Boots-on-the-Ground Market Insights: Atlanta, GA

Boots-on-the-Ground Market Insights: Atlanta, GA

September 2020

 

There’s no denying it … Distribution hubs are booming.

 

The real estate ecosystem is evolving and it might be in our best interest to evolve with it. We’ve had our eye on Atlanta for a while and in this interview, we hear why now might be the best time to act. The region has proven to be a strong distribution hub and COVID-19 has only accelerated the profits within the market.

In this Boots-on-the-Ground interview, Russell Gray, co-host of The Real Estate Guys™ Radio Show, talks with Chris Funk to get an update on how Atlanta is faring now that it’s home to a number of Fortune 500 companies. We gain insight on Build-to-Rent properties, and how they might prove to be among the best long term holdings. 

Topics discussed include …

  • Metropolitan Distance
  • Celebrities Flocking to Atlanta
  • Occupancy and Turnover Rate
  • COVID-19 Accelerated Distribution Growth
  • Inventory Issues and Solutions
  • Long Term Holdings and Profits

And SO MUCH MORE!
 

Simply fill out the form below to access this edition of Boots-on-the-Ground Market Insights: Atlanta, GA

 


Build-to-Rent Residential in Central Florida – Affordable and New

Many people ask us what the best way is to get started in long distance landlording.

THE ANSWER … buy an affordable, brand new property in one of the best markets in the country. 

We’re taking a deeper look into how one innovative developer is building new residential properties especially for investors like YOU. 

In this episode of The Real Estate Guys™ show, hear from:

  • Your good as new host, Robert Helms
  • His very affordable co-host, Russell Gray
  • Veteran Central Florida real estate broker, Jean Gillen
  • Build-to-Rent real estate developer, Wagner Nolasco

Listen

 

 


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Sunny Central Florida

All real estate markets are not created equal. With the current COVID-19 crisis, there are markets that have weathered the storm pretty well while others are in complete disarray. 

The thing is … people and money and business don’t just go away. They do, however, move around. The key is to see where they are going. 

When you can see that, you see that there is going to be an opportunity on the opposite side of a problem. 

Today, we’re taking a look at a market that’s cheap, cheerful, and affordable … Central Florida. 

As more people are realizing that they can work from anywhere, they are asking themselves where they would like to live. 

Central Florida has great weather, sunshine, and things to do. It has been one of our favorite markets for many years … and it’s not really one market. 

It’s a huge area with multiple exciting markets within it. 

Today we’re learning why it is that Central Florida continues to do well in spite of COVID-19 from two people who really know this market well … Jean Gillen and Wagner Nolasco. 

People want cheap and cheerful

Jean Gillen has been in this business for a long time as a realtor … and her specialty is helping investors. 

As a realtor, Jean understands that the investment market is kind of unique. She knows what investors are looking for and what they need to make a great deal happen. 

“The biggest thing we have found out through this pandemic is that one of the places a lot of people want to move to is Florida,” Jean says. “We’re cheap, and we’re cheerful.”

For example, someone moving from California and buying a $200,000 house is getting a home that is equivalent to a $1.5 million house on the West Coast. 

If you look at a Central Florida parking lot and take a look at the license plates, you can see where folks are moving from … Illinois, New York, Arkansas, Missouri. 

Central Florida has tons of new jobs in growing industries like space and tech … with over 400 new employers on the “space coast.”

And don’t forget about those lovely retirement communities and the fact that there is no state income tax. 

One thing that is important for investors to know and remember is that only 60% of the land in Florida is built on. 

Jean and her team target homes on infill lots at about a quarter of an acre with amenities and neighbors already in place. 

But what about hurricanes?

“We do not worry so much about hurricanes. We do have hurricanes, but we are able to prepare. And, with 2020 construction, the homes really can withstand a lot,” Jean says. 

In Florida, investors will want to purchase a cement block house. The facade can be different, but the cement block structure means you’re ready to weather any storm … and the resell value will be higher. 

Standards for 2020 construction reduce the amount of insurance you have to have on your home. The average insurance for a $215,000 home is about $49 a month. 

Why brand new?

