If you have even dabbled into real estate only to buy your own personal home, you’ve heard the saying that the most important factor in buying and selling property is location, location, location. Lately we’ve been reminded of that fact in a number of our decisions about what to do with a property.
For example, Lee and I will have vacancies coming up on a couple of our Cameron properties, so we’ve discussed what to do with the houses. We were talking about what a great house our current office would be for a family, with four bedrooms, two baths, a laundry room, a deck, and charming details. But, that house and the one next to it are on the main highway going through town. That’s not ideal if you have small children or are a light sleeper. So, the rent on that one won’t be as high as it would be even a few blocks over (in a good direction, at least).
The properties also have huge lots, as you can see, plus there’s an existing warehouse on the property. Maybe it would be better as a business rental. The smaller house might even do better moved to another location (calling Texas Flip and Move! Where are those Snow Sisters?*). Then we could build duplexes or something there. So we have lots to think about.
Another example is this property we looked at recently. It’s in a small town and is well maintained, other than some needed foundation work and roofing. However, it’s being offered at a surprisingly low price. Why? All it takes is looking around. It’s literally on the “wrong side of the tracks,” and most properties on the street appear to be in such poor shape no one could live in them, while others have been very poorly maintained. There are two other reasonable properties. Plop this house elsewhere, and it would be just fine.
The house we just got in Temple, on the other hand, looks bad, but is near a lot of nice things and is surrounded by houses that are fixed up. In this case, location is a plus!
*Texas Flip and Move is a DIY channel show where quaint Texans with stereotypical accents buy old houses move them, and fix them up to be vacation houses, lake houses, and such. People buy them at auction then move them to some…place.