Strategy: Portfolio approach to investment and not a yield chaser

Real estate is similar to funds, seeking growth (capital appreciation), rental yield or a balanced investor. Investors mix their assets according to their goals and asset allocation strategy.

We specialize in helping investors in creating their portfolios in U.S. assets – our approach mixes assets, and balance the risk. I have several investors who are yield chasers – and I had told them that they should not just focus on yield. Before I became a realtor, I was a REIT analyst, and I was helping clients building their portfolio through REITs. High yield REITs are often associated with higher risk such as vacancy, tenant portfolio and lease terms.

Let’s exam on Pros & Cons of a yield investor, and let me using an example to illustrate my points.

My client runs a syndicate – and they want to achieve high yield through real estate portfolio.

The strategy was to mix assets in low income neighborhoods, which produce 14% to 18% gross yield – which sounds good, but here is a list of problems they had encountered:

Problems in low-quality areas / high yield properties

  1. Attracting low quality tenants – After holding property for 3 years – 3 tenants were evicted
  2. Overcrowding – low quality tenants tend to sub-let or invite others to stay, and a 2 bedroom property ended up with 8 people living inside – and it was a mess when they moved out / evicted.
  3. Bad neighborhood – high crime rate, HVAC was stolen, cars were smashed.
  4. No home owners – this is an issue a lot of investors have neglected. You could end up in an area where it is 100% owned by investors, tenants are changing all the time, and then the area would deteriorate further and further.

My client invested in a duplex once – the whole entire neighborhood had 20 to 30 duplexes, they are completely owned by investors, and this area had a lot of issues in finding good tenants, and worst, keeping good tenants.

The neighborhood across this particular area is a mixed area – with around 50% of home owners and 50% as investment properties. They were able to charge much higher rent, and also appreciate much more.

What should investors find?

Similar to stockmarket – investors should mix with Blue Chips and “Green Chips”. I use the same analogy when I was a fund manager – you go for a stock that has dividend appreciation, but not necessary the higher yield, but in time, dividend will continue to increase, and when you hold it for term, you get much better return than high yield stock.

High Yield Range (Under $100K to $140K) – Type of Tenants

This is an interesting range – I have personally own properties in this price range. I was lucky that my tenants had been good tenants, but you can see the difference when you are listing for new tenant. You tend to get lots of inquiries, but you will get a very large volume of Section 8 tenants, and many tenants that have credit issues and who want to “work out a deal” with you. This is what they will often say “Can I call you and discuss my situation”?

Last month, I listed out a property, market price for that property is $110,000, and I listed it at $1200 for rent, I received over 30 inquiries in first 2 weeks. It sounds good, but more than 50% have credit issues or “want to work out a deal with me”, it was a very time consuming exercise – and majority of them refuse to pay application fee for me to run their tenant screen.

We ended up leasing to a young couple, who are self employed, and honest and upfront, the lesson here is “More is not really better” when comes to tenant inquiry – you want quality prospects than lots of useless inquiries.

Best Price Range (Balanced Approach).

In Dallas market – I see properties around $160,000 to $240,000 that match with these criteria. You get average from $1500 to $1,900 a month in this price range, and able to increase rent each year, and more importantly, you find much better quality tenants who have stable jobs, or just relocate here, and able to pay rent on time. These tenants also have “pride and responsibility” that they tend to keep their properties clean.

A good example is when I listed a property just purchased by my client, he paid $190,000 for the property and I leased it out at $1750 a month. I had about 10 inquiries, and 2 of them really liked the property – one proposed more security deposit, one proposed to pay rent upfront (as they just sold their home). You will hardly see this kind of prospects when you deal with tenants in lower-side of rent. In the end, my client chose the full year rent upfront client.

Higher Price Range ($1,900 to $2,200 rent range) (Also good to consider)

This is an interesting range to choose from. One example was I bought a property for my client, she paid $230,000 and put in $5000 in renovation. At $2,000 range, it was uncertain if she can attract many interests as it is Thanksgiving time.

What kind of tenants did we attract at this price range? We received 10 inquiries as well – and about 50% of them just sold their homes, and not sure where to move to next, so they have decided to rent, some had sold their homes and decided to downsize, and we also had several families to Dallas.

There is no shortage of tenants looking for properties at this price range in Dallas, most of them are very used to living in big space, majority of them had lived in homes above 3,000 sqft in the past, so they are not going to compromise their lifestyle into the 2nd category we mentioned above ($1700 to $1900 range).

One advantage in investing in this type of property is these homes tend to be larger in size (2000 to 2500 sqft), which gives them more potential to appreciate, they are often 4 bedrooms, many also come with study, and they are often located in really nice subdivisions in good school districts and neighborhoods – these homes are easier for resale in future because of location and layout.