A couple of years ago, Jean introduced us to Wagner Nolasco. Wagner is a home builder who has teamed up with Jean to provide the type of housing that is in demand for investors today. 

They’re building single family homes … ground up construction, brand new … but literally in the path of progress and growth in these Central Floridian communities. 

There are many advantages to an investor buying a brand new house. 

“I’ve done over 400 turnkey properties in my career, and from that experience, I tell my friends that are doctors and investors, ‘You can put a brand new heart into a person, but you can’t guarantee that the arteries are going to be unobstructed,’” Wagner says. 

When you buy a 40 or 50 year old house and fix it up, there are always going to be more problems down the line. 

When you buy brand new construction, you can safely bet that your capital expenditure is going to be minimal over the next several years.

Florida has one of the toughest building construction codes in the country … concrete block construction, brand new hip roofing, energy efficient air conditioning, windows that can withstand 140 mph winds, tile floors throughout, and the like. 

“It’s more bang for your buck,” Wagner says. 

Together Jean and Wagner have re-engineered what the typical individual moving to Central Florida will be looking to pay for housing and determined what they can build brand new to offer a win for both investor and tenant. 

By building the same model house on infill lots in various communities, their team can buy in volume and lower costs while creating a better product than a turnkey property. 

And, 80% of tenants that rent a new house will stay for three or more years. Less turnover means more money in your pocket, fewer repairs, and better quality tenants. 

To learn more about investing in brand new construction in Central Florida … listen to the full episode!


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Podcast: Build-to-Rent Residential in Central Florida – Affordable and New

One of the best ways to get started in long-distance landlording is to buy an affordable brand new property in one of the best markets in the country.

In this episode, we look at how one innovative developer is building new residential properties, especially for investors.


More From The Real Estate Guys™…

The Real Estate Guys™ radio show and podcast provides real estate investing news, education, training, and resources to help real estate investors succeed.


Love the show?  Tell the world!  When you promote the show, you help us attract more great guests for your listening pleasure!

Boots-on-the-Ground Market Insights: Jacksonville, FL

Boots-on-the-Ground Market Insights: Jacksonville, FL 

August 2020

 

What is happening on Main Street? Is it time to put the pedal to the metal?

The southeast region real estate market has always looked pretty nice … but, how is it doing these days? We hear how Chris Funk’s team is building and managing portfolios for investors in a growth market during the COVID-19 Crisis. It seems they’re leasing houses faster than they can build and honestly … that excites us. Russell Gray, Co-Host of The Real Estate Guys™ Radio Show, takes time to sit down for a behind-the-scenes conversation with a successful build-to-rent investor and developer, Chris Funk.

We hear all about:

  • How to Combat Inflation
  • Why you might Consider New Builds 
  • Real Estate Insurance Discounts
  • Pre and Post COVID-19 Delinquency and Collection Rates
  • Alignment For the Investor and Property Manager

And MUCH more!

 

Simply fill out the form below to access this edition of Boots-on-the-Ground Market Insights: Jacksonville, FL … 


Build-to-Rent Real Estate — Another Look at a Hot Concept

What do you do when a housing shortage meets a shortage of home buyers? 

It’s real estate investors to the rescue! Developers are finding big opportunities building homes to cater to the needs of landlords. 

We’re talking with two developers who are taking the hot concept of build-to-rent to new heights. 

In this episode of The Real Estate Guys™ show, hear from:

    • Your informative host, Robert Helms
    • His inquisitive co-host, Russell Gray
    • CEO of Sage Oak Assisted Living, Loe Hornbuckle
    • Loe’s partner and construction developer, Austin Good

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A new approach to rental property 

We’re talking about a niche that is getting hotter and hotter by the minute. It’s something that lots of people can participate in … build-to-rent. 

Traditionally, builders have been buying land, building, and then selling what they built. 

But more and more, there is the idea of building the end product not for someone to buy and use … but for someone to rent. 

Most renters are looking at older properties … single family houses, apartments, townhouses … all already up and running and built for owner occupants. 

They may not be ideal as a rental for either the tenant or the landlord, but they work fine. Now, these properties are being built with the tenant specifically in mind instead.

