GENERAL FAQ

What does Hipster do?

Hipster is essentially a matchmaker. We connect you, the buyer, to who we think are some of the best sellers of investment properties not only in the U.S. but outside of the U.S. as well. Currently, Hipster will only refer you to companies that Ali, Founder of Hipster, has bought through personally. This makes us a very boutique-style company as we are extremely picky about who we are willing to refer you to.

Hipster’s focus is Lifestyle Design. There are a lot of ways to be a real estate investor, but a lot of those methods aren’t conducive to living the kind of dream life you should be living. How do you achieve your dream life? By setting yourself up with passive income, i.e. income you don’t have to work for. Once you cut your ties to needing a job to sustain your income, you can be free to do whatever you want! Even if you love your job, you are welcome to keep doing it but at least you have a backup plan in case anything were to happen with your job or you decide one day you are over it. Real estate is simply a tool to provide you with this freedom. Real estate is the simplest, and one of the safest, ways to acquire passive income.

Better yet, real estate investing doesn’t have to be as hard as people make it out to be. You can actually be an investor and still be very hands-off, and you certainly don’t have to swing any hammers. That’s what Hipster does; we show you these opportunities and connect you with the experts who have these opportunities available.

How did Ali get started?

Ali knew from her first day in Corporate America that she wanted to get out. Despite her killer gig as an Aerospace Engineer for one of the most notorious defense companies in the world, she knew there was more to life than sitting behind a desk and working for someone else. Out of boredom at work one day, she ran across a free webinar online promoting beachfront bungalows in Nicaragua that were for sale to investors. Having no intentions of actually buying one, she watched the webinar, responded to the seller when asked what she thought, and somehow from there one thing led to another and the next thing she knew, she owned property in Nicaragua. Completely unintentionally! That wasn’t before, however, taking three pages of red-ink questions to the seller with every intention of proving them to be scammers. To Ali’s surprise, they weren’t scammers at all. Not only were they not scammers, they were completely normal-seeming people! Wait, normal-seeming people in real estate, what? It was true. It opened her eyes to a whole new potential in investor, which was that flipping properties and being a landlord weren’t the only ways to be an investor. After the Nicaragua purchases (yes, that is plural), Ali continued on to learning about turnkey rental properties. Coincidentally, the next big market at the time was Atlanta which is where she grew up. So of course that was enticing to think that she could own investment properties. Out of money from the Nicaragua purchases, she got creative and brought on an investment partner to help her buy Atlanta turnkey properties. During that time, she continued to learn more about real estate investing in terms of market selection, property qualities and selection, the ins and outs of owning rental properties, and most importantly, how to use real estate to create her dream life. Eventually she walked out of corporate and jumped into real estate full-time, helping fellow investors to see what options are really out there for investing.

TURNKEY RENTAL PROPERTY FAQ

What is a turnkey rental property?

A turnkey rental property is a property that comes fully rehabbed, with tenants in place and paying rent, and property management set up to handle the property once you own it.

How can you make money through Turnkey Rental Properties?

Rental properties provide passive income, meaning you don’t have to work for it! Owning a turnkey rental property is no different than owning any other kind of rental property, except all of the work is done for you. You just collect your profit each month!

If the properties are so good, why isn’t everyone buying them?

Not everybody wants all the work done for them. A lot of investors think it’s better to do all the work themselves (we disagree) and others are too nervous about not being a more active component of the management of the property. Turnkeys are also more expensive than do-it-yourself properties (justifiably so) and some don’t want to pay the higher price.

If the properties are so good, why are there still any available?

Turnkeys exist in all shapes and sizes. They vary in price range, property type, market, and tenants. Not every style is for everybody. Some markets may have properties still available because it may be more of a unique-style market that isn’t a fit for everyone. Some markets will only have available properties because the original buyer fell out for some reason. Some markets don’t have any available inventory because they are in such high demand.

If the properties are so good, why don’t the turnkey providers keep them for themselves?

That isn’t their model. Turnkey sellers are essentially big-time flippers. They make their money in flipping the properties to the investors. They oftentimes will hold some properties for themselves, but for the most part their business model is to sell to investors. It’s like any other business.

Can I finance turnkeys?

Usually, yes. Traditional financing (a.k.a. mortgages) are allowed on most turnkeys, assuming you qualify. Private financing options are usually available on turnkeys which is nice if you don’t qualify for a mortgage because it allows you to still use financing on a property. And of course you can always buy for cash.

If I want to buy a turnkey, what is the process?

  1. Select your market of choice
  2. Select your property of choice
  3. Send in a reservation to hold the property
  4. Sign the sales contract and wire your earnest money
  5. Conduct your due diligence
  6. Close on the property

How do I know the turnkey provider or property is legit?

There is nothing about a turnkey purchase that you can’t verify. It is harder to confirm that a turnkey provider is legit, but you can certainly ask for references from past buyers from that company. It is really the property you need to verify as that is all that matters in the end (who sells you the property doesn’t matter). Some things you can do to verify a turnkey property: get a property inspection by a licensed inspector, get title insurance, check for deed information and/or any lien information, confirm reported numbers on the property, and double-check all contracts.

Comments
  • Kassim
    Reply

    Hi Ali,

    Just signed up on your website. Thanks for sharing your knowledge and experience this far. Looking forward to hearing from you to discuss further. We are interested in SFR and MFR. We found you on bigger pockets. Thanks

    • Ali
      Reply

      Oh great, Kassim, happy to be in touch with you! Talk to you soon.

  • NBracy
    Reply

    Hi,
    Your story sounds great! I am in the SF Bay area. I am looking for real estate agents who are investor friendly. Do you know any in this area or where I can find them? I also am interested in getting my RE License to get MLS access. Do you know if I have to work with a broker in order to get MLS access in my area? Do you still work with a broker firm?

    • Ali
      Reply

      Hey there. Yes, we do work with a brokerage, but none dealing with properties in CA how you are describing. If you are an agent you will have to be attached to a broker regardless of MLS access. We don’t work in SF, so no contacts there, sorry.

  • Shiva Kumar
    Reply

    Hi Ali, I read all your blog posts on biggerpockets.com and read the following old post (http://www.biggerpockets.com/renewsblog/2013/08/17/rental-properties-llc/) again regarding LLC. You mentioned about umbrella insurance policy in the blog, would you please share how and where to get it. Is it something all insurance providers do, if so what to ask for. I’ve a duplex and individual house rentals currently on individual policies and would you like to explore the umbrella insurance policy. also, is this additional insurance that we need to take. Thanks
    Shiva

    • Ali
      Reply

      Hi Shiva, thanks for writing. I have mine through USAA, but you have to have military ties to have accounts with them. If you don’t, I would just call around various insurance brokers and ask if they do umbrella policies. I don’t think all of them do it. I would start by calling the insurance companies who you already have your property insurances through. They are probably the best source to start. The umbrella policy is in addition to the normal homeowners’ policies but it is very cheap, like $20-something a month usually, so nothing major. Good luck! Keep us posted.

  • Blane
    Reply

    I am still having trouble with your cap rate calculations? Is it Net Cash Flow/purchase price? I am looking at the example on your calculator $267.81x 12/$110000? Right?

    • Ali
      Reply

      That sounds right, Blane, but not sure which example you are looking at to know for sure that is correct. But the equation seems correct.

Leave a Comment

Your message.

Who are you?