Property Management Blog

Kansas City Loft Search

Chris Lengquist - Monday, April 27, 2009
kansas-city-loftI spent Saturday looking at lofts in downtown Kansas City.  Not as investment property but as corporate housing.  See, there is a Chicago based business with a branch here in Kansas City that is spending too much on hotel bills.  So why not go ahead and buy a loft? As investment properties the loft and condo market in downtown Kansas City still leaves me wanting.  For instance, I was told that a condo "really cash flows" and that an investor she works with is really happy.  So naturally, I inquired as to details.  I was told that the place costs $136,500 and is renting on a two year lease for $850 per month. To me, that is not a great investment from and investment property point of view.  Go ahead and work the numbers and argue with me.  But I'd rather find you something around Kansas City (and if you are patient you definitely can) that rents for $700 and you purchase it for about $85,000 to $90,000. But going back to what we were doing... dh_rivermarketThe investment for this corporation makes complete sense.  They are paying cash.  They would otherwise continue to drop at least the same amount of money on hotel bills.  And since this is a well established company with a well established presence in Kansas City they will own this property for years and years and years. And it brought me back to when I was in my twenties with my young bride living in a high rise in Bethesda, Maryland.  (Just outside of DC.)  I love lofts and condos.  I love stepping out the front door and into a neighborhood full of life.   Pizza parlors.  BBQ.  Mexican food.  (Can you tell the River Market is where I'd buy one?)

Does Your Real Estate Agent Understand Their Duties?

Chris Lengquist - Friday, April 17, 2009
legal-real-estate-issuesAgency.  It means something a little different in all fifty states.  Here in the Kansas City real estate market we that have licenses in both Kansas and Missouri have to keep straight the differing rules and regulations regarding real estate agents and their various forms of agency. This post isn't about explaining the various forms of agency.  Though that would be a great series of blogs.  Nor is it to discuss the differences between Kansas and Missouri.  Again, another series of blogs that may be worth pursuing.  But this blog post is to point you towards a Kansas City Star article regading real estate agents with Block & Co (a commercial real estate brokerage here in Kansas City) that apparently failed to meet their fiduciary duty towards their seller clients. Now, I'm not privy to all the facts.  And I am of the belief that a jury would almost always rather side with a seller or buyer than an evil, rich real estate firm.  But when a jury only deliberates for an hour that speaks to pretty strong evidence.  Read the story. Then think about who you want to represent you in your next real estate transaction.  Would you prefer a seasoned professional, a part-timer with little experience or even worse, yourself? What amazes me is that commercial agents wouldn't realize the seriousness of signing an agreement that says you would qualify buyers before allowing them to offer.  I'm curious as to what kind of background/financial check they conducted. (Editorial note:  There are a very few of you out there that are/would be qualified to represent yourself.  You need not comment unless you really feel compelled.  But most people are better off using a professional real estate agent.  Be that me or someone else.)

Rental Property Update For Waldo

Chris Lengquist - Wednesday, April 15, 2009
The Waldo neighborhood of Kansas City is seeing some pretty darned good activity right now on rental property.  I know of two different units that went up for rent about or less than 30 days ago.  One has a tenant already in it and one received a deposit last evening.  che-pi As I've already told you a couple weeks back I'm seeing a lack of inventory that is ripe for cherry picking.  There are homes to be had.  But the "deals" everyone dreams of when watching their local news are just not there.  While it is certainly not a seller's market in Waldo neither is it a buyer's market.  If the inventory is priced according to it's condition it will sell quickly.  Same goes for the rental possibilities. Waldo is a section of Kansas City that I just love for rental properties.  If you are looking for an investment property it's a great place to start.  I also I have my eye on a place up in the East Plaza area.

Are You Going To Finish Strong?

Chris Lengquist - Sunday, April 12, 2009

Back To Blogging

Chris Lengquist - Thursday, April 9, 2009
Sorry I've been away this last week plus.  Here are my list of excuses;
  • The NCAA Tournament held it's Sweet 16 (as far as my beloved Jayhawks made it) through Championship Game and those that are regular readers know I worship college basketball.
  • I celebrated my 44th birthday with my family.  In my mind I just graduated high school...
  • Getting ready for Missouri audit.  Looking and re-checking each and every document over the past 12 months to be sure each box is checked.  For every mistake they can find both property management wise and real estate wise it's about a $250 fine.  That adds up.
  • Just needed a writing respite.
But sadly for you I'm back! Here is a little blurb from the Kansas City Star that is telling... Retail and recreational development in Wyandotte County has helped raise the average weekly wage in the county 7.5 percent, the seventh-largest increase among 335 large U.S. counties. The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics reported Wednesday on increases from the third quarter of 2007 to the third quarter of 2008. The average wage rose 4 percent in Johnson County and 3 percent in Jackson County. It dropped 1.7 percent in Clay County. Those counties average weekly wages: $867 in Johnson; $830 in Wyandotte; $851 in Jackson, and $765 in Clay.