We read a lot about the millennials and their debt load and inability to purchase houses. That means more people renting their homes and a giant demographic of young people that need a place to live. 

On the flip side, you’ve got a lot of interest in real estate as an asset class for the first time … so there is opportunity. 

Big benefits in build-to-rent projects

We’re talking to two men who have found the secret sauce in build-to-rent properties … Loe Hornbuckle and Austin Good. 

Austin started out as a real estate agent and quickly began flipping single family rental properties. But when inventory started to tighten he thought, “Maybe we should just go in, buy land, develop it, and build to rent.”

Doing so meant you could control the entire process a lot better and easier. “And as we did that, we found a lot of demand from investors,” Austin says. 

Some of the benefits of the build-to-rent scene is that investors are usually ready to close right away. You don’t have to wait things out depending on the market as much as a traditional developer. 

Physically, there are ways to optimize properties with renters in mind as well. 

“The biggest differences come down to durability of certain goods. We’ve gotten rid of carpet altogether in all of our deals because LVT flooring is more durable for a rental market,” Austin says. 

Austin also says that they design the homes with the investor’s exit strategy in mind. 

Right now, these properties will be used as rentals … but in 10 years the investor may want to sell to an owner occupant. It all depends on how the market changes. 

On that note, build-to-rent as a niche is fairly recession resistant. 

“These types of properties are a Class-A product that can rent for a Class-B price. You also don’t have to compete in the amenities space like apartment buildings,” Loe says. 

Currently, Austin and Loe build a combination of duplexes and townhomes … so people treat them as single family residences and don’t expect all the extras of an apartment complex. 

The other big pull for this niche, Loe says, are the tax advantages. 

When you sell a product, you’re being taxed. But build-to-rent has the advantage of the government realizing you are building affordable, clean, safe housing, so it offers many breaks and cuts to help you out. 

Then, you have the low turnover rate to consider. The two biggest expenses in renting are turnover and vacancy. If you can minimize those things … you’re in great shape. 

The tenants that come into build-to-rent properties treat them like they are their own, and they become attached and stick around. 

A big appeal of these build-to-rent properties right now is that they give the tenant the chance to rent something that is brand new or only a year or two old. 

Compared to living in a 25-year-old property … new is very appealing. 

In short, build-to-rent is a long-term asset with multiple exit strategies and multiple uses. 

Syndication in build-to-rent

Efficiencies are important when you’re undertaking a large project … and that’s exactly what Loe and Austin are doing. 

Their current project in Denton, Texas, has almost 90 units … which offers opportunities for a streamlined workflow and other efficiencies that mean more profit for builders and a better deal for investors. 

They also have a unique approach to ownership. Instead of selling individual units, they are collectively owning them. 

Many of Loe and Austin’s current projects are in Opportunity Zones. One aspect of investing in these areas is you have to hold the property for 10 years to get the maximum tax benefit. 

For many investors, investing in an opportunity zone is solely for the tax benefit … and with build-to-rent style investments, there are many additional bonuses for passive investors that want to get involved. 

Passive investors can see the tax advantage and return they want and are willing to hold the property for an extended amount of time. 

That’s why Loe and Austin focus on real estate syndication. Individual owners are foregone in favor of a leasing agent and maintenance staff that oversee the project. 

To learn more about syndicating in the build-to-rent niche … listen in to the full episode!

More From The Real Estate Guys™…

The Real Estate Guys™ radio show and podcast provides real estate investing news, education, training, and resources to help real estate investors succeed.


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Podcast: Build-to-Rent Real Estate – Another Look at a Hot Concept

When a shortage of housing converges with a shortage of home buyers … it’s real estate investors to the rescue!

Developers large and small are realizing there’s a big opportunity in building homes to cater to the needs of landlords.

In this episode, we visit with two developers who’ve put a new twist on the build-to-rent concept.

So listen in as take another look at the hot concept of build-to rent.


More From The Real Estate Guys™…

The Real Estate Guys™ radio show and podcast provides real estate investing news, education, training, and resources to help real estate investors succeed.


