Thoughts on Railroads

Hi everyone,

I want to tell you how much I’m enjoying and appreciate all the input you are providing to everyone here. And, now, I’ve got a question for you.

I have my eye on a vacant VA repo that meets my requirements (and I’m purchasing in areas where every new investor is buying properties, in much need of repair, at almost retail – they are making me sick, but I’m not the one carrying their mistakes). It amazes me this one is still available. Now onto my information and question :slight_smile:

This home is in a mainly owner-occupied, almost nothing for sale, area. The properties for rent in the zip code hover around 11% with a 3% property vacancy rate (nice numbers for my area). There were upgrades done by the ‘Harry-Homeowner-Type’ who closed in the garage by themselves, and added a screened porch that is down right dangerous, that I will need to address. Other than that, it’s remove the trash, paint (cover up the dark purple – a cult must have lived there) and flooring – then flip.

The property is starting to move into a range where it’s worth my time to make an offer. However, as I was leaving I noticed there is a railway about 1/4 to 1/2 mile away. It’s downhill from the property and in the back where it’s all wooded. There is nothing between this house and the railway except trees. The train I saw wasn’t using a horn, at that moment, but it’s clearly a used railway.

I am looking at $75K purchase price, an ARV of $110K - $115K with approximately $15K in repairs. Thoughts from the experts on how long it may take to flip this property with a train running behind it? Or, what further research do I need to do? Normally I leave properties close to a railway alone, but this isn’t exactly on top of the house. I’ve been in houses where the train comes by and you are looking for a door frame to hang on to – not in this case. It’s just in the far back but very noticeable.

Thank you in advance for any guidance,


Both of my rental properties are near railroad lines - both 300 yards or less from the tracks (as the crow flies). Both properties are very near to crossings so I know they hammer the horns going by and it’s just lawns and houses between my properties and the tracks. The folks here are used to them. I have had no trouble renting either of them and have no complaints from the tenants. My personal residence is about 1/4 mile from the tracks and we have no issues with it.

I wouldn’t worry a whole bunch about it.