Before you take out a loan to flip an apartment, you need to find the right property.
Finding apartment properties to flip is a bit tricky, as most apartment buildings are sold off-market. Landlords don’t want to alert tenants to possible changes in ownership, and so they avoid listing their properties outright. So to find apartment properties with the most potential you need to get in touch with local real estate brokers, who can give you a sense of which properties are available.
After finding a potential property to flip, consider the following:
• Is the property is in an exceptionally dilapidated condition: Is there an immediate need for physical improvements, If you can, then make these improvements, and you can quickly boost the properties value and resell it at a profit.
• Consider outside factors that could increase the property’s value in the near-term: Are new public amenities like hospitals and schools about to be constructed nearby? If the answer is yes, then you may not need to spend any money to see the properties value appreciate.
The main difference between flipping apartments versus single-family homes is a matter of valuation. Residential properties are valued based on comparable sales, which limits the potential returns from residential flips. With commercial properties, I.e., apartments, the income generated by the property determines its value. Therefore the potential returns from an apartment renovation can be enormous, depending on how much you can raise the amount of income generated by the property.
When it comes to valuing apartment buildings, the value is usually set based on the market cap rate (annual income/ fair market price) divided by the overall annual revenue generated by the property.
So if your apartment earns 120,000 dollars in income annually and the prevailing cap rate is 5 percent= 120,000/.05= 2.4 million dollars.
This nuances of this valuation process are beyond the scope of this article.
However before taking out any loan you need to have a strategy in place to pay it off quickly. You also want to earn a profit by causing the value of the property to appreciate as quickly as possible. So when it comes to apartments, what’s the fastest way to raise a properties value? Raise rents.
With fix and flip loans and apartments your best bet is raising rents which present a low cost way to boost value and pay back your loan quickly.
With any flipping project, you need a short-term strategy to boost a properties value, to pay off your loan and earn a profit as quickly as possible. When it comes to apartment flips the best way to boost value is to raise rents.
Obviously can be amoral or unethical about this, the improvements you make should justify any rent increases. However, in some cases you can still raise rents without paying for any improvements at all. If a property is charging rents that are exceptionally low, you can raise rents to a reasonable standard and quickly earn a profit.
Even a small increase in rent can dramatically boost the value of an apartment building. Consider the first example where the property was valued at 2.4 million dollars
• 120,000 (annual income) /.05 (cap-rate)= 2.4 million dollars.
This property is a 20 unit building, and each unit brings in 500 dollars in rent per month. If you were to raise rents by 50 dollars the property will earn 1,000 dollars of additional income per month, or 12,000 in extra annual revenue.
While this might not seem like a lot, this small increase in rent, based on a 5 percent cap rate, equates to a new valuation of:
• 120+12=132,000 (annual income)/.05 (cap-rate)= 2.64 million dollars.
So in this case that extra 12,000 dollars in income resulted in a 240,000 dollar increase in the properties value. As you can see, the sky is the limit when it comes to apartment flips. But of course there is math and then there is reality. So things wont always work out according to plan.
Nevertheless, before taking out a loan on an apartment property, find a reputable real estate broker and look for properties with:
• Easy low cost fixes that could raise value,
• Properties where new public amenities are being constructed which will increase the value of the property without any cost to you, and above all,
• Look for properties that are charging below market rents.
Raising exceptionally low rents to a reasonable standard is the fastest, and cheapest way to quickly raise the value of an apartment, allowing you to pay back your loan and earn a profit in the shortest possible amount of time.
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About the Author: Dennis has been working in the real estate industry in some capacity for the last 40 years. He purchased his first property when he was just 18 years old. He quickly learned about the amazing investment opportunities provided by trust deed investing and hard money loans. His desire to help others make money in real estate investing led him to specialize in alternative funding for real estate investors who may have trouble getting a traditional bank loan. Dennis is passionate about alternative funding sources and sharing his knowledge with others to help make their dreams come true. Dennis has been married to his wonderful wife for 43 years. They have 2 beautiful daughters 5 amazing grandchildren. Dennis has been an Arizona resident for the past 40 years.© 2016 Level 4 Funding LLC. All Rights Reserved.