Upper End of Market ($2500+ rent range)

The difference in rent between $250,000 and $350,000 home are not much different. Properties priced above $300,000 are more for appreciation rather than rental yield. We sold several homes around $300,000 range to investors last year, and they were able to achieve $2200 to $2400 in rent, the yield dropped to around 7% gross, however, these properties do appreciate well, on average, they appreciate at 2% more per year than smaller properties. These properties are what we consider as blue chip properties, these properties are often situated in highly desirable neighborhoods with large percentage of households home owners. I didn’t have too much trouble finding good tenants even though inquiry level was much lower, with many inquiries seeking for 6 months short term leases.



Where our clients are buying in DFW Metroplex?

We had several new clients that are investing actively in Dallas area and here is a summary of our team’s activities for September /October 2017.

Client 1: Californian Investor

Portfolio Client

This client bought 2 properties this month, he purchased a nice home in Allen, it’s a 3 bedroom and 2 bathroom, with hardwood flooring, attending Allen ISD. His investment goal was for 2 purposes – for appreciation and also as part of his 1031 Exchange. He picked this property as current price for Allen area is still cheaper than Plano and Frisco, and there is a trend that Allen will be catching up to the price level in Plano and Frisco very soon.

Client 2: Californian Investor

Portfolio Client

This client bought several properties over past 18 months already. This time, she bought into a property in Mansfield, price was around $200,000 and rent was $1800 a month, this is a 4 bedroom, 2 bathroom property. This area has very high rental demand as elementary schools in this area is highly rated, and with a lot of new companies expanding in Mansfield, Fort Worth, Arlington and Grand Prairie areas, it is very popular area for families relocating to here.

Client 3: Californian Investor

Portfolio Client

This client bought in an area called Mira Lagos subdivision. Mira Lagos subdivision is a beautiful subdivision near lake, and this area is assigned to award winning schools in Mansfield ISD. The elementary school and middle school are all within walking distance. Many homes here are sold over $300,000 or $400,000, my clients are investing in properties that are around $200,000 to $250,000, and this is often approx. 2,000 sqft, 4 bedrooms. We had been lucky to able to find a property for this client to buy, she had been looking at this area for over 7 months and finally bought one.

Client 4: Canadian Client

Portfolio Client

This Canadian client is a very active client, and we had been helping him buying properties across Dallas. He bought a property in Frisco. The property had multiple offers which is very common for Frisco, although he offered higher price initially, after inspection, I was able to go through several rounds of negotiations, and in the end, we were able to agree to lower price a lot because of timing pressure on sellers. This is an important strategy when negotiating with a seller, to understand why they are selling if they are under pressure to meet a certain closing date. Once they moved out furniture, condition of property is much better than what we had expected, the foundation issue was only a minor issue, it is close to Preston Rd, and easy access to both Plano and Frisco, it is a rare opportunity to find a property under $250,000 in Frisco.

Thomas Su

Keller Williams Realty Dallas Preston Road

18383 Preston Rd, Ste 150, Dallas, TX 75252


Phone: (469) 347 1839





这个客户本月买了两套物业,他在艾伦(Allen)购买了一栋不错的住房,3卧室,2浴室,配有硬木地板,学生就读艾伦校区(Allen ISD)。他的投资目标有两个目的 – 升值以及作为他的1031互换规则的一部分。他选择这栋物业,是因为艾伦地区目前的房价比布兰诺(Plano)和弗里斯科(Frisco)仍然要便宜,而且一个趋势是艾伦将赶上布兰诺和弗里斯科的价格水平。



这个客户在过去18个月内已经购买了几处物业。这一次,她在曼斯菲尔德(Mansfield)买入了物业,价格在20万美元左右,租金是每月1,800美元,这是一栋4卧室、2浴室的物业。这个地区的租赁需求非常旺盛,因为本地区的小学评价很高,随着大量新公司都在曼斯菲尔德(Mansfield)、沃斯堡(Fort Worth)、阿灵顿(Arlington)和大草原地(Grand Prairie)区的扩张,本地区深受搬迁到此的家庭的欢迎。



该客户在一个称为米拉拉各斯(Mira Lagos)细分社区进行购买。米拉拉各斯细分社区是Joel Pool 湖附近的一个美丽的细分社区,这个地区被分配到获奖的曼斯菲尔德校区。小学和中学都在步行距离之内。这里的许多房屋售价超过30万美元或40万美元,我的客户正在投资大约20万美元到25万美元的物业,通常是大约 2,000平方英尺、4卧室。我们很幸运地能够为这个客户找到她要购买的物业,她一直在这个地区寻找已超过7个月,终于买到一栋。



