Posted by Lloyd Cook, Los Angeles on February 13, 2002 at 21:58:54:
First of all, don?t even think about bringing the agent in on the properties you found that you like and are not listed. How to approach the owners? Call and ask if they are interested is selling. You should have an idea on what you are willing to pay before you call.
One tip on 4 unit buildings I overlooked 7 years ago is that the owner pays for ALL the water, trash, common area electric, gardener in addition to property tax and insurance. Your tenants pay for the elec, gas, phone, etc that can be separate metered. It sounds as if you intend to live in on of the 4 units? This could work out just fine if the numbers work and you don?t mind living there next to your tenants. It may be in the near future that you wish to live somewhere else away from your tenants, just a heads up on this.
You should look in the commercial REI group chat room for tips on how to determine the value of multiunit buildings. Comps are only a small portion of what you need to look at. If this is you first deal, please be sure you understand the numbers first. Good luck.