cash is, though, if there are multiple offers, you stand a better chance of getting your offer accepted if it is the highest one. However, if there are multiple offers and you have to submit the highest one to "win", you probably won't be getting a real bargain anyway, right?
So personally I feel it would be better to leverage your cash. That being said, you will probably have to be prepared for rejection on lots of offers in order to get the best deals.
Many investors say they are willing to do that, but over the past 30 years we have found that most do not have the patience it takes to do this. Or they have unrealistic expectations of what a "real deal" can be. (If you can get something 5% to 10% below market in Vegas, that is a "real deal" these days. It is not a flipper's market any longer.) These investors end up jumping from agent to agent until the frustration level sets in and they end up buying just for the sake of buying or give up altogether.
So you have to ask yourself if you are willing to put in the time it takes to get the real deals. Everyone wants one! You have to be willing to do the market research so that you recognize a deal when you find it, and be prepared to lose out on more than you win. If you think you have the right mindset, I would advise interviewing several agents until you find one that is on the same wavelength that you are, sign a buyer brokerage so they know you will remain loyal to them if they put in the work necessary to accomplish your goals properly, and then start educating yourself about our market.
To educate yourself about what is really possible, you need to get off the "big box" sites like Trulia and Zillow. They are really just advertising generators that are not bound by local regulations, and they do not take down properties after they are sold in a timely fashion! (I have seen properties listed for sale that are years old.)
Go to a local agent's site like http://www.GreatLasVegasHomes.com
which, by law, must be kept current. This site is updated daily, plus you can also see what has recently been sold. And if you like what you see and are serious about buying in Vegas, we would love to be one of the agents you interview to help you achieve your goals.
Hope this helps!
Prudential Americana Group Realtors
The Tonnesen Team - with over 30 years of experience helping families call Las Vegas "home!"