A garage door needs a garage door spring, either a torsion or an extension spring, to help you lift the weight of the garage door. Even the most heavy-duty garage door opener cannot match the lightest garage door and power the door up to the top to allow you to get out of the garage.
When a garage door spring breaks, you are stuck either in, or out of, your garage. You can pull the manual door release, but you are still obligated to lift a garage door that could be as much as 300+ pounds. It is no small task, and a renter doesn’t want to do it. Nor should they have to. And they may need to get their car out of the garage to go to work, to get you your rent.
I recently had to replace a garage door spring in two different units recently, here is what I was able to do.
I did not start off as a rich kid, far from it. You could say I started in poverty. As a kid growing up, my mother and father were divorced when I was seven. That was in 1967 or so, and women in the US were just starting to begin working careers. Few women at that time worked outside the home. Divorcees could be discriminated against, and credit could be denied to divorcees. It was not an easy life for a single mom.
So how did I wind up being financially independent?
I had the pleasure of being interviewed for a financial independence interview for blog called Even Steven Money. As I have done a few of them in the past, for other blogs, I find that they are always a great inflection of my own goals.
The questions make you think and put down some thoughts on paper. The interviews become part of your permanent “internet record” that you (and others..) can look back on and reflect.
In this interview, I go through some of my background, financial independence goals, motivations, and some random thoughts. As I wrote the answers to the interview, it did remind me of some of my past. I have some a long way from my start, just a kid that always thought I would wind up in jail at some point. (For the record, I have never been in a jail cell except for on a jail tour. Getting bailed out before you get put into a cell doesn’t count.)
My final apartment turnover for March is complete. I am all set until the end of April now. I had the new tenant sign a lease and pay the rent for the remaining March rent, and all of April, on 3/24. I prorated the rent for March, and she also paid all of April.
These tenants have a solid credit score, and solid income, so they should be a great tenants. It is only one person for now, and another that moves in in August. Both have been screened and accepted.
That is the way to do it, declare and screen everyone who will be moving into the apartment right up front. No one wants to be told their significant other can’t move in a month down the road.
I have had to fill several vacancies already this year. If you have ever had the opportunity to experience filling rental vacancies, you know it can be challenging. Especially in the Winter.
When you have 25 tenants that you manage, like i do, you will have tenants move out. And some move out in the Winter. When the tenants move out, you need to get a new tenant as soon as possible. Vacancy is your number one avoidable expense as a landlord.
There are a lot of landlord discounts out there. I often talk with homeowners who are doing remodeling on their home. They might be buying Sheetrock, paint, appliances or any other remodeling project. Some of them spend several thousands of dollars on the project and are do it yourself people. They are generally too frugal (i.e. cheap) to hire a contractor at $100 an hour to do the work, so they do it themselves.
When I ask if they are getting their discounts, they give me a deer in the headlight look. They know enough to save money on most everything, but not on a remodeling project.
It’s time to start the 2015 New Year’s financial goals. When you own rental property, and have a full time job, it can be difficult to coordinate any time off. When you do have time off, if you want to maximize your hours to dollars ratio, you take a class to improve your skills, get an additional license certification, or do a side hustle gig. Or, you can even do a remodel on a rental property while on a ‘vacation’ from your ‘real’ job.
While everyone needs a time to reflect on their goals, and enjoy some down time, the down time will generally cost you money, not save it. I spend the majority of my down time from my regular job maintaining rentals or taking classes. It gives me a sense of accomplishment, and allows me to buy some great tools. 😉
For now, it is time to plan on the 2015 financial goals.
The rental cash flow for the month was as expected and according to plan. All rents for December 2014 were in hand by Friday, 12/5/14. That is 24 for 24. All units were full, with the exception of my one vacancy that I have been working on for a few months.
I generally have ~10 to 15% of the rents in prior to the first, 50% in by the first, 75 to 90% of the rents in by the seconds of the month, and 100% by the fifth of the month.
I was featured in an article involving interviews of 26 landlord and property investors. All the landlords were asked questions and for them to give some landlord advice. I was honored to be in that elite group with some other very great property investors.
They asked me, along with 26 other landlords, what is my number one tip for newbie property investors. The answers were broken down into four categories. Each investor was asked for advice, and each investors advice put into the following categories.
If you have been reading this blog for any length of time, you know I added advice about Tenant Management.