Top Cities

FAR 048

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New Report: the Top 20 Zip Codes in the US for Real Estate Investing

16 Cities where income can’t keep up with housing costs: meaning – don’t invest there.

Santa Ana, CA

Newark, NJ

Bloomington, IN

Los Angeles, CA

Lynnwood, CA

Garden Grove, CA

Hialeah, FL

Westminster, CA

Inglewood, CA

El Monte, CA

Paterson, NJ

Baldwin Park, CA

Davis, CA west of Sacramento

Hawthorne, CA

Miami, FL

Passaic, NJ

Commercial real estate has been placed on the Feds official “worry list” according to Business Insider online.


Investor Uh-OHs:

“Sue” bought a house from a wholesaler. The price was 140k. The wholesaler had told her the rehab would be 60k and the ARV is 300k. Sounds great and by our formula she could be all in at 210 and still be doing well. She proceeded to put the property under contract. AFTER closing, the best estimate she could get for the work was 78k. Well, that’s a little over budget, but we will still make money. She got the work done for 81k (found a few extra problems) and listed the property. Her realtor said that the best she would get is 280k. She wanted / needed more so they tried a listing at 285k. They ended up reducing over a month to 275 and eventually accepted 270k. If you’ve been doing the math, she was all in at 221 and selling for 270 so she’s ok right? Let’s see…

Commission: $16,200

Taxes: $1,548

Insurance: $750

Cost of funds: $24,375

Total additional costs: $42,873

Selling price: $270,000

Less purchase and rehab: $221,000

$49,000 – additional costs: $42,873 = 6,127


Annualized ROI is 5% – You would be better off putting your cash into an indexed fund.

What you just got for your money was a $40,000 course in the Real Estate Investing school of hard knocks.



  1. DON’T trust a wholesaler’s numbers.
  2. DO get a real contractor bid during DD.
  3. DO NOT compromise on your 30% margin.
  4. DO get your realtors’ opinion of ARV before entering into agreement to purchase
  5. DO find a way to contain costs without treating your buyers poorly.



Questions from College Reunion:

“How can I tell if my town is a good place to invest in real estate?”

-Are people moving there? Population growing?

-Employment opportunities (preferably from more than one major employer)

-Are there areas of revitalization/renewal?

-Look for the rare below market gems in the best parts of town.


Bennie from Boston: “I’m thinking about coming to Atlanta for your one day course. What are you going to cover?”





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