这位加拿大客户非常活跃,我们一直帮助他在达拉斯购买物业。他在弗里斯科(Frisco)买了一栋物业。该物业有多个出价,这种情况在弗里斯科非常普遍,尽管他最初出价较高,经过检查,我能够经过几轮谈判,最终我们能够同意不少降价,因为卖家面临时机的压力。在与卖方谈判时,这是一个重要的策略,要了解如果他们面临压力需要满足某一特定交割日期而出售房屋的原因。一旦他们把家具搬出去,状况比我们预期的要好得多,屋基问题很轻微,物业靠近普雷斯顿路(Preston Rd),前往布兰诺(Plano)和弗里斯科(Frisco)都很方便。在弗里斯科找到25万美元以下的物业确是一个难得的机会。

Thomas Su

Keller Williams Realty Dallas Preston Road

18383 Preston Rd, Ste 150, Dallas, TX 75252


Phone: (469) 347 1839

达拉斯购买投资房: 8月投资总结

本月我们帮助了8位投资者在达拉斯购买投资房 – 以下是一个快速的亮点描述:

  1. 一栋在曼斯菲尔德(MANSFIELD)的4卧室3浴室的房屋


这是一个有趣的例子 – 这栋物业位于曼斯菲尔德,学生就读庞德小学,事实上,这所学校就在这栋房屋的对面。这栋房屋1,900平方英尺,它最大的优势是有3个完整的浴室。第四间卧室里面有一个完整的浴室 – 它基本上是一个客人套房。所以这个物业吸引了不少买家,因为即使是较大的房屋也很少找到带3间浴室的物业。交屋后,我们决定做些装修。我们刚刚完成对物业的装修,我们用层压地板(LAMINATE FLOOR)代替了客厅里的地毯,我们还用层压地板代替了厨房里的VINYL FLOOR,装修后,这个房子看起来真的是面貌一新。最后达到的租金是1800一个月,租给2个教师。

  1. 一栋在伯利森(BURLESON)的3卧室、2浴室的物业



  1. 一栋在加兰的3卧室、2浴室物业



Thomas Su

Keller Williams Realty – Dallas Preston Road


Phone: (469) 347 1839

Dallas Fort Worth (DFW) – Investment Summary

August was a huge month for us, with a lot of clients visited us from California, Canada, Idaho, Seattle and Michigan. In August, we helped 8 clients investing in DFW area, here is a quick summary on what they had done:

  1. 4 bedroom, 3 bathroom property in Mansfield

Investor: Local investor

This is an interesting case study for other investors to consider – this property is located in Mansfield location attending Ponder Elementary, in fact, the school is right across this property. It is a 1900 sqft home, and the biggest advantage is it has 3 full bathrooms. The layout is really, the 4th bedroom has a full bathroom inside – it’s basically a guest suite. It is rare to find a 3 bathroom property even for larger homes these days. We have just finished renovation to the property, we replaced living room carpet with laminate floors, and we also replaced kitchen vinyl areas with laminate floors, the transformation was really nice, with a fresh look. Property was purchased below $200,000 in total and rent was $1800 a month.

  1. 3 bedroom, 2 bathroom property in Burleson

Investor: Californian Investor

We sold 3 homes in Burleson in August. The first one was sold at around $150,000, it is a around 1400 sqft, built in 1970s, it was really well kept, and previous owner changed all the windows to energy efficient windows. The yard was really nice, and we had to cut back some tree limbs as they were overgrowing, overall, it is a nice and well established neighborhood, and we were fortunate to rent this property out at $1490 within a week to a young couple. We didn’t need to do much improvements for our client, it was just some touch ups, steam clean carpet and changed some HVAC components to improve efficiency.

  1. 3 bedroom, 2 bathroom property in Garland

Investor: Australian investor using his self-superannuation fund

This is an interesting project, it was priced below market price, but it needed a lot of works. When we first inspected the property, we predicted potential foundation issues, so we arranged sewer line inspection from plumber. Interestingly, the sewer line was replaced by one of previous owners and current seller has no idea that this was replaced, so only a small section needed to be repaired, as it was damaged by tree roots. Big tree in the front yard was removed subsequently to prevent further damages to sewer line. The rest of updates were mainly cosmetics, we repainted the whole house, changed light fixtures for living room and kitchen, and changed flooring in some areas. We did find a tenant paying $1750 a month to lease this property, he signed 3 year lease with my client.

