I recently sat down with Josh Surver, a first-time investor who just purchased a new build townhome in the Springs. Even though he’s known he wanted to invest for a couple of years, he thought it would be impossible since he’s currently stationed in Asia with the military. As he did more research, he realized investing is more feasible than he thought.
He’s currently using a medium-term rental model that brings in significantly higher rent than the long-term model. This is a great option for investors who don’t want to go with a long-term model but are faced with restrictions on short-term rentals in their locality.
To learn all of the details, be sure to check out the podcast or the YouTube video.
- Listen to the podcast “#73: Stationed Overseas: Purchasing a Medium Term Rental in Colorado Springs” on the Colorado Springs Real Estate Investing Podcast
- Watch the YouTube video (at the bottom.)
- Read the blog post. Note, the blog is an executive summary. Get the in-depth breakdown from the podcast or video.
Like many investors, Josh read Rich Dad, Poor Dad and realized there was another model for making money. He wanted to start investing in real estate two years ago, but thought the barriers—not having enough for a 20% down payment and being stationed in Asia—were insurmountable. Once he started listening to the podcast and talking to a lender, however, he realized he had a lot of misconceptions about the process.
Josh knew he wanted to invest in the Springs, so he talked to a lender to learn more about his options. He was able to get a second home loan with a down payment of 10%, but he would need to live in the home for less than half the year.
Since his type of loan didn’t allow for long-term renters, he looked into listing the home as a short-term rental. However, the short-term rental rules in the Springs are complex and restrictive, and this wasn’t a practical option for him.
Finally, he settled on medium-term rentals, which are rentals that are over 30 days, typically 1-6 months in length. He talked to a few different management companies that specialize in medium-term rentals and settled on Hostē.
He worked with investor-friendly realtor Leah to buy this property.
Investment Property Details
This is a 3 bedroom/2.5 bathroom townhome with a 2-car garage. It’s located in a great area of the Springs, one I own several properties in, too.
Townhomes are a great option for medium-term rentals because they usually have extra bedrooms for the renters to set up a home office or have guests, but they don’t require any exterior maintenance. No one wants to be on a work assignment for a few months and have to mow the yard.
Property Financing Details
I used the Rental Property spreadsheet to run the numbers on this deal.
Originally, Josh was quoted a 2.875% interest rate, but once he broke down the opportunity cost of this rate, he realized he would only save $30-50 a month. By going with the 3.375% rate, he was able to hold onto several thousand dollars he can use as reserves or to invest in another property.
One of the biggest lessons he learned throughout the process was how to source furniture. Medium-term rentals need to be fully furnished, and he wanted the quality of the furnishings to match the style of this brand new home. He talked with Diana Tapia, founder of Dublin Place Corporate Housing, and she told him it would cost $15K for her to furnish the home.
Josh thought he could furnish it for cheaper, but he ended up spending $25K. Although that’s significantly higher than he anticipated, he now knows the best places to buy furniture and found a great interior decorator.
Property Operating Expenses
He’s paying 15% for property management with Hostē, significantly cheaper than the national companies that charge 20-25%. This is a great deal, considering the extra management that goes into medium-term rentals compared to long-term.
He’s calculating his monthly reserves differently than we typically do for long-term models, setting them aside as a yearly cost rather than a percentage of the rent.
First Year Returns
This first year, he will be negative $1335. While that might not seem like a great deal, it’s important to remember that he only put down 10%. If he put down the traditional 20%, he would be in the black. Instead, he was able to hold onto an extra $35K with the lower down payment that he can put to better use.
Now, he has an appreciating asset and someone else is paying down the mortgage. Once he refinances in a few years, he’ll be able to do it all again and build his portfolio.
Josh created his own spreadsheet to calculate when will be the best time to refinance on this property. Using that in conjunction with our rental investment spreadsheet gave him a full overview of his returns.
Connect with Josh
Even though Josh seemed to face insurmountable barriers to start his investing journey, he tackled one issue at a time and now has a beautiful, appreciating home. Thanks to trial and error, he’s better prepared for his next property in a few years.
Josh would like to give a shout out to the following people and companies who helped him start his investing journey:
- Lender: Paul Abair with Armed Forces Bank: 719-650-8019 or [email protected]
- Interior Decoration & Handyman Services: Bridgette Allen with AtYourServiceCOS: 719-315-1990 or [email protected]
- Furniture Store: Dream Merchant: www.dreammerchantdenver.com/
- Property Management: Craig Kallian at Hostē: 719-428-0479 or [email protected]
Connect with Us
To figure out the rental strategy that best fits your goals, reach out to us. We’re always happy to sit down with investors and make a plan that works for them.