Love the show?  Tell the world!  When you promote the show, you help us attract more great guests for your listening pleasure!

Low Vacancy and No Deferred Maintenance with Build to Rent

Vacancy is the enemy of real estate investment. But no fear!

You can invest in a property with zero deferred maintenance and a whole lot of attraction to tenants. 

Smart builders are helping real estate investors dramatically reduce the risk of vacancy and expensive repairs. 

Listen in as we chat with a man who is creating build to rent properties in some of the best rental markets in the United States … and see what opportunities await investors like YOU.  

In this episode of The Real Estate Guys™ show, hear from:

  • Your helpful host, Robert Helms
  • His deferring co-host, Russell Gray
  • From Fourplex Investment Group, Steve Olson

Listen


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Discover build to rent

Today we’re going to talk about an interesting niche within real estate. 

More and more, we’re seeing builders who don’t build property to sell to an owner occupant … they’re selling to investors instead. 

It’s called build to rent. 

With millennials fighting student debt and not forming households or buying property as soon in their life, it’s a great time to get into the rental game. 

We’ve dabbled in this niche ourselves … though it wasn’t firmly established at the time. 

We’d catch a builder in a phase of development and say, “What if we came in and bought the rest of your inventory?”

It was a real win-win. The developer no longer had to question which properties would sell … and investors could get inventory that they otherwise wouldn’t. 

The tenants benefitted too. They got to move into these brand new, beautiful properties. 

As the niche has grown, it has only become better. 

Now, you have builders building with the landlord and the tenant in mind … which means you can do some value engineering that maybe you wouldn’t do if you were selling to owner occupants. 

All of this means bringing product at a more competitive price … which means a better ROI. 

Our guest today is Steve Olson of Fourplex Investment Group (FIG). FIG builds brand new fourplexes in a variety of markets … ready for investors to swoop in and swoop up profits. 

Creating a valuable niche

The days of buying a home for less than it costs to build are gone. In many cases, developers, builders, and investors are finding that it’s more economically viable to just build new. 

If you want to be in the investment property business … you’ve got to find somewhere to get inventory … and you have to look at shifts in the marketplace. 

Two major demographic shifts are happening. 

One, baby boomers are looking for something more convenient … a managed community with some amenities to it. 

Two, millennials are more likely to rent than to buy … homeownership is getting more expensive, and many of them have a distaste for it. 

So, people want to live in these build to rent properties … you just have to pick the right markets. 

“More importantly, I think, you need to pick the right sub-markets within those solid markets. You’ve got to get to know the neighborhoods,” Steve says. 

And when you are building to rent, you’ve got to be able to look out at the horizon and be confident that there will be tenants in the area in 18 months … or more … however long it takes to get property standing. 

Steve and the team at FIG build brand new fourplex units … beautiful homes that are attached and have parking. 

They are an upscale rental … built in communities that allow them to offer amenities and services. 

“The idea is that we have to balance two worlds. We have a bunch of different investors but the feeling of a cohesive community. We do this by creating uniform standards through an HOA,” Steve says. 

As far as the tenant knows, they’re in a townhome complex or apartment complex. They have amenities. There is a property manager they report to … the same experience across the board. 

HOAs aren’t always popular … but that’s usually because homeowners are too busy to be bothered to come to meetings and be involved. 

Investors aren’t like that. 

Owners that are investors are very interested in the long-term health and viability of the complex. 

This type of investment is especially suited for someone who thinks a little more long term. The average investor doesn’t come in, buy a fourplex, and flip it to another guy in a year. 

With FIG’s approach, there is a certain amount of value engineering that can take place. 

“We deliver units cheaper than almost anybody I know of, but you have to strike a balance so you aren’t paying for it down the line,” Steve says. 

For example, Steve and his team have started using as a standard luxury vinyl tile floor … it’s meant to take a beating. 

“It looks good, like wood, but you can drag a couch across it. The dog can run around on it, and it’s still going to last a long time,” Steve says. 

But everything else is meaningless if you don’t talk about markets. 

The right markets for fourplex investment

A market is where we find tenants … so Steve and the team at FIG are very conscious of the markets they choose to build in. 

