How Renters Insurance Can Offer Protection for Your Personal Stuff

stockvault-twisted-metal109024-PDMore and more people are renting properties these days instead of buying. The reason behind this is the increasing cost of real estate properties. If you are thinking of renting an apartment or a condo, you are on the right track.

When making a budget, include premium for renters insurance. In case you don’t know what renters insurance is, it’s a type of insurance that provides coverage for a renter’s belongings.

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How to Fix a Delta Shower Faucet Leak

Delta Shower ValveWhen you are a landlord, you can either hire out all the maintenance, or do some of them yourself.  I do much of it myself, and it saves a TON of money.  When you are in doubt about how to fix an item, odds are, there is someone out there, with a YouTube video, who has dedicated their life to helping you fox the issue.

This bit of maintenance to fix a shower faucet leak started simple enough.  It was a quick text by a tenant saying her bathtub faucet was leaking.  Then a phone call.  When you get a text and phone call, it becomes a bit more serious…

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Rental Property Asset Allocation

Saving-MoneyAre you holding the proper rental property asset allocation?

My investment account has finally recovered from 2007.  That’s right.  My investment account has finally surpassed my account balance record set way back in October 2007, over eight years ago.  (It actually passed the mark a few months ago, and I just got around to writing this post.)  It was only just about $50K higher in 2007 that it was back in 2000 or so.  My current 401K, which is nearly as high as my investment account is today, was at $0 in 2003 when I started at my current mega-corp, as I have always converted my previous employer 401Ks to an IRA, and a Roth wen i could afford to pay the tax hit.

If you do not have the proper investment allocation, you could be in for a large surprise in your quest for financial independence.  Being financially independent is not just about having a large amount of money.  It is about multiple income streams and redundant sources of passive income.  And living below your means.  Here are a few insights into what I have done to become financially independent.

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How to Handle Tenant Disputes: Part II

tennis-court-338537_1920In an earlier post, we talked about using the good cop/bad cop method to resolve tenant disputes.  But if you own and manage the property by yourself, that doesn’t really work.  If you fully commit to the split personality, you might be sent to a mental institution.  So if you’re flying solo, you have to take a different approach.

This post is compliments of Amy aka “YETInvesting”.

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My Renter Bounced a Check

Bounced CheckIf you have been following along, you know that my rent collections are outstanding; this month I had trouble.  My renter bounced a check.  I have not had a truly late payment in several years, other than the one tenants that I inherited when I purchased the building.

I have had a few payments after the first, but always received before the late fee kicked in after the 5th, and have not collected late fees, or even waived them, for rent paid on or after the 6th in a long time.

However, I recently had a check returned to me from a payment that was not honored by the bank.  My renter bounced a check.  Yikes! my mortgage is due and I am short rent.

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How to Begin Investing in Real Estate – 6 Steps to Finding Amazing Deals

DealI get emails and other correspondence quite often asking me how to begin investing in real estate.  When you are trying to find your first real estate deal, real estate investing seems very complicated.  It’s not that difficult, but you have to understand that deals are not on every corner, at least not at the sellers price.   It takes diligence, looking at many potential deals, in order to find ‘the one’.  Then you have to find the next deal.  Professional investors are everywhere, and they make a living in every city.  You can do it too, but you need patience, persistence and determination.  And some seed capital.  Here is how to do it…

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Signs You Might Be a Bona Fide Real Estate Investor

Dream bigIf you have ever contemplated becoming a Real Estate Investor, there are things that you must understand.  Once you cross the line, your life will never be the same.  You will have crossed to the ‘dark’ side of making money.  A 2% savings return will look paltry.  Of course, just getting back your initial investment might also look like a windfall.

Things you take for granted now, will forever be gone.  But you will persevere, for you know that the fruit will be there to harvest at a later date.  Sooner or later, you will be able to pick the fruits of your labor and enjoy them.  And no one will tell you that you have to wait until  you are 62, or 65, or 67 or 70.

Your view on other properties will change.  How much can you buy it for, how much can you sell it for.  A distressed house on your own block becomes an opportunity, not an eye sore.  A friend with money may become a partner, not someone to envy.  A junk toilet sitting in your backyard becomes a trophy, not a piece of junk (not right away anyway…).

When a new large store is being built, you hope it is a home improvement store, not a clothing store.  You look at all the colors of paint on the color wheels, and know that only one or two would you ever buy.  You realize that many of the paint colors should be illegal to sell.

You are a Real Estate Investor!

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How have your views, on anything, changed once you became more involved and in tune with the activity?  Have you ever thought “I will never think or do something like that”, and then a few years later you want to “think like that”?




Maximizing Revenue from Your Rental Property

Saving-MoneyAre you maximizing revenue from your real estate investments? If you have rental property, there are literally hundreds of ways to make extra money. I often thought if I had 20 properties to take care of that it would be a full-time job for someone, possibly me. In addition to the rental income, at a time I was running a small lawn care company, trying to generate enough money to live on. That mowing, plowing and miscellaneous maintenance also generated capital to kick-start my seed money for real estate investing.  Never underestimate the power of saving money, or the ability of a side gig to create a lot of extra capital.  Every hour you spend making money for yourself, is an hour less you have to work for someone else.

Now that I have my rentals, I always look to save money or generate new revenue streams from my tenants. I am not looking to gouge them, but for ways to leverage my skills and their money.

Here are a few tips that  I have either done, or have thought about doing.  Actually I have implemented all but one of them, although not every one on every tenant.  Most are common and not rocket science, some are not.

If you have ever wanted to quit your full-time job, and wondered how it would be possible with only a few rentals, this could be a way to help with your ticket out of the drudgery of working for a boss.

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Tenant Damage vs. Wear and Tear => Case Study

Broken WindowTenant Damage vs. Wear and Tear or “The case of the Broken Window”

I just had an incident where one of my renters caused damage to another building I own.  I own 20 condominiums in a complex, it is high density housing.  Formerly a Class D neighborhood, which I was able to turn around.

Now that the neighborhood is safe to be outside in, the parents want to keep it that way.  They can bring their small children to the park, and not have to worry about fights or drug deals going on.  It is not to say that kids always behave, but if you keep on top of things, they do not get out of hand.

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Hidden Rental Expenses That Might Cause Problems

enter-the-catacombs-PDIf you are like most investors in real estate, you want to make money.  Unfortunately, Murphy has a way to continually take away your profits at the earliest moment.  Even though you have accounted for all of the known events, and even all of the unseen events, the ‘other’ events happen.  These hidden rental expenses are real, and they add up.

Some expenses are a part of running a business, and really have no bearing on the rental property you are purchasing.  But you would not have the expense if you did not have the rental.  So it impacts your cash flow and profitability.  Some expenses are very small, but they indeed add up.

Some expenses are obvious, but who would ever think to include that in the cash flow analysis of a rental property.

Were you aware that driving to and from the rental will cost you something?  Of course, did you account for it in your analysis?  It could add up to be several hundred dollars a year.

Were you aware that sending letter(s) to a tenant would cost you something?  Did you account for it?  It may only be a couple of dollars, but it adds up.

You may want to get a business business liability policy.  How does that affect the cash flow of the rental?

Tenant gifts?  Even $50 adds up fast.  Bad tenants?  Those are the worst.  Evictions?  Bed Bugs?  rental licenses?  Rental inspections?  Tax preparers?  Incorporating?  Time and effort?  YIKES!!

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What expenses in your own life have popped up, some that may have been expected but were unplanned?  Or even totally unexpected?