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GRAPEVINE, TX-Setting up a battle between neighbors, a 52-unit multifamily property has sold for its $1.8-million ask or roughly $34,600 per unit. The vintage complex, fully leased at sale time, rallied six offers in a 35-day marketing.

“We had two guys at the plate who were buying complexes on the same street,” Jeff Dowdle with Marcus & Millichap Real Estate Investment Brokerage Co., tells GlobeSt.com. The dealmaker says the winner of Ridge Crest Apartments at 2805 Mustang Dr. was Frank Morelli of Bonsall, CA, who just bought the 218-unit Regional Place at 3037 Mustang Dr.

Dowdle, whose teaming with his brother Mark for sales, says the win was made with $50,000 of non-refundable earnest money on Day 1, pending the outcome of the appraisal and the survey for a deal marketed at a 7.62% cap rate. Just like the other trade, Morelli’s broker was Mike Phillips with Phillips Commercial Real Estate Services in Dallas.

Dowdle says the layout of the land puts the other competitor’s property, the Courtyards of Mustang, as the only barrier between Morelli’s recently bought complexes. Ridge Crest, built in 1973 on 1.27 acres, is a mix of efficiencies plus one- and two-bedroom apartments going from 250 sf to 816 sf. But, the upside is in the rent, but mostly in the resident utility billing system for water, Dowdle explains. The monthly rents start at $375 and cap at $650. “There is a little bit of rent pressure because the buildings around it are charging more,” Dowdle says.

The resident utility billing system has been increasingly mentioned as a perk to buy in the rash of sales in the Mid Cities area. “It’s a pretty popular deal right now,” Dowdle adds. “It’s better than a rent increase and it helps with conservation.” The system effectively channels 75% of the bill to tenants in non-metered complexes. He explains that the assessed usage is made in a payment separate from the rent, but all coming in at the same time and going directly to the property owner.

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