Dallas Area Profile – JJ Pearce Subdivision

This is our weekly area analysis on subdivisions in Dallas Metroplex. We will look at JJ Pearce Subdivision this week.

Subdivision Name: JJ Pearce 

City: Richardson, TX 75080

Area Description

JJ Pearce Subdivision is based on City of Richardson, zipcode is 75080. This is a well established neighborhood of Richardson with long history. The area is well known for JJ Pearce High School which is inside the subdivision, the main streets are Coit Rd and Campbell Rd. It is also with short commuting distance to University of Texas Dallas (UTD). Its elementary school is Mohawk Elementary and its Middle School is assigned to Richardson North, though many students also attend Richardson West, which is a Magnet middle school.

This area is conveniently located, within walking distance to many grocery stores, the neighborhood has many parks and community areas and it is one of the fastest growing area in Richardson due to large number of families looking to move here.


Most properties here were built in 1970s and some in 1960s. Current inventory is very low, only few properties are sold each year as most families tend to stay here for long term. The primary reason for residents considering selling is downsizing. You get to see opportunities every now and then, but most properties were sold within 7 days once they hit on the market. Sometimes you see properties that require renovations, these would represent opportunities to get into hot neighborhood. Typical property price is between $300,000 to $400,000. This is becoming a very popular area for newly arrived families, recent transactions were sold to Californians, New Yorkers, Chinese, Indians, Canadians and Australians.

Improvement Thoughts..

As this is a well established neighborhood, some properties have very mature trees which have big roots and tree limbs.Tree roots are potential hazard for foundation issues and they need to be taken care of. This is a common problem in older areas around Dallas. It is always a good idea to do a camera plumbing test to see if the roots have damaged sewer lines.

Most properties here had replaced their roof already, it is always a good idea to check with seller when their roof was last replaced, this is not usually shown in Sellers Disclosure Notice as it maybe replaced by the previous owner but not by the current owner.

Properties in this area tend to be decent size – many are over 2500 sq.ft, some had converted their patio areas into 2nd living room or connect to existing living room. Bedrooms are usually spacious and many properties have 3 bathrooms, double garage is common in this neighborhood, some properties also have 2nd living room which many families use it as study these days.

Investment Blog – Dallas Real Estate Investment – Foreign Nationals Portfolio Refinancing Strategy

Dallas Investment Strategy Blog

We will talk about portfolio and refinancing strategy for foreign nationals briefly. I have quite a large number of international investors who are investing in Dallas. These are what they normally do as many of them invest in multiple properties.

Step 1: Buy with cash or with loans obtained overseas

For instance, I have clients who refinanced their properties in Australia and Canada, then invest several properties in Dallas first using the funds from their home country.

Step 2: Improve the properties

They will then improve the properties through repairs and renovations.

Step 3: Lease out properties

They will then lease out these properties as soon as possible through property management company.

Step 4: Refinance once properties are leased out

There are several lenders that do provide loans to foreign nationals owned LLCs or foreign national investors, one of the criteria is portfolio must be maintained at around 80% to 90% occupancy rate, and LTV is usually between 50% to 70%.

Step 5: Use proceeds (Cashout) refinanced portion and buy more properties

They then reinvest the proceeds into the property market – these are usually Term Loans so interest will start from the day the loan is closed, so there is an urgency to produce more cashflow and not waiting around.

Step 6: Repeat the same process and expand the portfolio

They will repeat the process and expand the portfolio further – typically, my clients do diversify their properties, so they will use the funds to acquire more properties in different areas or in some cases, diversify into different types of assets as well.

Thomas Su – Realtor (English & Chinese)
Thomas Su Group
Keller Williams Realty Preston Road
Denise Gonzalez-Rubio (English & Spanish)
Keller Williams Realty Preston Road

Investment Strategy in Dallas – Portfolio Investors – Case Study – Part 2

This is our 2nd part of Case Studies on our investors – our Team has helped investors from various countries and states and local investors in building up their investment portfolio in U.S.

Case Study: Local Investor

This is a local investor who is testing the market in Dallas for the first time and using bridge loan initially to learn how the system and process works

Property 1: A condo in Garland, this was a REO property (Fannie Mae), it was purchased at $35,000 and it went through extensive renovation. Property was leased out and eventually the bridge loan was refinanced with a conventional loan to take out the bridge loan.

Property 2: A townhome in Garland, using a similar strategy – this was also a REO property (HomeSteps), it was purchased at $35,000 below market price then went through $20,000 renovation. It was not an easy renovation as there were some water issues but they were all fixed in the end. Subsequently, this property turns out to be within 5 minutes to “Insurance Corridor” of Dallas, and it was leased out to an employee who works for State Farm in the new State Farm HQ. This area then went through growth due to a number of new companies moved their HQs here, apart from State Farm, Progressive, United Healthcare, BlueCross and Raytheon had all moved into areas within 5 to 7 minutes commuting time.

