A classic question I get when talking to a would-be real estate investor is: “Shouldn’t we buy a home to live in first before buying investment homes?”
The answer is – it depends on where you live.
When considering owning your own residence, there are various layers of reasoning. Some are logic and numbers-based. Some are emotional, traditional and familial.
Owning your own home can be associated with safety, security, having “arrived”, satisfying family members’ aspirations, the stability of having a (hopefully) permanent place to live, and so on.
Of course, everyone has a different set of emotional considerations when it comes to owning a home. These vary from person to person and, needless to say, are hard to quantify.
In this post, I will address the logical, numbers-based approach to the question of whether to buy your own home as your first real estate move, or rent and buy investment homes instead.
The numbers tell the story
If you are considering buying your own home, the price of the home matters, the rent required to rent that same home matters, the local property taxes matter, the mortgage interest rates matter, dwelling insurance rates matter, and even the new 2018 tax law weighs in.
If you live in a market where property taxes are relatively low (say, between 1 and 1.7 percent of the home price per year), and insurance rates are reasonable, then if you are considering buying a home under about $400,000, that should be a “no-brainer” as your first step. Between $400,000 and $500,000 would still be a reasonable range to consider buying the home. In such a market, once you step up to the $500,000 range and above, the math may well start to turn as you climb higher in price, in favor of renting a home in the area in which you live. Following that, owning rental homes in more optimal markets makes sense.
Watch out for high property tax and high insurance rates
In markets where the property taxes are high (like in Texas and Oregon), and insurance rates are high (Texas again, for example), the “no-brainer” number may shrink to $300,000 or so, while the range above which you may consider renting your own home while buying affordable investment homes in other markets, will likely be $400,000 or above. This is because with high expenses for property tax and insurance, (which as a homeowner you would be paying) the overall numbers and logic “turn the corner” faster.
Certainly, in expensive areas like the San Francisco Bay Area, Los Angeles, San Diego, New York City and others such markets, it is usually far more logical to be a renter, while owning rental properties in affordable markets, where rents are actually quite high as a percentage of the home purchase prices.
Our next quarterly expo is December 1st near San Francisco Airport. Email us at email@example.com and add “Read your blog post” in the subject line and come as my guest. We will get back to you with registration information. Learn more about the event at icgre.com/events.
September 8th we had our quarterly ICG 1-Day Expo. It was spectacular.
Market Teams and Lenders
The market teams from relevant U.S. metro areas were present. The property managers were there too as always. Our main brokers and some of the builders (who construct the homes) came to the event as well. What a treat!
We had lenders specializing in both the conventional 30-year fixed rate loans, for investors in all 50 states. Lenders were in attendance who can make loans to people who are over the limit to get the regular (standard loans), as well as issue loans to foreign investors for U.S. rental homes.
I conducted lengthy Q&A sessions and gave the opening keynote speech and a couple of seminars. At the end of the day, there was a recap of the expo. During the breaks and lunch, I talked with investors, answered questions and enjoyed their company.
Expert Speakers and Hundreds in Attendance
We had a CPA talk about the new tax law and how taxes are optimized for rental home investors. There was an expert who discussed getting college grants for our kids (or grandkids), as many of us still need help (and think we earn too much to qualify). Our last expert spoke on the new structure of reverse mortgages, which has become highly regulated and different than we have previously known. It is useful to understand how all of this works as many are ready to make use of the reverse mortgage, and those of us not quite there learned a lot too.
Hundreds of people were in attendance – one of our best expos to date because it was a wonderful mix of seasoned and brand new investors. We also had many new people who had just been exposed via the PBS Special “Remote Control Retirement Riches with Adiel Gorel.” Also in attendance were veteran ICG investors. The mix was very useful, as the mere questions asked were a great source of learning for everyone. Our veteran investors love talking to people and helping them learn more about the process and to share their experience. It is like a family reunion every quarter! Many investors come to share stories with each other that have been investing for decades – they like to reconnect. The best part is learning how their lives have evolved and to see their dreams coming true for their future.
People All Came Together
The market teams were available in an airy, spacious and enjoyable space all day, to answer any questions and interact with investors new and old. They brought property offering for us to examine.
The day was highly enjoyable! People were from all over the San Francisco Bay Area, and many flew in from other states to attend the event, which was near the San Francisco Airport.
Many of the attendees have already registered to attend the next Quarterly ICG 1-Day Expo on Saturday, December 1, 2018. We will have a brilliant attorney to discuss Asset Protection, LLCs and other structures, and the correct way to implement it while avoiding common mistakes. We will also have an expert on credit optimization, so that we can qualify for the best rates possible, using special procedures which will be outlined. We are still evaluating several exciting experts to choose the third speaker.
In addition to the most relevant market teams, updates and so on, there will be a NEW MARKET introduced on December 1st.
Everyone reading this blog can register for free, just contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org and in the subject line write: “Read your blog, please sign me up for free on December 1st!” You can register up to three guests (also for free).
Looking forward to seeing you!