They are not looking to speculate on real estate – that’s how so many people ended up getting foreclosed on in Watsonville, and in California, and in many other places throughout our glorious but fading homeland . A Speculator is someone who is placing a bet – they put some money down, and there bet is that the value of whatever they buy will go up. … These clients of mine are probably not what you would call professional real estate investors – but they want to buy real estate as if they were – and after they do buy a few properties, and if they keep with it, hey, before you know it – they will be professional investors, after all, every professional has to start somewhere. … What this means for my clients is that the amount of money they can afford to pay for a property, given their higher interest rate and lower rental rates means that they can offer less for a property than they had first thought – in order to make that 10% (or near 10%, anyway) return on their investment. … And, of course, the unemployment rate in Watsonville is reported to be at 25% – that’s huge, and I think it means a lot of people are going to be sharing housing, families living with families, rather than each family having their own individual place as I’m sure they’d prefer in many cases but owing to the weak economy cannot afford to do so at the moment.
This came up because the “switch” I had found for her had higher HOA dues than the property she was originally calling on, but I explained that the “switch” would rent for considerably more than the property which originally interested her, and would in fact provide much better cash flow. These days, though, the people who are investing for cash flow are not buying in the mid-county area ( Capitola , Aptos , Soquel , etc.) – because the properties there do not cash flow without a huge down payment- and even then, if you were to put a huge cash down payment, you would have a poor cash-on-cash return of your investment. … I don’t see the sense in buying something in, say, Santa Cruz that requires a large down payment, which does not provide much in the way of cash flow (and probably has a negative real cash flow, considering vacancy factor, maintenance, etc.), and will be heading steadily down in resale value for some months (or years?) … On the other hand, it is patently sensible to me to buy a $250,000 3-bedroom house in Watsonville, put down 20% ($50,000), rent it out for $2000 a month , make $500/month after principal, interest, tax, and insurance – and assuming a 10% vacancy factor, you’re making a 10.8% return on your money every month. … There are very few investment-grade properties in Santa Cruz county outside of Watsonville where you can buy, hold at a profit, and sell down the road for a net profit – without speculating on an eventual price increase to make it all worth the considerable risk.