Property 3: A property in Mesquite. Interestingly, the tenant was going to buy this property initially but financing fell for the tenant. This was then subsequently sold to my client with a condition tenant to remain in the property. The tenant resigned the lease, and increased the rent by $50 per month. The property turned out to be relatively maintenance free property as the tenants had been there for 6 years and had treated the property like their own home.

Case Study: Investor from China – Growth Seeker

This client is a bit different as she is going after growth only and yield is considered as 2nd priority. With this in mind, she is only seeking properties that are in good school areas with higher growth expectation. I explained the strategy to her that she is unlikely to make a strong cashflow if she purchases properties that are in high $200,000 even $300,000. I designed a strategy for her to include a property in Plano, Highland Parks and Richardson.

Property 1: Plano – she bought a $335,000 property in Plano, this is a large, 2-story, 5 bedroom home, this area is well known for elementary and middle schools.

Property 2: Richardson – I picked a property under $300,000 in JJ Pearce subdivision, one of the best neighborhoods in Richardson as JJ Pearce is well recognized as one of the best high schools in the U.S. This property turned out to be best peforming property, its value jumped 20% within 12 months due to further rising reputation of school and also lack of inventory in this neighborhood.

Property 3: A Condo right by SMU – This was a long term play, this property was bought for $245,000, with 3 bedrooms and each room was leased out to individual student separately.

Case Study: Investor from China – Growth Seeker

The client above also referred her best friend to me who wishes to build a similar strategy with similar goal in mind. I helped her in purchasing 3 properties with a bit of different strategy.

Property 1: This is in zipcode 75248 which goes to a very good elementary school – this property is an older property and needs some repainting, but the appreciation was amazing, it went up by more than 10% in just 12 months time due to lack of properties available in this area.

Property 2: This client then wants some cashflow so I helped her in buying a smaller home in Ohio which provides $675 a month in rent.

Property 3: The client then went ahead and purchased a property in Garland for $150,000, this property is more for a balanced portfolio.

So overall, this client has a property in Growth oriented, balanced and yield oriented which provides a very balanced portfolio.

About Thomas Su Group

Thomas Su Group is licensed through Keller Williams Preston Road Dallas office. Thomas Su Group specializes in helping international and interstate investors buying in Dallas areas. Its clients include investors from Australia, Canada, China, Hong Kong, Taiwan, Great Britain, Saudi Arabia, Latin America and India. We have also helped interstate clients from California, New York, Illinois, Florida and Georgia.


Thomas Su – Realtor (English & Chinese)

Thomas Su Group

Keller Williams Realty Preston Road


Phone: (469) 347 1839


Denise Gonzalez-Rubio (English & Spanish)


Keller Williams Realty Preston Road


Phone: (972) 786 6198

Dallas Investment Strategy 2 – Building a balanced portfolio – Case Studies Part 1

I have helped many clients in building a portfolio in the U.S. – something many interstate and international investors can never imagine. Some of my investors came from expensive housing markets such as Australia, China or Japan. It is beyond many investors’ imagination they can actually build a “portfolio”.

Let’s walk through some case studies to illustrate how some of my investors had done.

Investor 1: Australia/Hong Kong

She is around 40 years old, her focus are to build a stable cashflowing portfolio that she can transfer to her kids when they reach college age. She has $500,000 to invest, I designed a portfolio for her as income is the No.1 factor followed by risk diversification.

Property 1: A duplex in Garland which produces double income for her each month

Property 2: A smaller property (bought it for less than $70,000) and produces $950 a month

Property 3: A property in Ohio for less than $30,000 and she was getting $600 a month

Property 4: Another property in Ohio but in a more upscale market, this was over $50,000 but she was getting over $750 a month

Investor 2: Australian Investor

This is a professional investor who has already bought several properties in the U.S., he is using his retirement funds (superannuation) to invest in U.S. properties, income was primary the goal but later on, he changed his strategy to appreciation as Dallas is showing much faster growth.

Property 1: A nice 3 bedroom home in Garland that requires painting and flooring, property value increased by $25,000 after these improvements

Property 2: A smaller fixer upper property for growth in Plano

Property 3: A smaller, higher yield property in Mesquite

The Growth & Yield portfolio is 60% (Growth) and 40% (Yield). The main growth comes from Plano property as that property was initially neglected but in a good school district – it is expecting 7% growth each year, and it is already above $200,000.

