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Buying Rental Real Estate Cheap

By - 2008

Is buying rental real estate cheap still possible? It always has been, as the following examples from around the country will show. But be sure that they still produce positive cash flow. Also, this is not a sale's guide. It is meant only to show you some of what was out there as of mid-to-late 2008. These are properties I found listed in a real estate guide that covered more than a dozen states. (See the 2011 note at bottom too.)

Fort Smith, Arkansas - $54,900 for a duplex that is totally remodeled inside and out (it looks really nice in the photo). New paint, carpet, cabinets and more. In a good central location. I don't know what the typical monthly rent is in Fort Smith, but it seems it would be hard to lose on this.

Paragould, Arkansas - $32,500 for a three-bedroom house with vinyl siding. Has "wonderful cash flow," and large rooms.

Alturas, California - $255,000 for a historic two-story hotel that has been used as a residence. There are 10 bedrooms and 4 full bathrooms. This could be a real money-maker as a bed-and-breakfast or a boarding house.

Salina, Kansas - $80,000 buys an eight-unit apartment building on a large lot in town. Four 2-bedroom apartments and four 1-bedroom units. I don't know what the rental situation is here, but buying rental real estate for $10,000 per unit isn't common. I imagine if you had 50% vacancy you could still make money with this one.

Dexter, Missouri - $61,500 buys you a duplex in town with off-street parking. This one also comes with possible seller financing.

Glendive, Montana - $90,000 for a four-unit apartment building, two with two bedrooms and two units with just one bedroom each. Off-street parking and all are currently rented.

Shelby, Montana - $60,000 gets you an apartment building with four two-bedroom units. May need some work, but it looks decent in the photo.

Hugo, Oklahoma - $150,000 for an eight-unit apartment complex. Four have one bedroom, and four have two. Lots of parking and tenants pay utilities. Brick buildings with patios off of all units.

Gilmer, Texas - $65,000 for a house currently split into three separate units, each currently rented. Seller financing possible.

I don't know what the numbers are for the investments mentioned here. This was just some of what I found in ONE real estate guide (published by in 2008. It does suggest that buying rental real estate at a reasonable price is possible in many areas of the country.

2011 Update: Prices have fallen much further in many areas. In particular, condos have fallen dramatically in areas where they were overbuilt during the boom years. We recently looked at condos in Florida that are selling for 25% of what they sold for just five years ago. Yes, you read that right - their market value has tumbled 75%. Rents have not gone down much, and are even rising in many locales, so if you can find condo complexes that allow renters, there may be some great deals available at the moment.

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Houses Under Fifty Thousand | Buying Rental Real Estate Cheap