“Strategically, we’re looking for population growth. We’re looking for employment. You can get past a lot of things if you have those two things,” Steve says. 

FIG started in Utah in the Salt Lake City metro. Then, they expanded into markets in the Houston metro and into Boise, Idaho. 

Boise has tons of growth with jobs coming in from the Northwest and other less business-friendly states … and the vacancy is really low across the board. 

The team is also moving into the Phoenix metro area. 

For more information on this investment niche, listen in to the full episode!

More From The Real Estate Guys™…

The Real Estate Guys™ radio show and podcast provides real estate investing news, education, training, and resources to help real estate investors succeed.


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Podcast: Low Vacancy and No Deferred Maintenance with Build to Rent

Smart home builders are helping real estate investors dramatically reduce the risk of vacancy and expensive repairs.

Listen in as we talk with a builder who creates build to rent properties in some of the best rental markets in the United States.


More From The Real Estate Guys™…

The Real Estate Guys™ radio show and podcast provides real estate investing news, education, training, and resources to help real estate investors succeed.


Love the show?  Tell the world!  When you promote the show, you help us attract more great guests for your listening pleasure!

Finding Great Properties in Growing Markets

Real estate investing can seem complicated … but it’s really very simple. 

Successful real estate investors buy great properties in growing markets. It IS simple. But it’s not always easy. 

We’re talking to a real estate investor with experience in evolution. He’ll share how he finds properties that make sense in markets that are poised for growth and resilience. 

And … he’ll give a few tips for how YOU can evolve as market conditions shift. 

In this episode of The Real Estate Guys™ show, hear from:

  • Your resilient host, Robert Helms
  • His shifting co-host, Russell Gray
  • President and Co-Founder of Southern Impression Homes, Chris Funk

Listen


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Getting creative in a good market

It’s fun renting real estate … especially if you can make a return. 

We love real estate. We really do. But every market is not the same. It’s important that you pick your markets well … now more than ever. 

People who look at what’s happening in the economic world at the macro level look at real estate as an asset class … but it is so much more. 

Every market is different … every property is different … every property niche is different. And the ownership, motivation, and structure of each deal is different. 

Real estate deals are unique as a fingerprint … and there’s always going to be an opportunity. 

Today we are talking about a market that we have spent a lot of time in and that we know pretty well. But we haven’t talked about it in a while … Atlanta. 

The other thing we’re going to talk about today is buying new. 

It’s rare that a new property can give you the same financial performance as buying used for a variety of reasons … not the least of which is that to develop a property takes the money for the land AND money for materials and labor. 

But there are rare opportunities when you can find a brand new property that actually performs. 

We’ve currently got a real estate guy in the White House … and whether you like him or not, he knows that there is a lot of expense in development … and much of that is regulatory. 

Recently, he signed an Executive Order to reduce the cost of regulation in building … and the National Association of Home Builders loved it. 

That’s because the cost of building a single-family home for them is 25% regulation. Wow. 

So, with regulation taking less of a cut … there are some things happening. 

Why not buy new?

Our guest today is a creative entrepreneur who is building new builds in a couple of great markets. 

Chris Funk is the president and co-founder of Southern Impression Homes. We last met him in his office in Jacksonville, Florida, where he has an amazing property management team. 

In addition to many Florida markets, Chris and his team are making great inroads in a couple of new markets. 

“We are in Southwest Atlanta at the moment,” Chris says. “We’ve been there for six years, and our model has turned fully to build-to-rent.”

Chris and his team started looking at build costs from a brand-new construction standpoint. They found that if they were self-developing properties without a developer markup … they could still provide inventory at a discount. 

New construction has a lot of benefits … like decreased insurance costs and lower maintenance costs. 

For Chris, the answer quickly became clear. 

“You can have a house that was built in 1950, or you can get the same yield for a house that built in 2018 or 2019,” Chris says. 

A new build also offers a consistency of cash flow. 

“The sad thing for us is that after our investors close on a home and we put a tenant in, we don’t hear from them again. The check just comes every month,” Chris says. 