The 2nd phase of this portfolio is through refinancing and use the fund to make other purchases.

Investor 3: Australian Investor 

This investor needs to build up a portfolio within 12 months, he is a very experienced investor and not scared about the risk. He has a line of credit from a lender called Colony American Finance which provided him $500,000 line, and able to provide up to 75% loan. The strategy was to seek value-plays, properties that require repairs including foundation. He was able to utilize the $500,000 and built into $1.2m portfolio.

Property 1: (Growth) A property in Garland, it was smelly, dark and with terrible paint and carpet – the whole property was updated and re-appraised and increased by $15,000 immediately after repairs.

Property 2: (Growth) A property in Rowlett – this was a bank foreclosure property, it was a previous David Weekly custom home with nice layout but it was vacant for over 12 months. Major repairs were done including flooring, new fence, roof and painting – the property added $25,000 and appraised for over $185,000 after these repairs.

Property 3: (Yield) A property in Mesquite – By utilizing growth in values, Colony American Finance provided cashout on the portfolio, and this investor was able to buy a smaller property for $75,000, tenant signed a 2-year lease @ $900 per month, this is purely focused on yield.

Property 4: (Yield) A property in Mesquite – Another property was purchased in Mesquite, new flooring were done to improve the appeal of the property, this property is generating 12% yield for the portfolio, and appraisal showed an increase of $10,000 immediately after renovations.

Property 5: (Yield) A property in Ohio – Another property was added in Ohio for the yield, this property produced $750 a month and produced a gross yield of 18%, this rent was used primarily to offset interest cost.

Property 6: (Yield) Property in Ohio – A 2nd property was included for the yield purpose which produced $750 a month as well – and this also was used to offset interest cost.

The strategy here is to use the rent in Ohio to pay for 65% of the interest, and 1 property in Ohio to pay for the remaining interest. While the rest of properties in Texas have lower yield, they have higher appreciation rate. The overall return per year (Growth + Income) is therefore set at around 15% IRR for the portfolio.

Investor 4: A Canadian Investor

This investor has borrowed $1,000,000 in Canada at average rate @ 2.5%. He was able to use the funds to expand into U.S. properties – his 12 years plan was “Acquire – Improve – Refinance” – as Canadian dollar had fallen last 12 months, he was able to capital growth in property value and exchange rate concurrently. I designed a portfolio for him into 3 phases, he just recently cashed out 50% of his portfolio in the U.S. with a bank that provided loans to foreign nationals. As he bought quite a few properties, I will break them into 2 part:

Part 1: Growth Seeking (4 properties)

  1. 1 x Property in Plano area near State Farm HQ, and this property has been appreciating by 7% a year.
  2. 1 x Property in North Garland area near the new Firewheel Mall areas, this area is becoming very popular due to convenience.
  3. 1 x Property in Garland that had added 2nd story which turns into a 2,200 sq.ft home, and this area is now valued at $100 per sq.ft or above
  4. 1 x Property in North Mesquite attending Horn high school area which is becoming popular because of convenience and distance to downtown

Part 2: Income Seeking (4 properties)

  1. Property in East Plano – Small, no garage but produces a great yield above 13%, it’s a small 1050 sq.ft 3 bedroom home.
  2. Property in Mesquite – Small, no garage but produces 15% yield, $95,000 but rents out for $1200 a month “Small is beautiful”
  3. Foreclosure property in Plano – This property needed works, but it turned out to be nice cashflowing property for him in Plano.
  4. Foundation problems property in Rowlett – I was able to get this property for him for $18,000 less as it needs foundation repairs which costed $6500 in the end, he was able to get $1500 per month on this property.

More Case Studies to Follow Next…

About Thomas Su Group

Thomas Su Group is licensed through Keller Williams Preston Road Dallas office. Thomas Su Group specializes in helping international and interstate investors buying in Dallas areas. Its clients include investors from Australia, Canada, China, Hong Kong, Taiwan, Great Britain, Saudi Arabia, Latin America and India. We have also helped interstate clients from California, New York, Illinois, Florida and Georgia.


Thomas Su – Realtor (English & Chinese)

Thomas Su Group

Keller Williams Realty Preston Road


Phone: (469) 347 1839


Denise Gonzalez-Rubio (English & Spanish)


Keller Williams Realty Preston Road


Phone: (972) 786 6198


Dallas Investment Strategy 1 – 10 factors why you should invest in Dallas

Dallas Fort-Worth Metroplex is one of the best areas to invest in real estate, our Team is especially experienced in helping investors to build their portfolio in Dallas. For those who have not been in Dallas, we summarize the following 10 points explaining why so many investors are choosing DFW Metroplex as their investment destination. This is our new series about Dallas Investment, and you can learn what other investors have done.

