Dan Baldini

April 5, 2018

Planning for your Portfolio….

This might make your local politicians a bit uncomfortable…and if you own expensive apartments in urban areas, your tummy might be queasy, too. I’ve heard all kinds of justifications about Millennials housing choices and the plans needed to accomodate these choices from Directors of Economic Development, elected officials, private developers, non-profit organizations….and they always left me scratching my head, generating more questions than answers. “Millenials ARE NOT behaving like past generations in their housing preference!!!” “If we don’t have urban mass transit, fancy apartments, Kool-Hip restaurants serving avacado toast for $13.99, they WON’T MOVE TO OUR CITY!!!” “We’ll lose out on all their tax revenue!” “We HAVE TO INVEST MILLIONS to attract them to the urban areas!” Funny thing about “trends”.  Trends always have a starting point.  For the Millenials, this was in the early 2010’s.  More DANGEROUS thing about “trends” is they ALWAYS have a stopping point, too.  And […]
January 16, 2018

Everything Else is Irrelevant

There are very few Be-All, End-All things in real estate investing, but this is one of them. This cuts to the marrow, to the bone, to the essence of why The United States of America has grown and continues to grow more Financially Free individuals than the world has ever seen.  It’s not due to our abundant natural resources, nor our exceeding ability to innovate, nor even our financial prowess.  None of those factors matter as much as property rights.   Hint:  It’s why The Founders chafed under British rule….go back and read your history books again.  The Declaration of Independence.  The US Constitution.  The Amendments to The Constitution.  The 50 different State Constitutions.  They all contain deep breaths of these components for a Free Life. Even today, we still struggle to protect these property rights.  Without overthinking it too much, here’s four immediate threats to landlords and investors: Over-reaching HOA […]
January 16, 2018

“MY INSURANCE CLAIM WAS DENIED”……oh crap!

Whether we like it or not, insurance companies are not your “friend” in the rental business.  Yes, they provide a valuable product and provide coverage for you when the proverbial “SHTF”.  But, they also limit their potential exposure to paying out claims. One method they use is to limit paying out claims when a home has been vacant for an extended period of time and a claim is filed.  If you are the unfortunate landlord or investor who has this occur, expect the insurance adjuster to do his best “Inspector Jacques Clouseau” to determine how long the home has been vacant.  They will research the mls for listing status changes, they will research utility records for usage or non usage, etc.  They WILL find out. So, a best practice is to make sure you know precisely what your policy dictates on this issue.  And yes, dictates is the appropriate word […]
January 11, 2018

File EARLY this year!!!

This year is the year to DEFINITELY get all your ducks in a row, get all your paperwork in order, and get your tax returns filed as early as January 27th! Here’s a concise article from a local CPA firm explaining why. Don’t put your Financial Freedom in jeopardy–heed their advice. Don’t be a victim of tax identity theft: File your 2017 return early  
December 6, 2017

#1 Question asked by Landlords in 2017….here’s how to get the answer Correct

The real estate market continues to be on a red hot tear.  Bank accounts are fat, vacancies are low, and demand is still sky high for rental units. Fat, Low, and High.  Happy Dance times. Three market conditions that always, always, always, lead investors and landlords down the path of asking this #1 Asked Question: “Should I continue to rent my property or should I Sell it?” It’s a Simple question with a sometimes Difficult answer. Emotions come into play.  Emotions like fear, greed, regret, anxiety.  “What if I sell it and the market goes up another 10% next year?” “What if I keep renting it and the market goes to Hell-in-a-Handbasket?”   The harder answer to conjure up for most of my landlord and investor clients are the logical ones, like this all-encompassing question you should be asking: “How do I determine, OBJECTIVELY and with FINANCIAL NUMBERS, if Selling […]
November 29, 2017

