US properties for sale

Further cautions

Highlander_0000 and I have had our differences in the past, but I have emphasised that this is no market for the novice.

Given the above tale, and another I've heard, and adding some of my own experiences, I am withdrawing any offers made previously. I believe that potential investors are far better off doing the full research and getting an understanding of what they are getting into.

I am also unaware of anyone purchasing this type of property who has successfully closed a loan. I have now had over 10 lenders guarantee me that they will close within a month. I have approached more than 100. Not one has come through.

As a consequence, depending on your circumstances, this could all end in tears. I have no wish to be the proximate cause of someone else's problems so unless and until the finance riddle is solved, lowering the exposure, and I have greater confidence in Buffalo property management, I will not be selling US properties.

Apologies to any who are disappointed, but I am, as always, acting in what I hope to be the general best interest, my own included.
 
quiggles said:
until I have greater confidence in Buffalo property management, I will not be selling US properties.
Please enlighten us about the downfalls of property management in the area. It may be a help to someone else investing out of their area/country.
 
In addition to Highlander_0000's story of the fraudlent property manager (who may have felt safe because the person he was defrauding was so far away) I have seen incompetence, structures where you have a 'master' PM and several contract pms (all with their hands in the till and any of whom can stuff it up for you), poor reporting standards and so forth. Plus you want to be sure that where you are buying has a low enough vacancy rate to make it worthwhile.

You are a lot more dependent on your PM the further away you are.
 
Remote management

I can only back Quiggles comments about remote management.

I have a great Cairns Property Manager for the 7 I have there but Alan would not changeover for the one he bought, he was too soft....

Consequently we had one with another agent.

I was in Cairns last week when the other agent rang (using my Melbourne number which I had diverted) to say that unfortunately my tenant had walked out, the agent advised that a full property inspection had been carried out and the bond would be refunded in full (?) I then advised that I was in Cairns and would collect the keys and do an inspection myself.

My point was they were advising that she had simply handed in the keys, thereby breaking the lease. My inspection revealed 8 problems, the major one being that tenant had removed a brand new clothes line that Alan and I had installed for when this tenant moved in!!

Solution was to phone and then follow up with fax and email - result is Bond has now been transferred to my managing agent and they have also collected the full file and will now proceed in getting the problems rectified. The file revealed that the tenant had in fact given notice and a good reason for moving out but the Property manager had not got around to telling me.

This simply highlights that remote management needs a reliable Property Manager and mine are in the same country!!!

Chris
 
chrispy said:
I can only back Quiggles comments about remote management.

I have a great Cairns Property Manager for the 7 I have there but Alan would not changeover for the one he bought, he was too soft....

Consequently we had one with another agent.

I was in Cairns last week when the other agent rang (using my Melbourne number which I had diverted) to say that unfortunately my tenant had walked out, the agent advised that a full property inspection had been carried out and the bond would be refunded in full (?) I then advised that I was in Cairns and would collect the keys and do an inspection myself.

My point was they were advising that she had simply handed in the keys, thereby breaking the lease. My inspection revealed 8 problems, the major one being that tenant had removed a brand new clothes line that Alan and I had installed for when this tenant moved in!!

Solution was to phone and then follow up with fax and email - result is Bond has now been transferred to my managing agent and they have also collected the full file and will now proceed in getting the problems rectified. The file revealed that the tenant had in fact given notice and a good reason for moving out but the Property manager had not got around to telling me.

This simply highlights that remote management needs a reliable Property Manager and mine are in the same country!!!

Chris

Chrispy
I hope you had a great sence of control and being in control from your trip to Cairns.
You are an inspiration to always try to move forward.

cheers yadreamin

[Would have loved to been a fly on the wall when you told the PM you were in Cairns]
 
Just do it

Happily :D - I use O'Connor and Gay 07 4031 3913 - Chris Gay is very Somersoft friendly - the Property Managers are Val Barnett and Michael Cresswell

I would suggest you contact Chris first and let him know you are a Somersoft member and he will then pass you over to one of the PMs

Regards

Chris
 
Quiggles,

Was trying to reply to your older thread regarding investing in buffalo (fantasctic read by the way, thanks) but i think its closed. I am planning a similar trip this year, intitially to obtain 5 properties and build up contacts/knowledge of the area. My goal is to create a wage through high yielding properties, my properties in Scotland are not bad yields, but the prices/rent in Buffalo still seem to be great. Do you think there is still good deals there? Is Niagara a better bet?
 
