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Renting » fliprent
6th August 2008

Buy or Rent a Home in 2008?

I still believe that this is the best time to get into the real estate investing business.  However, the strategy used in this market may be the key to your success.  I’m not so sure that all of the creative strategies taught buy the self proclaimed gurus will work in this current market.  The differences in the strategies can make or break you as an investor.  For example, if you are looking for short term investments in which you control or own the property for less than 4 months, i.e. house flipping, this market should scare you some.  No one knows where the bottom is, including the gurus and even at a 20 percent discount (in today’s market) you could still be over priced in three months.  Wholesaling (house flipping on speed) may be a safer route to take since in most cases, you only control the property for a very short time frame.  The down side is you run the risk of not finding a buyer and potentially loosing deposits or down payments.  Don’t get me wrong I am still a proponent of house flipping, however only as one car in your freight train to wealth.

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posted in House Flipping, Landlord, Real Estate Investing, Real Estate Market, Renting | 0 Comments

30th July 2008

Finally Closed the Deal

The Old E Baltimore house is now officially mine.  After close to three months the sale has been finalized and now I’m ready to get going.  The house has quite a bit of work already done by the previous investor.  I’m setting a semi aggressive schedule to get this one done is 3 weeks.  I initially planned on starting today but my body is not cooperating. 

On a side note: I now know that I can no longer ride 5 different roller coasters that spin, flip, loop and jerk me around until I’m dizzy.  Who knew!

As soon as I recover from this feeling that I’m about to fall flat on my face (which has now lasted about three days), I will get going.  As usual, I will start with some before images and take more pictures as the project progresses.  Stay tuned and stay away from roller coasters! 

posted in House Flipping, Old E Baltimore Project, Renting | 0 Comments

22nd July 2008

Vacation or work?

I’m on a short vacation…or am I.  Well, I’m actually looking at apartment buildings while taking a break to relax a little.  Investing in real estate does not require that you only look for properties in your home town you know.  In fact many apartment investors specifically look for the hot markets around the country for great deals.  Once you get your feet wet with single family homes, you may want to look into multi-units specifically mid sized apartment buildings.  This may require more homework at the beginning.  Searching outside of your local area may be the biggest challenge  but the returns can be much greater.  How will I manage my property from long distance you ask?  That’s the easy part, I say.  The answer is hire a property management company to manage your property.  They will probably do a better job of it than you will.  If they are handling the property correctly you may only go there once or twice a year.  Check out my article on working with property management companies to find out more. 

posted in Property Acquisition, Renting | 0 Comments

17th July 2008

Sale Finally Ratified

The property that I refer to as the Old East Baltimore project is finally moving forward.  The city ratified the sale and the settlement is scheduled.  I need to get a few items to the title company such as the Articles Of Organization,  Insurance Information, etc.  I was pleased to find out that the property insurance is only approx. $640/year and the taxes should be somewhere in the same ballpark.  

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posted in House Flipping, Old E Baltimore Project, Renting | 0 Comments

19th June 2008

Renting to Section 8 Tenants

The Housing Choice Voucher Program (once called section eight) was put in place by HUD for low income families to rent property.  Many landlords choose this program for one reason…guaranteed rent every month on time.  Unfortunately, it’s not always that simple.  In some areas the tenant uses 30 percent of their income towards housing when enrolled in the program.  For example, if the tenant makes $25,000 per year they are required to pay $625 of the monthly rent.  If your rent is $900/month then the program only subsidizes $225/month.  The $225 is the only portion that is guaranteed by the government.   The rest must be collected from the tenant and there are no guarantees.   This is a common misconception of the section 8 program.  However, there are no guarantees at all when renting to anyone else.   If you have been a landlord for a while, you have experienced this first hand.

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posted in Real Estate Investing, Renting | 5 Comments

5th May 2008

Working with Property Managers

Owning an apartment building or rental units can be less time consuming when you don’t have to deal with the daily property management yourself.  Hiring a company to manage your properties eases the responsibilities of the owner.   This means no longer dealing with collections, vacancies, maintenance, repairs, complaints, budgets and many other items by yourself.  This doesn’t mean you are hands off as the owner.  Your property manager should provide you with comprehensive monthly reports outlining the daily operations.  These monthly reports should include information pertaining to rent roll, disbursements, operating statements, vacancies, market surveys, and an annual budget.

