home maintenance

I'm a sucker for watching The Outlaw Josey Wales every time it is on TV. josey whalesMy absolutely favorite scene is the "Missouri Boat ride".   Josey is riding for his life, chased by the infamous Red legs.  But instead of hustling, he naps.  One cool cat.  Watch the clip below then read on....     https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=t-KEnU9TBmQ&app=desktop Read More
January 30, 2015

I'm a sucker for watching The Outlaw Josey Wales every time it is on TV. My absolutely favorite scene is the "Missouri Boat ride".   Josey is riding for his life, chased by the infamous Red legs.  But instead of hustling, he naps.  One cool cat.  Watch the clip below then read on....     https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=t-KEnU9TBmQ&app=desktop Read More
April 8, 2015

Meth houses

Our daily interactions with Clients, peers, and prospects is always wickedly weird and unpredictable…. I got this text message from a friend of mine after he calls and I click ‘decline’ on my phone… Uh-Oh…..                 You can tell this isn’t going to be a good conversation ending well….                           Take Away:  When your Spidey-Sense goes into orbit, listen to it!!!
June 9, 2015

The Cost of Your New Water Heater will make your blood boil.

Landlords and Home Owners–get ready to open your wallet deeper. All water heaters available for purchase after April 16, 2015 will be taller and wider than prior models in order to achieve the required efficiency ratings ordered by The Department of Energy (DOE) back in 2010.  The law is just now in effect. Most manufacturers report that the retail price will increase 25%. But that’s not the only cost you could be incurring.  The new sizes of the tanks will make replacement a logistical challenge in tight spaces.  It may require reframing a utility room, doors, and HVAC run changes. So be prepared for the new costs and inconveniences, swallow hard, and realize there is not a dag nabbit thing you can do except stomp your feet and pay up. Dan Baldini is the Founder of Polaris Real Estate & Polaris Property Management, LLC and is also an Adjunct Professor in the College of Business Finance Department […]
July 16, 2015

Sewer & Drain Backup Endorsements for Rental Properties

  Not exactly what you want to find in your house.  Definitely not what you want to hear about in your rental property. If you have a rental property with a basement, this is a reality that you likely will have to deal with, but there are ways to mitigate the risk as well as outcome. Two perspectives come into play here–that of the Landlord and that of the Tenant. (Standard disclaimer here before we get into the nitty gritty:  I’m not a licensed insurance agent and the comments below are not intended to be taken as providing such professional insurance advice.  Please contact a licensed insurance agent to discuss your particular situation.) Let’s look at the Landlord issues first… Make sure you replace your sump pump approximately every 3 years, even if it is functioning.  It’s a motor and moving parts.  Things break, wear out, get stuck.  Better to […]
May 18, 2016

How to Create Margin in your Rental portfolio

Margin–that critical component Margin….What comes to mind for most real estate investors, landlords, and property managers is financial concepts, such as Profit Margin.  Or maybe Gross Margin.  Or, if you are a particularly deep financial geek–Contribution Margin.  And that’s all well and fine.  Yes, savvy investors fuel their Financial Freedom by keeping a focused eye on their financial margins because without them, let’s face it, losing money on rental properties flat out sucks. What I’m offering to plant in your fertile mind today is a different kind of margin.  In some very very smart people’s minds, like Dave Ramsey for example, it is one of the best kinds of margin.  The kind of margin I’m mentioning here is margin for the unplanned. Unplanned expenses. Unplanned sources of emotional pain. Ultimately, Unplanned changes in your overall plan for Financial Freedom. Unplanned expenses: In my experience in counseling hundreds of real estate investors […]
July 15, 2016

If it’s Chunky grab it–If it’s runny Dab it

  Your Financial Freedom with rental properties is achieved by improving your margins for continuous profitability. This improvement should include how to instruct your tenants on best practices to clean up the “Whoopsies” they make or perhaps their pets make. I asked one of my favorite contractors to do a quick write up on what he tells his customers on how to handle spills and such. Here’s the advice from Todd Francis, Owner of First Serve Cleaning and Restoration. “One of the most common mistakes we see that homeowner’s make is Scrubbing carpet to get a spot out.  They think “if I just scrub a little bit harder-put some elbow grease into it, maybe just maybe this spot will come out”.  What you will end up with is a section of carpet that is damaged as a result of your scrubbing and more than likely the spot will still be […]
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 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 […]