Taxes and Your Rental Properties

Chris Lengquist - Tuesday, March 31, 2009
depreciation-surpriseOkay.  This is not going to be a long post.  I just wanted you to know that I picked up my taxes from my "tax guy" yesterday and had a pleasant surprise.  And a big part of that surprise was the rental property factor.  It can be like "found money." Depreciation is your friend when you own investment property.  I have written about Depreciation and Your Rental Property before and everything I have to say about it can be found at that link.  Let's say this one  more time: "There are 4 basic benefits to owning investment property."
  1. Cash Flow Before Taxes
  2. Principal Reduction
  3. Tax Benefits (Depreciation included)
  4. Appreciation
Just go to the categories section on the right side of this real estate investing blog and you can look up the tag: 4 Benefits of Real Estate Investing.  You can read those links and you'll learn what you need to learn.

If I Were A First Time Home Buyer....

Chris Lengquist - Thursday, March 26, 2009
...I'd be looking right now.
  • $8,000 tax credit that does NOT have to be paid back.
  • Unbelievable interest rates.
  • FHA  means as little as 3.5% investment by you.
Yes.  I'm a realtor.  Yes.  I sell houses.  Yes.  I work a lot with real estate investors.  AND YES.  Now really may be the best time to buy for first time home buyers in the Kansas City area.  I'm not kidding or shilling.

Real Estate Investor Financing

Chris Lengquist - Tuesday, March 24, 2009
While catching up in my feedreader this morning I came across the title Fannie Mae 10% Down For Real Estate Investors.  This was published on Scott Ficek's Minnesota Investment Property Blog.  (I just want to give credit where credit is due since none of my lenders gave me a head's up...for Pete's sake.) Anywho, you can read up more about this at the Investment Mortgage Guy's website. Thanks for the heads up, guys.

real estate investor

Spring Bounce Is Here. Is It Permanent?

Chris Lengquist - Tuesday, March 24, 2009
kw_sold2"That's the busiest February I've ever had."  That from a Re/max agent I know that has been selling houses in Kansas City for 20+ years. "Damn it!"   (Sorry for the swear word.) That from a real estate investor I'm working with who just missed his third property in a week because when we made the offer there was already another "just accepted" contract. I have had two closings in the last seven days with two more still on the board. I'm not saying it's 2003 around Kansas City.  I am saying people have moved off the sidelines and into the game.  A BIG factor is the first time home buyer's credit.  First time home buyers are out and about in a big way. And real estate investors are beginning to feel like we are at bottom (or close enough for hand grenades) that they are wanting in again.  Though they are coming in a little lower on price point because of the larger required down payments necessary by lending standards.

What Are Kansas City Real Estate Investors Looking For?

Chris Lengquist - Friday, March 20, 2009
Q: I'm looking to wholesale homes to investors in the Kansas City area. I'd like to know the answer to one question. What are the top 3-5 things Kansas City investors / landlords look for in a property they'd be eager to buy? A: I have wholesalers call me each and every week.  All believe or hope that I may have a stable of ready buyers for their properties.  In no way will I want to appear rude here, but usually if a wholesaler is involved the numbers will not match up with the expectations of most of my more experienced buyers.  Because that's just one more layer of expenses that have to be worked through to see if the numbers work. Top 3-5 Things A Kansas City Real Estate Investor Is Looking For
  1. Price/Value/Equity- Whether my buyer is looking to Buy & Hold, Rehab & Rent or is daring enough to Buy, Rehab & Sell they will all be looking very closely at the numbers.  Buy & Hold is probably willing to accept up to 85%-90% of CURRENT market value after all update expenses and closing costs.  Whereas a Rehab & Rent guy will probably be looking for a ceiling of 75%-80% of CMV and a B,R & S guy will be looking at 60%-70% of CMV.
  2. Location - This depends on the budget, down payment, credit scores and end-use goals of the individual investor but you can expect most of my buyers to be looking at clean, safe neighborhoods where appreciation is more the expected than the exception.  Even in this economy.  Jeff Brown calls it the Grandmother Test.  (If grandma wouldn't spend the night there maybe you need to reconsider.)
  3. Exit Plan - Is this neighborhood likely to increase in value, stay the same or sink a little?  Who is moving in?  (People making more money than their neighbors or less?)   Are they taking care of their houses?  Any new development, both positive and negative, expected for the area in the next 3-10 years? 
  4. Tenant Pool - What kind of tenants will this property attract?  Are there enough of those kinds of tenant about?  Where will they come from?  Where do they work? 
Wholesaling tends to take place in the less than $70,000 price range around most of Kansas City.  It does happen some over that price range, but not nearly as much.  If a house meets the criteria of the above I'm always willing to look at it.  Just email me the needed information.  listwithchris at

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