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posted in Contracts, Landlord, Renting | 0 Comments

29th March 2008

Good candidate for a quick house flip and rent?

My contractors are all pretty good, so they don’t need me watching over them all day.  When I’m not flipping houses, I’m usually looking for the next flip or rental to add to the portfolio.  Well, actually I should say when I’m not physically at any of the properties…   Of the houses I saw today, this property looks like a decent deal.  The asking price was $69,900 and has been reduced to $53,900 in just under a month!  The details are as follows:

  • Legally zoned for Two Units
  • Each unit currently rented for $650/month
  • Separate entrances
  • Separate meters for Gas and Electric
  • Both renters are subsidized by the city
  • They are both 2 year tenants
  • Needs new roof
  • Rat problem
  • Possible termite problem
  • Needs new flooring
  • Needs new deck
  • Needs new bathroom fixtures (both units)
  • Needs new kitchen sink and fixtures (both units)
  • Walls need to be cleaned and painted

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posted in Financing, House Flipping, Landlord, Mortgages, Property Acquisition, Real Estate Investing, Renting, Taxes | 2 Comments

26th March 2008

Your second home..Investment or Personal Property

As a real estate investor you need to be well versed in tax laws.  Well at least if you are not well versed, youde better have a good tax accountant.   Tax deductions are available on your rental properties and also for your house flips.  The tax laws are fairly straight forward when renting property.  Typically maintenance and depreciation are the main deductions.   What about those of you that own second homes for vacation getaways or just another place to go fishing on the weekends?  This is where the tax laws get a little trickier.  The IRS classifies additional homes as either Investment property or Personal property. 

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posted in Real Estate Investing, Renting, Taxes | 0 Comments

13th March 2008

Real Estate Investor Tip - Saving Water on Your Rentals

Toilets

Installing a water-saver flush kit in your toilet can save you thousands of liters of water per year. Replacing large-volume toilets with 6-litre-per-flush models saves at least 70 percent of the water used.

 realestaeforsale

Showers

An energy-efficient shower head or flow controller conserves energy without affecting water pressure. A low-flow shower head saves as much as 60 percent of the water used by a conventional fixture.  Dripping taps can waste 9000 liters of hot water each year. Replace leaky washers and save the hot water for when you really need it!

posted in Real Estate Investing, Renting, Tips | 2 Comments

26th February 2008

Will you compromise with your tenants?

I have a tenant that pays his rent late every single month.  In fact he doesn’t even bother mailing it anymore.  I usually meet him somewhere depending upon my location.  He pays with cash because we no longer accept checks from him.  This is one compromise that landlords cannot afford to make.  Too many bounced checks are never a good thing to your bank.   He doesn’t want to get a money order because it costs too much.  For tax reasons, cash is not the best way to conduct business.  However, I would prefer to be paid then not.  Did I mention he pays a late fee every month as well?  This would be a serious problem if all tenants paid this way, so make sure word doesn’t spread to your other renters.

 Compromise is what I’m getting at in this article.  I make a little more every month but have to wait (sometimes weeks) to get it.  Renting can be a hassle at times but there is no better way to own a house after 10-20-30 years and have someone else pay for it.   That is a sacrifice I am willing to make.   There are some scenarios however that compromise is not an option.  My parents still own the first house they ever purchased.  The current tenant has family members that are destroying the property.  In fact they and are not supposed to be living in the house at all.  This property is no longer generating positive cash flow not to mention the tenant’s breach of contract.  It’s going to cost more to repair the property than what it grossed in two years.   An eviction is not always necessary but if the tenant does not cooperate, it may be the only option.

Work with your tenants to come to an agreement that you both can live with.   If you have a renter that takes care of your property and treats it like a home, you should be willing to work with them.  We all go through financial difficulties and your tenants are no different.    

posted in Landlord, Renting | 3 Comments

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