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How investor owners make their choices
American Home passes on stucco homes. Silver Bay Realty Trust avoids cedar siding.
Investment companies that buy homes out of foreclosure or other distress situations usually can’t get inside them to see what kind of shape they’re in. Nor do they have the time or manpower to do so.
Instead the firms use criteria and processes – some still evolving – to ensure a house is a decent bet to pay off in the long run.
For instance, water can get behind the stucco if it isn’t sealed properly, said Lee Budden, a broker with Keller Williams First Atlanta who has worked for American Home and Silver Bay. Exposed wood is more prone to rot, and requires exterior upkeep.
Investors also want to keep renovation expenses consistent.
On average, Colony American Homes spends $20,000 to renovate a house that it buys at an average price of about $160,000, CEO Justin Chang said. Blackstone’s Invitation Homes spends the same amount on renovations but is buying for $105,000 on average, said chief operating officer Marcus Ridgway. The company has had very few duds, he said.
“You’re buying sturdy structures,” he said.
The firms typically rent houses for $800 to $1,200 a month.
Colony seeks ... more

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