We Interrupt this Blog for a Special Announcement
…not really that special, but a few random thoughts today.
I’ve been on the road now for six weeks. My rental house is FINALLY lining up on final approach for a new tenant, my son’s summer swimming season is coming to a close, and I’m packing up the Chevy Trailblazer for the 900 mile trip home.
I’ll forego the Blog Post of the Week! today (as I did last week) because an award that flippin’ special demands more time picking than I’ve had this week to crown a true winner. I’ve visited a few blogs that I promised to keep on top of this summer through Yakezie, but as this house project heated up, my time online has dwindled.
Thank You Thank You Thank You
Thank you to everyone who read the blog during June and July while I traveled the country and worked on the house. While I spent time writing what I hope were entertaining and informative missives, I didn’t network with my peers and readers much. I can’t wait to get back into it. (On that note, I’m happy to see that Mr. 101 Centavos is back also!).
So, if you left comments, believe me…I read all of them. If you stop by next week, you’ll catch my largely-late responses. If you have a blog I normally visit, I can’t wait toread your quality work and ruin your comment section again with inane drivel….
Lessons Learned Fixing Up This $%#! Rental House
1) Stay on top of your tenant, even if they don’t call. I had a renter I thought was fantastic because she never, ever called and needed anything. The few times I stopped by, she was very friendly and inviting. She seemed to keep the house in good order.
Later, I found electrical problems that could have caused my house to burn down. There were deep grimy spots on baseboards and appliances. My carpets had large spots on them that wouldn’t come out. I need to be more diligent about inspecting as I go.
2) Upgrade, upgrade, upgrade. I want my property to keep up with local houses, so if I ever decide to sell, the property is in tip-top shape. Some areas, like landscaping, I won’t handle until my renters are gone, but I will be remodeling the kitchen and basement over the next couple years to make up for the last ten years when I did absolutely nothing.
3) Make sure your tenant knows you care, but don’t let them walk all over you. At one point, I think my tenant thought that my “nice guy” routine meant that I was an idiot who could be trampled over. He authorized some work on my house without letting me know what it cost first. It’s okay now, but we had to have a discussion about my wallet. It turns out that although I WAS born at night (6:06 PM, baby!), I wasn’t born last night.
4) While I thought I was being kind by having my new tenant pick stuff out to “customize” the house, he saw it as work, and thought he should get paid for it. I thought he was getting paid by picking out carpets, paint colors and appliances he’d be living with the next few years. Silly me. In the end, it turns out that although my client likes sausage, he evidently doesn’t like watching it get made….if you know what I mean. I think it’s probably better to have the house done yourself and hand it over “ready to go” BEFORE the tenant arrives.
In the final analysis, I’ll reiterate a point I’ve made often here: being a landlord isn’t the dreamy kick back and watch the money pour in “passive income stream” that you might hope. Sorry, but this confirms to me again that there isn’t any free lunch.
Next Tuesday I’m back in Texarkana, and “normal” life (whatever the hell that means), begins again. The podcast WILL Be live on Monday (we have a great episode for you to listen to while I’m trekking across country), the Blog Post of the Week! WILL return next week, and I’ve got some crazy stories about $%#^ing things up in the hopper.
Thanks again for stopping by. Have a great weekend, minions!
Photo: It’s Your Decision: ljphillips34
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