The housing market sagged like a hammock, property values hit the ground, and we here at The Fishcreek Outfit had our hands on a small amount of liquid cash: We’d always talked about investing in a rental or two … Say hello to the FannieMae Homepath program.
Let me clairfy: a “small amount of liquid cash” for The Outfit — a married couple, no kids, both school teahcers — equals a few thousand dollars; and, of course, eyes bigger than our stomachs, we bit off more than we’d originally planned to (more on this later) … Alas, we scavenged a couple thousand more from other designated pots, and now we’re the proud, trepidatious, curious, excited owners of an 850 square-foot condo in a working class downtown neighborhood — great schools, walking distance to the park, pets under 35 lbs accepted … Need a place?
How did we begin? The FannieMae Homepath website is a catalogue of foreclosed properties across the US. We searched through the listings in our area, visited a few, and waited patiently for a property that 1) needed minimal repairs 2) fit our projected budget 3) was in an attractive part of town and 4) inspected well. Over the course of a year or so, we kept our eyes on the revolving properties until we found one that matched our criteria.
(Had we a bigger budget, I should say, we could have snatched up several different properties along the way; the website is full of great deals on homes that need updating and repairs.)
Once we found the property that worked for us, our realtor* put in our bid and the waiting began …
Stay tuned for Purchasing Our First Rental Property, Part 2, in which we’ll discuss the bidding process and securing a mortgage for a condo investment in the Age of Stingy Banks.
[*We highly recommend using your own realtor as opposed to the listing agent: in our area, at least, the listing agent appears to have her hands full; we wanted someone who could walk us through every step.]
- How to Buy Investment Property (timeforinvesting.com)
- Rental income and expenses: Tax tips for real estate owners (return2writing.com)
- Why Investing in Long-Term Rental Properties is Almost Risk Free (investfourmore.wordpress.com)
- Step 1: Choosing a REALTOR when buying a home. (bonniepiontekherrings.wordpress.com)