Buying Real Estate for Passive Income

Real Estate for SaleEarlier this year I was looking into buying real estate for passive income cash flow.  There were plenty of houses for sale but I wasn’t looking for a Single Family house I wanted a Multi-Family building.  At this point, a Duplex was what I was eyeing.  I will explain why later.

The Criteria

After doing my budget and knowing what I can afford, I came up with this list for my purchasing criteria:

  1. Purchase Price under $100k
  2. Repairs under $5k
  3. Tenants in place paying market rents
  4. Must cashflow more than $300 – $400 a month.

Multi-Family vs. Single Family

When deciding to purchase a house or a duplex, I figured I will be able to get more bang for the buck from a duplex.  There are pros and cons for both but in my case, in the area I chose, this was the best way to go.  Let me explain…

Let’s say my monthly payment is going to be $663.  How would that look if I were to compare the 2?  Let’s find out!

Market Rents in the Local Area

  • Single Family House: $800-$1000Real Estate Rental Property for Rent
  • Duplex: $650 – $900 (per unit)

These numbers look pretty good right!?

Cashflow per Month

  • Single Family House: $1000 – $663 = $337
  • Duplex: ($900 x 2) $1800 – $663 = $1,137

Granted these numbers do not include items like 25% vacancy, 5% for capEx, property management (optional) fees, etc.  I’m keeping it simple for this article.

The numbers are clear that I can cashflow more with a duplex than a house.  Additionally, if the house ever becomes vacant, I have to carry the mortgage payment until I rent it again.  With the Duplex, as long as I can keep 1 unit rented, I won’t lose any money while I wait to fill the vacant unit.

Think of it like this:  I’m purchasing 2 houses (duplex) for $49k a piece.

The Rental Property

While touring the property with the owners I noticed that the building and units were in really good shape.  I estimated about $2000 worth of fixes which is well under my budget.  The Units were clean/well maintained and the tenants were really nice but are paying low market rents.

I asked the owners why they were selling and the answer was “We are tired of managing this property.  We are going to take this money and move away”.  This is PERFECT!  They kept the place well maintained, have great tenants and are motivated.  Sweet! let’s do the deal!

After a few delays, we finally closed the deal.  I hired a Property Management Company and they run the show.  Now I am completely hands off and only get contacted when something major happens that requires more than $250 to repair.

The Numbers

  1. Purchase Price: $98,000
  2. Down Payment of 25%: $24,500
  3. Loan Amount ($98k – $24,500): $73,500
  4. Closing Cost: $6,400
  5. Cash to Close: $30,900 (how much I need to come to the table with)
  6. Term: 30 yrs
  7. Rate: 6.625%
  8. Mortgage Payment: $470.63
  9. Tax & Insurance: $192
  10. Total Monthly Payment: —> $663 <—
  11. Actual Rents ($675 x 2): $1,350
  12. Property Management (10% of $1350): $135 
  13. Total Cashflow (Rents – PM – Monthly): $552

Pretty good eh?  The cool part about this is that the property will appreciate, I get tax write-offs, I can refinance after a while and take cash out, raise rents and increase my cash flow.  Since I wanted this to be passive income meaning I don’t want to have to do work for it (or a little as possible), I hired a property management company.

Me likes!


RealityLet’s not get it twisted.  There will be all kinds of things that can happen that I need to account for in that cash flow.  Tenants who move out, maintenance repairs, lawns to be cut, pest control, late rents, new roof, new HVAC, water heaters, locks, windows, etc. Owning a piece of property IS NOT for everyone.  Check out the story on My First Tenant Eviction.  It will definitely open you up to things that can happen.

However, if you can stomach the ups and downs that come with it, you are in the game.  There are plenty of tools out there to help in both areas.  One of them being a good property manager.  I found a great one!  BTDC Properties.  If you are thinking of doing this, I suggest you do your homework and take the leap!

If you’re excited about this, want to jump in but don’t have much money and you have a 401k, check out Screw my 401k I’m Buying Rental Property post.  It’s not the ONLY way but it’s one way to get in.  I’m not a financial expert or anything like that.  The numbers worked for me and I went with it.


Latest Comments

  1. Ron Ben Yosef December 6, 2018
    • Addam Driver December 6, 2018
  2. Marc December 6, 2018
    • Addam Driver December 6, 2018
  3. Pingback: I Quit My 9-5 Job - March 3, 2019