The Good and Bad of Rental Properties

In general our rental properties have been pretty great.  Our owner occupied duplex has always had great tenants in the 6 years we have owned it and our other duplex has been wonderfully cash flow positive since we purchased it in January of 2016.  During the majority of the year our properties are pretty hands off other than yard maintenance and the occasional repair.  But come late April and May every year the number of hours we have to put in to managing our rentals increases dramatically.  As we live in a college town all leases start on June 1st so all three properties have the potential for turnover at the same time.  Although this is time consuming it is also when we are most likely to increase rent so that is always a good thing.  If we have good tenants we sometimes keep the rent the same to make sure they stay but if there is a changeover we always increase it at least slightly.

The tenants in our duplex unfortunately decided to move out to Oregon.  We were going to keep the rent the same for them at $1390 per month as they were super chill, were great neighbors, and always paid on time.  Alas they were moving so we started our search for new tenants.  Continue reading “The Good and Bad of Rental Properties”

Apartment Changeover Madness

We went from spending a blissful relaxing week on vacation at the beach in Rhode Island with family right into a regular workweek and two apartment changeovers.  Last week was brutal.  Talk about killing the vacation relaxation vibe in an instant!

The tenants in our owner occ duplex actually moved out while we were still out of town.  We were not worried about being there when they moved as they were very responsible and had kept the apartment in such great shape.  A quick walk through when we got home late Sunday afternoon verified this.  This particular unit is in really good condition as we did some some maintenance last year between tenants but did need a coat of paint in a couple of the rooms to help freshen things up.  We have owned the building for almost 5 years now and we haven’t painted the walls since we purchased it so it was over due.  I had meant to get paint before heading on vacation but life got in the way so after work on Monday the first task was to buy a gallon of paint to match.  Once we had the paint in hand we got to work. Continue reading “Apartment Changeover Madness”

How Our Rental Property Has Accelerated Our FI Date

Rental properties are certainly not stress free but man, do can they provide income!  Our new duplex has had a little bit of stress and work associated with it but really nothing substantial.  We continue to have good communication with the tenant who was paying rent late and this past month he was on time so there was improvement.

But one of the best things about a rental is the cash flow.   Continue reading “How Our Rental Property Has Accelerated Our FI Date”

Our First Investment Property Hiccup

When you own an investment property you know in the back of your head that nothing is guaranteed and that something will come up.  Well it turns out that for our new property, it only took a couple of months before we had our first hiccup.

As we sort of inherited the tenants when we closed on the property in January we actually know very little about them.  We have their names, email addresses and phone numbers and that is basically all we know.  We are kind of stuck with them until their leases are up this summer. Continue reading “Our First Investment Property Hiccup”

We’re “Real” Landlords!

We’re “real” landlord!  I know that sounds funny but our primary house is a duplex and although we technically have been landlords for more than 4 years renting out the other half of our property I feel like buying a completely separate investment property somehow makes us “real” landlords.  Even since we bought our current home the plan was to buy another investment property and low and behold, we have done it!  We just closed on a duplex yesterday. Continue reading “We’re “Real” Landlords!”

Offer Accepted!

That scary moment when you open the email titled “Counter Offer!” and find out that your low ball offer on a property was not accepted but that the seller has a very reasonable counter offer which is well below your max.  My heart was racing as I realized that our goal of owning another real estate investment (other than are owner occ duplex) could actually happen, soon.   Continue reading “Offer Accepted!”

More Apartment Expenses – Planned and Unexpected

The Planned Expense

Our new tenants moved in back in August and we want to make sure they stay happy in hopes that they will stay for a couple of years. As our duplex was built in the 1890’s there is very little storage space, in any room.  The bathroom in particular has zero storage.  When we transitioned the apartment back in July we had wanted to add a medicine cabinet in the bathroom to add at least some storage but ran out of time.  We asked our tenants if they wanted one and they said it would be great and we just finally got around to installing one this past week.

Being frugal minded about many things in life, we decided to try to find a used medicine cabinet instead of shelling out over a $100 for a new one.  It took a few weeks but I found a wall mountable one (we didn’t want to cut holes in the wall as you never know what you may find) at a local home building resale establishment.  The cost was only $15 so it was a great price.

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It’s upside down but you get the idea…

Continue reading “More Apartment Expenses – Planned and Unexpected”

The Changing of Tenants

We have owned our duplex for just under four years and have thankfully had good tenants so far.  The first tenant was a grad student and came with the apartment.  This could be a scary proposition as we did not screen her but both she and her dog were very quiet, she always paid the rent on time, and would even help bring the trash bin back from the curb on trash day (it’s the little things, right?).  She really was the ideal tenant and we were sad to see her go after almost two years but she headed out west for a doctoral program.

We kept the rent the same for our second tenants who were a referral from a friend so we did not even have to advertise the apartment.  The only time we raised the rent in the almost two years Continue reading “The Changing of Tenants”

The Real Estate Blues

As I have previously mentioned, we currently own a duplex and rent out the other half.  We have been saving for another investment property and I will casually browse the listings to see what is available and we have even checked some out.  Unfortunately, they are pretty expensive so we need to save a little more to make sure we have 20% down plus closing costs and still leaving us a cash reserve.  I read a lot of blogs and get complete envy over the real estate pricing that other people talk about.  I see people buying single family homes for less than $100,000 and 4-plexes listed for $150,000.  This is so discouraging for me Continue reading “The Real Estate Blues”