Blog

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, […]
August 25, 2017

Get educated and Get more ROI on your rental investments

Here’s an opportunity for you to take courses typically reserved for only licensed REALTORS. I’ve gotten permission from the Continuing Education school where I teach to offer this to you, my platform members…it will be the best $69 you’ve ever spent on learning advanced concepts related to your rental properties. Registration is now open for Merrillville and Indianapolis classes in November. Property Management Workshop – Indianapolis, IN Property Management Workshop–Merrillville, IN
August 25, 2017

5-Minute Friday

Good morning, Everyone! Here is your weekly 5 Minute Friday, highlighting a couple of the questions or issues posed to me this week. From Terri:   Does offering a house fully furnished change how much I can charge for rent? My Response: Terri–Thanks for the question.  The short answer is Yes, it can and will change how much you can charge for rent…..or rather, a better answer is it can and will change how much you will earn in rental revenue.  Here’s some things to consider when choosing to offer a property fully furnished or completely unfurnished: What is the actual market for furnished rentals in your area?  In most market segments across the country, especially in SFR’s (single family residences), furnished rental demand is a small sliver of the total demand.  As in less than 10%.  So, if you have a 4 bedroom home, if you offer it only fully […]
August 18, 2017

5 Minute Friday

Good morning, Everyone! Here is your weekly 5 Minute Friday, highlighting a couple of the questions or issues posed to me this week. From Peggib:   If a tenant moves out without telling you, cleans out cabinets, closets etc.  and leaves the key but also leaves some crappy furniture behind, are you required to store said items or can you just haul them away?  In this case, the tenant was a tenant at sufferance, but does that make any difference in your responsibility? My Response: Peggi–Thanks for the question.  You just brought up a situation which almost every landlord and property manager has found themselves embroiled in at one time or another.  This falls into the category of possible abandoned personal property.  However, it’s not always so straight forward.  Keeping in mind this is certainly not legal advice and may conflict with the State or local ordinance where your property is location, […]
August 10, 2017

5 Minute Fridays

(No, the title picture isn’t tilted by accident, it is intentional.  Interrupting Broca’s Region of the brain with unusual visual stimuli wakes up our brain matter.) Starting next week, I’ll be posting some fun new items for your consumption.  I’ve been asked to do this for some time now, and fortunately the schedule has cleared up enough to do it thanks to streamlined processes added this Summer. Here’s what is coming for you: 5 Minute Fridays (yes, 5 balls in the air…..) This is where I’ll be answering your quick questions in a rapid fire format.  What questions are fair game?  Questions which can be answered in  5 minutes or less, hence the name.  So, pleasse, no long drawn out deep rabbit hole questions.  (For those scenarios, you’ll be best served with this link http://danbaldini.com/resources/private-client-consulting/)   I guarantee that if you’re thinking of a question about your rentals or your property […]