“Real estate investment” and “passive income.” Both terms are very appealing, but for many in their 20s and 30s, both can seem very far away. But Roofstock is looking to solve that. The first step in that process is dispelling a few myths about buying property:
Myth 1: You have to move and live in the house you buy.
Myth 2: You need to buy a multi-unit home or building in order to rent it.
Myth 3: Being a landlord means doing all upkeep and repairs on your rental property.
In short, Roofstock is a company that lets you buy an investment home for rental and make the experience as turnkey as possible. Roofstock was started in 2015 and has grown pretty quickly, thanks to multiple rounds of venture capital investment. The value proposition of Roofstock is that anyone from first-time investors all the way up to global asset managers can invest in real estate from anywhere. Roofstock uses a bevy of technology tools to offer insight and analysis on single-family homes for sale in over 40 markets, with listings starting as low as $60,000.
On Roofstock.com you can search listings just as you can on other popular real estate sites using a variety of filters, including Price, Neighborhood Rating, Location (State) and Property Status. You can also browse some preset filters, such as “Newly Listed,” “Minimal Repairs,” “Best Schools” and “Price Reduced.” Once you zero in on a few properties, Roofstock’s analysis tools help you decide with financials, neighborhood information and 3D tours.
Once you’ve decided to buy, you can make an offer through Roofstock, which is free, and if accepted, Roofstock will help you close. The fee for this is 0.5% of the contract price or $500, whichever is higher. Note that the process is much smoother if you take the time to get preapproved by a lender before starting the closing process. Once you have your home, you can use one of the recommended property managers Roofstock lists in the area to handle pretty much all aspects while you start earning rental income.
If you’re not into the idea of owning a whole home, Roofstock is also building out a new capability called Roofstock One, a crowdfunding model for owning rental properties. For as little as $5,000, you can buy shares of an individual rental property. Keep in mind that Roofstock One investors must meet minimum income requirements as outlined here (near the bottom of the landing page).
Finally, you should note that Roofstock is not zero risk. Like most investments, your money is subject to risk and loss, which is outlined at the site. You should be particularly aware of this if you plan to flip a home and sell with Roofstock instead of “buying and holding.” Further, it would behoove you to learn more about the local market in which you’re thinking of buying in terms of regional market trends and permitting requirements if you’re buying a fixer-upper.
Nonetheless, when thinking about investment vehicles, Mark Twain’s famous quote still holds true: “Buy land, they aren’t making it anymore.” Roofstock is a compelling option to get you started on the road to real estate investing.