what's first?

I am planning on buying 3-4 low income rentals within the next couple of years. I’m also planning on managing these properties myself. As I live in a big city (San Antonio) I have access to a real estate school that offers a 30hr course on property management. I’m planning on taking this course and my question is -What else can I do to prepare myself?

Keep reading these threads and start getting familiar with the neighborhood that you want to invest in. You will want to find a REALLY GOOD DEAL.

Taking the property management course is very wise, you will be current on your state laws regarding tenants.

Good luck and let us know how you’re progressing.


Thanks for the encouraging words. I live in the neighborhood that I hope to invest in. My house was an REO a couple of years ago that I moved into and fixed up. The neighbors really appreciate what I’ve done inside and out.

I haven’t stopped looking at properties in these least two years. It’s a hobby now to check out MLS almost every day and then drive by and peek through windows. I can buy a 3-1 for 20-25,000and put in another 10-15,000 and have a nice little rental for a small family.
I do have to learn how to deal with renters however. Also, this neighborhood is predominately Spanish speaking and I only know English.

Another interesting hurdle for me! I will appreciate any help I get.

You already have the mindset of someone who will be successful in RE–YOU CAN’T STOP LOOKING AT PROPERTIES.

Pull back and think about your circumstances–would it be better to rent out your already reconditioned home and go in owner-occupied on a duplex or multiple unit property in your neighborhood?

Do you have a big family that you have to move, switch schools, etc. that makes this a problem?

I like working in my neighborhood. If I have to drive 20 minutes just to check on the leaky sprinkler valve fix, that house has already lost value in my mind. I like the house located 5 minutes away. I like to control my local area. I like to concentrate my efforts.

On just one corner I have 7 units. I can look across the street and see if the yard looks good. On another block I have 4 units. I help maintain the quality of that neighborhood, and much easier for me.

I have learned so much on this site. I got pushed to go out and get more property. I got pushed to accept that I was in a bubble economy, which made me more conservative. Now I am getting pushed to get some cash together and buy something cheap while the getting’s good. I hope you get pushed too. Just keep asking and posting and you will learn. We want to help you, and we also get helped.

As for the Spanish, just get yourself down to the local adult center and sign up. Here it costs about $25 for 3 months. I have been going for several years, every Tuesday night 6-8PM. Now I am in level 4! I have to bite my tongue every time I hear someone say, “Oh, yeah, I’m going to learn Spanish someday…”

I want to kick them–“Just shut up and do it already!” I listen to tapes in my car (yes, tapes, CD player broke) while driving to Home Depot on automatic. I know all about the coffee harvest in Columbia from my Spanish language tapes. I can now communicate on a basic level with my workers. You are in Texas, for Pete’s sake, get yourself going on that one. THERE IS NO EXCUSE FOR NOT DOING IT and it has its own rewards. Instead of “Oh, S___!” now I can say “Que lastima!”


Thanks Furnishedowner.
I’ve thought many times of renting this house and moving into the house to be rehabbed because I know I will do my best work while living there and the logistics aren’t the problem as I am single with no children and moving would be relatively cheap. But, I rehabbed this home with only me living here in mind. I’ve knocked out walls and turned a tiny 3-1 into a 2-1 and I’ve put in laminate flooring (which I wouldn’t do with a rental), etc… So at least with the first house, I will try living here and driving over to work on it.
I will have some stupid sounding questions in the future so I think I’ll just jump right in with the first one now. It’s out of this category actually so maybe I’ll move to the financing forum.
As for the Spanish lessons, I took it in college decades ago and but I was never able to say much more than my name and age. Fortunately, most Spanish-only speakers around here have children that are used to being interpreters. :smile