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Real Estate – First Missed Opportunity

I found a duplex that I wanted to buy, but my inexperience caused me to miss this diamond in the rough!

The duplex that I wanted and pursued was what appeared to be the perfect starter rental property for an individual that wanted the “cash flow” from such an real estate investment.  It was small and appeared to be easy to fix.  Newer, but not so new that it would be expensive.  In a city that while on the small side, still had few duplexes available for renters.  And the last benefit was that it didn’t have central air, instead it had two air conditioner units in the front with the holes neatly cut into the wall of each unit.  Each unit has two bedrooms and 1 bathroom, nice and simple.

Yes, it’s not sexy, but it’s also not a total dog either.  It would have been perfect starter and learning home to own for me!

So what happened?

  1. I went on vacation for a week shortly after the house went up for sale.
  2. I didn’t contact the real estate agent, instead I opted to try to establish a relationship with a bank so I could get pre-approved.  Surprisingly, even though I have no debt and a credit score over 800, I’m having problems getting responses from the bank that I contacted for the pre-approval.
  3. I didn’t jump on this deal.  After driving down to check it out, and realizing it was a great piece of property, I second guessed my opinion.  Instead I looked for reasons that it might not be a good deal.  Even though I was dragging my feet, I couldn’t really come up with a reason not to buy the property.

I’m sure if I were more experienced, I would have been able to move with speed.  Too bad, it looked like a great start property…

Sad miss,


15 Responses to Real Estate – First Missed Opportunity

  1. What is the benefit of not having central air? I can’t figure what you meant by that comment, unless you were indicating that because they didn’t share air, they didn’t have to share electricity costs and you could have tenants pay their own electric bills.

    Secondly, you should have contacted several banks! Getting pre-approval for a loan is very easy most of the time, especially if you’re well-qualified. It shouldn’t take long at all, but it requires that the bank actually respond to your inquiry.

    Good luck next time! But in the meantime, contact a few banks and get pre-approvals in advance. It’s a lot easier to renew a pre-approval later when you’ve got an established repoire with the mortgage broker.

    • The property is from the 1970’s, so I don’t want the expense of replacing a central forced system for air conditioning. That can get quite price I’ve heard.

  2. It’ll be interesting to see if you still feel this way 6 months from now. You can’t possibly know enough about the local market yet, can you? I like to feel pretty good about pricing before I make an offer on a place. Did anyone run any comps for you? Do you know what’s sold in multifamilies in the last 12 months and for how much?

    You’re just getting your feet wet. I felt a little like that about a “teardown” that was sold right after I started looking. The land value alone is worth more than what the house ended up going for, but I really didn’t like the lot anyway, so I’m waiting for something better to come along.

    • I thought I would be at a disadvantage, but I found almost everything I needed online. It’s amazing the amount of information and stats on cities and properties these days 🙂

      I want a house that cost as much as an expensive car. I view it as a learning experience.

  3. I can’t wait to hear about your first rental. Hearing about your experiences makes me even more motivated to jump in with both feet. I can’t wait!

    • It seems to be a perfect time (I hope). I wish I had started a few years ago… Hopefully, my experience will be a good one! I feel like I’m starting to play monopoly.