The Dichotomy of Tenants & Toilets

Ahhh….tenants and toilets.  The two things absolutely critical in rental properties. Each is a dichotomy, too. Tenants provide the Revenue….Toilets provide the means to take waste of out your house. Tenants can break down and not behave….toilets can also break down and not behave. Both can create icky mucky messes that you have to clean up. Some messes are simple to clean up, such as a tenant paying rent late or a toilet clogging up. Some messes are ultimate disasters, such as a tenant trashing a property beyond recognition or a toilet on 2nd floor of a home overflowing for days into 1st floor of a home. Smart Landlords plan for Tenants and Toilets to misbehave and budget accordingly with both money resources and time resources.  Money resources including paying for well-drafted lease agreements and professional services like property management and vendors.  Time resources such as mid-lease audits and preventative […]
September 29, 2017

Assistance Animals….some clarification from recent large settlement.

“…….for purposes of reasonable accommodation requests, neither the FHA nor Section 504 requires an assistance animal to be individually trained or certified.” Reread that first sentence….how does this impact your rental processes? Service animals and assistance animals are, indeed, valuable and necessary for many individuals dealing with visible physical health issues as well as not-readily visible physical and/or mental health issues.  The proper protocols for housing providers to interact and accommodate tenants with these animals has hopefully just gotten a bit clearer with this recent lawsuit settlement between HUD and a California housing provider. Here’s the link to the announcement.  I would encourage you to read through it to get a solid understanding of what it means for landlords and property managers: https://portal.hud.gov/hudportal/HUD?src=/press/press_releases_media_advisories/2017/HUDNo_17-060 In addition to the Fair Housing Act’s requirements, in April 2013 HUD did reaffirm that housing providers must provide reasonable accommodations to people with disabilities who require […]
September 27, 2017

An ounce of prevention……a pile of cash saved

Like you, I try and plan my day and evening activities to minimize windshield time.  On Tuesday of this week, after dropping one of the kids off at his Boy Scout meeting, I zipped over to Lowe’s to pick up some Super Glue and Krud Cutter (to wash siding mildew). After paying for the items, I head over to the restroom before leaving the store and walk past the drinking fountains.  Here’s what I saw: Normally I would have kept walking, done my business, and left the store. But this actually made me stop, chuckle a bit, and shake my head. Notice the stream of water? Now, I get that things break all the time.  (Certainly not picking on Lowe’s….goodness knows they get plenty of my money each month as does Home Depot.)  One of my operating companies manages commercial properties, so I understand that part.  Kudos to the store […]
September 8, 2017

Did you dig your well before you were thirsty?

Hurricane Harvey.  Hurricane Irma.  Wildfires consuming thousands of acres in Oregon, Montana and Idaho. The U.S. is experiencing a horrible end to Summer 2017 in terms of natural disasters and, yes, it will impact your rental operations and profitability even if you don’t have rental properties in the affected areas. It’s the tsunami wave that will impact the marketplace after the flood water have receded and the last fire ember has been extinguished–the rebuilding efforts. The U.S. construction markets and supply chains were already overtaxed due to record housing sales and new home construction and overall improvement in GDP growth this year.  Supply of skilled labor was already critically short–everyone from framers to electricians to hvac installers, carpet installers to drywall crews,painters to even low-level punch-out guys and cleaning crews. If you heeded the age-old wisdom of Harvey Mackay which recommends “dig your well before you’re thirsty“, you can survive […]
September 1, 2017

A special 5-Minute Friday

  God Bless Texas. Hurricane Harvey has unleashed devastation on Texas. Our prayers for those who have lost loved ones, those who have lost property, and those First Responders doing everything in their power to rescue their neighbors. I personally have Clients who live in the Houston area impacted and it’s going to be a long haul for them to recover….Literally years to financially get back on their feet….But hopefully sooner for them to get back on their spiritual feet. If you can assist via a charity or other organization, please consider doing so.  If you have already assisted or donated, THANK YOU. In lieu of today’s traditional 5-Minute Friday, I’m resurrecting an old blog article from 2015 that has important points to consider regarding protecting your rental property and tenant’s personal property from water damage. Sewer & Drain Backup Endorsements for Rental Properties Stay safe down there in Texas, […]