Real Estate Articles
Accumulating wealth through 'fixer' income properties
Rathin Neogy, MBA
If one has a keen eye for picking up good "fixer" income properties
that need some upgrading, this is a way to accumulate wealth fairly rapidly.
It's important to work with a good realtor to build up your portfolio of "fixer"
income properties that show potential for upgrading without a major remodel
effort. Proper analysis is required of rental income and expenses so that with,
say a 20 percent down payment, you benefit from the leveraging principle and
still have positive cash flows.
You should look for properties that are well constructed but need general upgrading
such as remodeling kitchens, bathrooms, painting and other relatively minor
improvements. This way you would have increased your equity in the property
substantially while raising its rental income potential. You can then refinance
the property and use the liquid assets to acquire another one that needs upgrading.
This concept is called pyramiding through refinancing.
Similarly, you can use pyramiding through selling, where you sell the improved
property after a period of a few years for a substantially higher price and
then use the proceeds to buy two or more income properties that need upgrading.
By buying more income properties through the IRC 1031 exchange, one can postpone
paying any capital gains taxes indefinitely.
The good thing about pyramiding this way is that equity is increased by upgrading
the property and then, by refinancing, leverage is used to acquire more property
where you are using borrowed money to help accumulate wealth. By holding on
to such properties for a period of 3 to 5 years, you are also benefiting by
the appreciation in value. In the meantime, you can increase rents commensurate
with market conditions.
This concept works well in areas where the economy shows good long-term growth
and general stability over at least a 10-year cycle. The investor could mix
their real estate portfolio by buying both residential and commercial income
Currently, in the author's opinion, San Diego shows good potential for continued
long-term growth and stability. For example, according to an article in the
San Diego Union Tribune of September 15, the median price for the county in
September hit a record of $483,000. That represented an $11,000 increase from
July and a 24.2 percent jump from a year earlier, the highest year-over-year
appreciation rate since December 2002. This upbeat image of San Diego is also
borne by Jill Morrow, president of Coldwell Banker, San Diego. She said on
September 19: "Our weather, lifestyle, diversity, culture, low unemployment,
continuing low interest rates and higher demand than supply continue to fuel
our market. Yes, inventories are building and that is a normal market."
Sellers need the assistance of realtors more than ever to receive good counsel
in determining the right asking price. They look to realtors for guidance and
The writer may be contacted on the following address:
Sterling Real Estate Company
Rancho Santa Fe