G'day japester,

I wanted to let you know that Quiggles has not "visited" here for close to a year. He might be back, I don't know - but don't expect a quick reply perhaps...

Regards,
 
New York State

As most of you know I spent much of last year in the United States. I strongly recommend that you stay away from New York State, especially Buffalo and Niagra whichj on the American side is a slum. Most of these areas are high crime and low growth. Their have been a number of people promoting Buffalo.I can only say I would not touch ot with a ten foot pole. For instance property management is very hard to obtain, you will not get loan for cheap properties because of the limited fees that banks and brokers are allowed to charge in New York state it is not worth their while to write loans for $40,000-$50,000 dollars. Finding a good tenant is very hard. If your property remains vacant over winter you may need to replace all the pipes because they will freeze over.

If you want to buy in the United States take the time and go and see for yourself. It may not sound like a lot of money but you could also be creating one large head ache. If you want to buy I believe Texas or maybe even Indiana are better options. In Texas look for small apartment complexes rather than cheap dwellings.

I have no vested interest in this post I am currently back in Melbourne. I have spoken to many investors who wish they had never heard of Buffalo.
 
If you want to buy in the United States take the time and go and see for yourself. It may not sound like a lot of money but you could also be creating one large head ache. If you want to buy I believe Texas or maybe even Indiana are better options. In Texas look for small apartment complexes rather than cheap dwellings.
I agree with everything Nigel has said. I too started looking at New York State a couple of years ago, areas including Buffalo, Rochester and Syracuse. All I can say is don't get ahead of yourself and do thorough research. Don't take anyone's word for anything, especially if they have a vested interest in making money from you! Have your guard up at all times.

Despite the high gross returns, you need to look at the big picture. The risks involved are high. After you factor in all the outgoings, net returns aren't all that crash hot and don't expect huge growth. You can go negative quite easily as maintenance costs and vacanies can eat into your cashflow.

If you are serious about persuing the US markets I would definately jump on a plane and spend some time on the ground. Build your team before doing this and network with as many people who are already investing in these areas as possible. I did this and after 6 months of research and 2 weeks on the ground in NY, I came back empty handed and decided this ball game was not for me. This doesn't mean it won't be your cup of tea. It was a great experience though!

Good luck.

Regards,
Ozi
 
Hi,

I was looking for something else, but stumbled across this http://www.cyberhomes.com/ which states on their home page;

Welcome to Cyberhomes™ by Fidelity National Financial! Our database includes more than 100 million property, ownership, sales, and mortgage records, covering more than 85% of the U.S. population.
Could those who own USA properties try it out and tell us how well it worked.

Regards
Michael G
 
West New York

Hello there ,
I have owned some properties in WNY .The numbers are great on paper but not always great in reality. This place is next to impossible to get cashflow out of as the expenses are very high.
As soon as you have a vacancy you are up for ongoing heating costs,repair of property after tenants damage the place,
maintenance,re letting fees, etc etc.
It is very hard simply to find someone reliable and trustworthy to PM the place on an ongoing basis.Repirs can be charged at astronomicle prices too.

If you are on the ground and buying the properties for $1k to $15K then spend 2K to 10K on them and re sell them for around $30K you would do well.(which is what the guys selling to out of town investors are doing )(their is a huge market to be able to buy cheapys)

The problem with alot of investors(me included)is they bought properties at "retail prices" which when coming time to sell found there is little to zero of a retail market for these properties within the local area.
So people are reduced to selling for around 15 to 25% less then retail purchase price if wanting to get out within a few months.
People who hang on and try sell on the MLS(local retail market) even for long periods can rarely sell them and often try get assistance in the end from people marketing them to outside of town investors .

PS.I have 1 for sale for $33K if yr interested after that info !!ha ha

Perce.
 
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