House 3: Quick story

Quick post about our 3rd investment property purchase. After we closed on House #2, the seller said he was interested in liquidating the house next door, which was a mirror image of the house we just purchased. The story here is how the offer was made.

We agreed to purchase for the same bottom line as House 2. There was some confusion about what “bottom line” actually meant, where we meant it should account for our side of the transaction not using a Realtor. It took us over a month to go through the financials and have an agreed upon purchase price.

We purchased House 2 for $117k with $2000 back in closing costs. Our first offer on House 3 was $113,400. The selling agent countered that he came up with 117,000-2,000-1,170 (commission to our agent on that house) = $113,830, but he had to forward the offer to the seller. Then we received this from the seller:

The selling agent agreed that Mr. ODA’s math was closer to accurate than the sellers, and that if it came down to a few hundred dollars difference, he was willing to eat that from his commission since he didn’t have to pay to take pictures and list the house.

And so here’s the final response from Mr. ODA, and a view into how his brain works. He never fails when it’s math.

He paid 4% commissions to agents on the last purchase. That 4% was derived from a $117k sales price, which equals $4680. That $4680 gets subtracted from my funds at sale, or $115k. $115,000-$4,680 = $110,320. Thus his “net” that he “walked away with.” If that “net” were to be matched on this price, you would take $110,320 and divide it by 0.97 which would equal $113731. As a check, if you take 3% of $113731 it is $3,411. Subtract $113,731 from $3,411 and you get $110,320 – the same ‘take’ as he got from 1718. An arbitrary reduction in price of just Krissy’s portion of the commission is incomplete, as your 3% is no longer equal in each transaction. The way your math works, his walk away is $113830 less the 3% = $110,415. That is more than he took from 1718. Since I know that Mike is willing to “walk away with” $110k, I offered a purchase price that, when reduced by your 3% commission, comes to $2 shy of $110,000, his stated in writing goal for this transaction. 

We paid $113,732 for the house. 🙂


This house has had the same tenants since we purchased it in 2016. We raised their rent by $50 in 2019, and we expect another $50 increase upon their renewal in a few months. The house has appreciated greatly since we purchased it, which has caused our taxes to increase from $750 twice a year to now $870 twice a year), which we need to account for in the rental income of the property.

They take good care of the house, and they actually border on being too cautious about maintenance needs. We’ve had several issues with the plumbing, which has culminated in it being their children putting things where they shouldn’t be, which means the cost is on the tenant because it’s not routine maintenance.

The tenant replaced a stove and refrigerator, at their expense and with the understanding that either they leave those behind or replace them with reasonable, working appliance. For the stove, they sought approval from us to upgrade their stove to something that’s more conducive to his culinary expertise. We told them that they could replace the stove there, but that a working stove must be there upon their vacating the unit. About a year ago, we were there for a maintenance call and noticed an upgraded refrigerator, which they didn’t tell us about. We again told them that since we provided a refrigerator with the unit that a working one must be put in its place when they vacate.

This is the house that we installed a backsplash in the kitchen. The tenant said that he cooks a lot and there’s been grease splatter that’s been hard to keep off the flat-painted wall. We agreed that a backsplash is better for the longevity of the house. There were several options available, so we even let the tenant pick from a few samples. We did the peel and stick style, so we saved on cost and labor, but accomplished the goal of an easy-to-clean surface.

Twice, they’ve reached out to us about a rent-to-own offer. We aren’t interested in selling because our financial goals require a month-to-month cash flow, this house is newer and still in good condition, and we have a low rate mortgage on it; but knowing how much the house has appreciated, we may be interested in a 1031 exchange option if the offer is right.

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