Many of the tenants stay for long periods of time because they are happy to be raising families in new construction. 

Another reason for low turnover is that Chris and his team can spec out the houses exactly how they want them. And they can buy great materials at a bulk price because of the volume. 

“We got the best price on granite, so everything has granite,” Chris says. 

Another great aspect of new builds is that if investors want to sell the home down the line, it already has the specs they need to sell competitively on the market. 

All about Atlanta

Chris and his team are operating in a lot of different markets … but there are lots of reasons to love Atlanta. 

“It’s a market that just can’t be ignored,” Chris says. 

Atlanta is the fourth-largest, fastest-growing market in the United States. Many Fortune 500 companies have bases there, and the population growth is tremendous. 

The market in Atlanta is also very consistent in its growth and rates. 

Currently, job growth is outpacing population … which means more people are coming to Atlanta. 

But the market isn’t a one-trick pony. There is a lot of diversity in the area. For instance … Atlanta just surpassed Hollywood in movie production dollars. 

Chris says that the rents are great in Atlanta. With population growth the way it is … people need more housing. 

And they might as well buy new. 

To learn more about Atlanta and Southern Impression Homes … listen in to our full episode!

More From The Real Estate Guys™…

The Real Estate Guys™ radio show and podcast provides real estate investing news, education, training, and resources to help real estate investors succeed.


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8/25/13: Build to Rent Investing – Healing America with New Homes

Are you looking for a win-win-win-win investing scenario?  Sure!  Why wouldn’t you?

But does such a thing exist in today’s U.S. real estate market?

That’s what we try to find out in this episode of The Real Estate Guys™ Radio Show!

In the studio for this holistic discussion:

  • Your host and Doctor of Discussion, Robert Helms
  • Regular contributor, the Godfather of Real Estate, Bob Helms
  • Returning guest, Texas investor and broker, Ron Black

What is one thing a tenant, landlord and property manager all have in common?

They all love a BRAND NEW PROPERTY!

Think about.  Obviously, the tenant would rather be the first person to walk on the carpet, cook in the kitchen and sit on the toilet.  (Okay, that was a little much, but you get the idea).

And once the tenant is in, as long as the rent makes sense, don’t you think she’d rather stay in their nice, new home longer?  Sure!

Of course, the property manager would rather not be hassled with a bunch of fix-it calls.  And obviously, a brand new property – especially one with a builder’s home warranty – is likely to have less maintenance than a much older home, right?  Duh.

Do low maintenance expenses make the landlord happy?  To quote Sarah Palin, “You betcha!”.  (We know some of you might not like Sarah Palin, but can you think of a more famous person who says “You betcha”?  We couldn’t either.)

We could go on and on, but you get the idea.  If the numbers make sense, new is better than used.

BUT…and yes, it’s a big one…when you can buy a used home for below replacement cost in so many markets, can the numbers make sense to build new?

Yes it can.  But not in every market.

So, as we often preach, the property isn’t the big deal.  It’s the market.  And though there are lots of great markets in the U.S. right now, there’s one that is at the TOP of the list when it comes to creating jobs.  Do you know which one? (Drum roll, please)  It’s….

Houston, Texas!

So when we saw Houston at the top of the jobs creation list (we already knew that 4 of the top 10 fastest growing cities in the U.S. were in Texas, including Houston), we got out our list finder (if you’re under 50, you have NO idea what a list finder is) and looked up our buddy from Texas Investor Homes, Ron Black.

Ron was kind enough to drop by the studio and share the latest and greatest on the Houston market and why the Build to Rent program he’s been developing is working so well.

It isn’t rocket science, but it’s easy to overlook if you’re not paying attention.  But that’s why you have us.  Our full time job (and a little bit more) is to pay attention, then bring nifty (another throwback word) ideas to your attention.

And we think this Build to Rent concept is one of the niftiness ideas.  We think you’ll agree.

So listen in to this discussion with Ron Black and if you dig it (yet another throw back phrase), at the end you’ll be rewarded with the secret key to accessing a special webinar Ron prepared for inquiring minds who want to know more.  Sound groovy?  (Oh, be-have. baby…)

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