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

Email: rwp1688@gmail.com

Phone: (469) 347 1839


Denise Gonzalez-Rubio (English & Spanish)


Keller Williams Realty Preston Road

Email: denisegrubio@kw.com

Phone: (972) 786 6198