Industry Growth

There are new industries growing in the Dallas Fort-Worth areas coming almost on the daily basis. Many companies are relocating their HQs to Dallas, Dallas has a significant number of Fortune 1000 HQs based here or have very sizable operations. Some well-publicized companies are Toyota, General Motors, State Farm, Texas Instruments, AT&T and almost all the insurance companies. Dallas has been positioned itself as a leading city for financial, aviation and IT sectors, and due to its location and growing availability of professionals, as well as no state tax have been the catalysts to drive growth of companies to establish their operations here.

Diversified Industries

Many investors compare Dallas to Houston which I actually disagree. Houston is the “Energy Capital of the World”, its employment base is highly dependent on energy and engineering industries that are closely related to energy sectors. In contrast, Dallas is much more diversified, when someone asks me what is the primary industry in Dallas, I always tell them there are 5 of them, and none has a significant dominant share. The key industries here are Financial Services, Education, Healthcare, Telecommunications and Aviation. Within financial services, there are lots of insurance companies now headquartered in Plano and Richardson areas, and banks are based in Dallas downtown areas, Healthcare is a major sector here and you can see many new hospitals being completed or under construction. We also see growing telecommunications companies based out of Richardson and Irving. The falling oil price, which is hurting Houston but helping airlines, many airlines are based out of Fort Worth areas, and many aviation related companies such as helicopters, engine manufacturers and other aviation related companies are also based in the DFW Metroplex, with many companies actually have their R&D and manufacturing centers here.

Booming Population

You simply just need to do a quick Google search on Dallas population growth, and you can see the amazing population growth that had happened in the past 10 years and also projected population by 2020. DFW will very soon become the 3rd largest metroplex in the United States.

When my clients arrive in Dallas, I simply just need to take them to a parking lot or the local school ground, immediately, you can see car plates from California, Oklahoma, New York, Michigan, Alabama. Another good example is look at school staff at our local school here – the teachers are from everywhere – at least 12 states, and they all moved here with intention to stay here for a very long time. Apart from interstate migration, immigration is another main growth factor driven by families from Asia, Latin America and Middle East. Within past 6 months, we had 10 families moved into our neighborhood, 2 are from Australia (including ourselves), 1 from India, 2 from China, 2 from Canada and 3 from other countries – this is a sample of what is happening in Dallas right now.

Booming Professional Families

Another important factor is you want a city to attract professionals, professionals will drive up wage growth, and will drive up the rental and property price. I see a lot of professionals from California on same wages in Dallas. They are much better off in Texas as there is no state income tax on professionals, meaning that they can use the additional income towards their purchase and able to afford more expensive properties.

Here are some examples just from my own circle of clients on what kind of jobs they have in Dallas. A young graduate received an offer from The Fossil Group as a designer for the group, a client from Atlanta was transferred here and works for Deutsche Bank, a senior marketing executive working for State Farm, a senior accountant got transferred from Atlanta to Dallas, a software designer got transferred from California to Dallas, a network engineer from Missouri to Dallas, a project manager got transferred from New York to Dallas. This shows Dallas is growing, and also getting richer at same time.


As I came from Australia & Canada myself, I also have many clients from Asia and Middle East. I don’t need to emphasize here how affordable U.S. is compared to most countries in the world. Dallas ranks as one of the most affordable cities to raise family in the U.S. – Please refer to our presentation “What can you buy” – and you can see how you can buy a decent home for less than $200,000 in many areas of DFW Metroplex. As I have told many of my clients – You don’t need to spend a million dollars to live like a millionaire in Dallas.


Education is another factor why people are moving to Dallas. It’s another point to illustrate “You don’t need to be a millionaire to receive good education”. I live in Richardson area and Richardson Independent School District (RISD) is consistently ranked as one of the best in Texas, and its high schools are also among top high schools in the U.S. – The property price is typically $250,000 to $400,000 which is considered as expensive properties in Dallas.

I laughed when I attended Keller Williams Annual Awards Ceremony and there was a prize for “Luxury Home Agent” of the year – and definition of Luxury Home in Dallas is any property above $500,000. I told my fellow realtors that for $500,000, you will get half-1 bedroom condo in Sydney, Australia, and you will get 3 parking spaces in Hong Kong or China.

Schools are well funded here because property tax is higher in Dallas, and school tax is generally higher than most of other states, and as the result, schools tend to have a lot of resources and have smaller class sizes.

Low unemployment rate

We talked about different industries are coming to Dallas, and this has also driven down unemployment rate in Dallas. It has one of and probably lowest unemployment rate in North America. The hardest part for employers in Dallas right now is unable to find an employee, I tried to recruit an assistant once upon the time, I received 7 applications, and by the time I called all of them back, 3 already found jobs.

Job growth is what drives many professionals moving here, as well as job choices, both factors will usually lead to income growth and demand for properties.

Location choices for investors

One really important factor is choice of locations. When I meet my investor client, I usually plan out a strategy with them – and highlighting the areas and types of properties they can consider. This is similar to building a balanced portfolio with stocks or mutual funds. Every investor has different objective, some have long term hold strategy, while some only have short term time-frame.

In terms of location – I will usually segment them into Growth or Income, they do not go together most of times – so investor needs to decide if they are going for growth or income. In a growth oriented areas, even though yield maybe lower, the rent growth tends to be higher than income areas; so eventually, income yield will catch up even though the initial capital cost is higher.

Some of the popular areas my investors are buying include: Plano, Garland, Mesquite, Arlington, Fort Worth, Mansfield and Richardson areas.

Diversified property types

Another key point to discuss are types – there are 6 types of properties where my clients are considering – most of these choices are not even considered by many international or interstate investors because of price. Essentially, my clients have purchased properties in:

A) Single Family Homes – AKA: house! These are 3 or 4 bedroom properties, which seem to be the most popular type of property, typically 2 bathrooms with 2 garages, property price can range from $100,000 to $300,000 with sweet-spot for investors between $100,000 to $200,000 range.

B) Condos – which are also called units or flats in some countries. Several of my clients are specifically looking for condos. In Texas, sometimes it can be confusing as some townhomes are also considered as condos even though they could be 2000 sq.ft! I have 2 types of investors into condos – first type are those want to get started with investments with limited capital, as the cheapest condo I had sold was $35,000, this could be a quick entry point for first time buyers. The second type is the complete opposite, I have clients purchased condos near SMUs, and they were sold for over $260,000, these areas have no single family homes left and condos are the only properties you can purchase there.

C) Duplexes: I had sold several duplexes – these are joint-properties (2 x half-plexes) with a common wall in between. Duplexes usually can produce better rental yield, as you have 2 income producing streams instead of just one. A common exit strategy is to sell half-plex by half-plex which, if you are in a hot demand area, you can make a decent profit from this strategy.

D) 4-Plexes or more multi-family properties: Similar to duplexes, but 4-plexes are 4 units. You get 4 separate rentals, 4-plexes here are either up and down or in a few cases, side by side or front and back. The exit strategy is different but essentially you can sell them as “condos” instead of half-plex, and sell them unit by unit.

E) Commercial Properties: Dallas is a great place for commercial properties due to population and business growth, with many businesses expanding here. I had done several commercial properties over past 18 months – I found strip malls usually perform the best as new shops are coming in and this will take out the parking space and turn them into shops, commercial leases usually go for 5 to 10 years witha annual increase in rent.

F) Land – Many areas are becoming very popular, and investors are buying up “the last remaining lots”, it’s a crazy concept for some investors as they think Texas is so big, why bother buying a piece of land? To be fair, land (lots) are relatively cheap here, some are sold under $10,000. I have several clients who just want to diversify and hold on to lands and waiting for developers to approach them for joint venture. There are 2 strategies involved in buying land – one is buying “last pieces” on desirable neighborhoods, the other strategy is to buy larger parcels and waiting for commercial developments or developers to build communities.

Ability to build a portfolio here

For investors, I emphasize in the importance in building a portfolio and not just 1 property (put all eggs in basket). For many first time investors, they never thought about building a portfolio before until they came to Dallas. The portfolio approach is very different from holding a single rental property, and I will discuss about that in my other series “How to be a portfolio investor in USA”. In short, you can buy properties from $60,000 to $800,000 in Dallas, most of my investors tend to hold between 3 to 5 properties and spread across different types of assets and locations for diversification and strategy.

About Thomas Su Group

Thomas Su Group is licensed through Keller Williams Preston Road Dallas office. Thomas Su Group specializes in helping international and interstate investors buying in Dallas areas. Its clients include investors from Australia, Canada, China, Hong Kong, Taiwan, Great Britain, Saudi Arabia, Latin America and India. We have also helped interstate clients from California, New York, Illinois, Oklahoma, Michigan, Florida and Georgia.


Thomas Su – Realtor (English & Chinese)

Thomas Su Group

Keller Williams Realty Preston Road


Phone: (469) 347 1839


Denise Gonzalez-Rubio (English & Spanish)


Keller Williams Realty Preston Road