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  1. interesting. Care to expound?
  2. Maybe something that I should have also added to my short list of "to dos" (and probably the first) is to determine what the right thing for me to do tax wise with respect to the property...especially b/c I don't need the money in the short term.
  3. Was going to wait to put together a post with some more concise thoughts...but since you asked...here's what comes off top of mind. Feel free to drive a hole in my assumptions or ask further questions. Background Financially, I'm in a very good place. I'm 38yo, zero debt...have retirement taken care of....and expect to have around $30-$40k in cash each year that I'm looking to do something with. Additionally, I have up access to $400k in a 10year Interest Only (at prime) HELOC if necessary. I say this not as a "Hey look at me!", but b/c it plays into the risk/reward scenario. Why Real Estate? I'm looking to have the ability to retire in 15 years, I'll be 53 at the time...and want the 7 years of income until I start receiving retirement/pension income penalty free. My entire retirement accounts right now are stocks/mutual funds (will phase this down over time), but want to diversify my portfolio a little bit Area I live in New Orleans, so ideally would want something within about a 45 minute radius My amateur philosophy on real estate I'm a "marathon, not a sprint" guy when it comes to money....if you've seen my posts in the personal finance or gambling thread, you've seen that...so I don't have a "get rich quick" mentality at all Also, I'm not a handyman at all, and don't have the appetite for doing that type of work....i'm completely ok with paying a property manager 8-10% to be headache free....I realize that cuts the profitability and makes fewer properties available from a numbers perspective What I do have is patience, especially when it comes to finding the right initial property. In a perfect worlds I would want an established property with tenants that the existing owner is looking to sell for whatever reason. I'd have a financial model in my mind around what the right price would be vs. existing rental income to determine if I wanted to pursue. So one of the things I need to do sooner rather than later is find an agent that's willing to do the research to find properties that fit that scenario. I think I have something to bring to the table, b/c if things work out, I have the financial latitude to purchase at least one of these a year. I'm willing to start very small...even a condo in a huge complex if the #s work out....just want to test the waters to see how it all goes for me Short list of "to dos" Find the right property manager Find the right agent
  4. Down to 55:1. You're already winning!
  5. I'll be there end of April. All you NBA prop guys are on notice
  6. yeah, i had never watched a race until my boys stumbled upon some crash videos on youtube. We watched a race one time and it was a blast....kept watching throughout the season
  7. Had $203 left in my 5 dimes account and parlayed them all yesterday: http://awesomescreenshot.com/0fc68wpx3b
  8. Yeah, it's just a really great song....lyrically and musically. I was a tad buzzed and watching concerts on youtube when I posted it yesterday. Whatever # it is for me...not sure exactly...but it's up there
  9. Just came here to post how awesome of a song sirens is. Maybe a top ten for me.
  10. Agree...that's why if you go through with it, just leave the garage door as it is, but disconnect the power and lock it so the kids can't mess with it. You can still "transform" the area with some portable flooring similar to this - http://www.rubberflooringinc.com/interlocking-tile/foam/12-eco-soft-tile.html
  11. Hey folks - have spent the last few weeks going through this thread as I'm thinking of jumping in. I consolidated a lot of the key points (well at least what I think are the key points) into categories/bullets...thought it would be helpful for the new guys who jump in. If you're curious, should be able to copy/paste the text into google to find the original post. @Wooderson - in case you wanted to add to the first post of the thread Finding a Property · I use to call the listing agent and talk to them. If they had a clue about investing, I'd have them set up email search for me. I can find the right agent in any market for you in 20 minutes if you are interested. · I've always bought things in very good repair. Just my style. Others I'm sure can chime in here. · I read about 10 books eleven years ago. I forget which. I just picked out the parts that applies to my style best and went for it. The one thing I always remembered when I started to look for my larger project..... "If the fences are in good repair, the rest of the place is usually in good repair because that one of the last items to repair." Expected Returns · Don't plan on making anything on it unless you can bank 20% per month on top of the mortgage payment. · My opinion is that if you can't run positive cash flow on a 15yr mtg, it's really hard to turn a profit. · When calculating your cash flow, don't forget about the money that is going to your principal loan amount. Probably a couple hundred bucks a month · 8-10% return is a good number. · 10% or more return · 10% after everything! Depreciation Expense eliminates most of my expenses Lease Terms · You shouldn't be paying utilities and renters won't balk at that. I recently put a clause in my leases that the tenants are responsible for any repairs under $100 and a $100 deductible for anything else higher. You'd be surprised how much this cuts down on repairs and damage. · Get as much of a security deposit as possible. You WILL need it. My neighbor has a trick that he uses to get rent on time. He advertises the place for $100 more than he wants, but he tells them they will get a $100 discount each month that the rent is in by the 1st. He gets all of his tenants to pay on time with this system. · First and last plus security deposit. And when the rent doesn't show up you start the eviction process immediately. Also make sure you have a thorough checklist done on move in to protect both you and the tenant. I got screwed in this when I bought an occupied property. They totally trashed it and I got hosed for the bill because I had no evidence that their down destroyed the yard and all screens. · Deposits based upon credit score: · 700+ 1st months rent, 1 month security · 650-699 Ask for, 2 months security but be open to negotiate · 600-649 Require 2 months security · 599- Denied" · Rent is due on or before the 1st, a $50 late fee will be charged if balance is not paid by the 5th, and a 3 day notice to vacate will be given if not received by the 10th. · 1st, last, 2 month security - Local custom is usually going to dictate what is appropriate. Get a feel for what the market is doing and go from there. · Late fees - Your state may set a max on that. I've see a lease listing an illegal late charge amount invalidate the lease. Don't pull this number out of your rear end. · Security deposit amount - State law may dictate what's legal based on length of lease. I add $50 to all my security despot amounts to differiate that it's not last month's rent." · You get that extension in writing. If so, rent clock stays on until you sell or re-lease. · That's what their tenant insurance is for. Hopefully your lease outlines this. Option to Purchase · Not sure about your state, but for an option to be valid here it has to be recorded. If you are going to do an option, they should be paying you for the right to that option. I'd want something along the lines of 2%. If they don't have any skin in the game, they get the benefit of the appreciation or just can walk if the market tanks. How would you feel if they exercised the option that cost them nothing and sold the home immediately to someone else for 10% more than the option price? · Personally if it were me, I'd call a property mgmt company and tell the you have a tenant in hand and want to manage the property. Offer them some cash to screen the tenant and write the lease. Legal/Tax/Insurance · Depending on how much you make personally you may or may not be able to deduct any losses · Put it in an LLC for liability purposes....You can quit claim the title into the LLC's name for reasonable protection against a law suite · In my limited research, I ended up just going with an umbrella policy that covers my rentals (once you get more than 4 it gets more expensive) to cover my liability risk. · If he goes with a single-member LLC then he doesn't have to file a separate return so there wouldn't be much added expense if he goes that route · If you don't put a bunch down, the depreciation plus interest expense likely means a tax loss.3. If you put a bunch down, the depreciation plus interest expense is unlikely to mean a tax loss...and if it does still result in a loss in this case, there are better investments out there. · http://www.investopedia.com/terms/r/rentalreal-estate-loss-allowance.asp Maintenance · Plan on spending more than you ever thought was possible for maintance · The biggest headaches i see are the minor things, like getting calls for dumb stuff...showing the apt, dealing with tenants directly. If you have someone doing most of the brunt work your basically just financial backing. Pets · "We are definitely in a tough spot as the LL. We absolutely need the money to hand over the keys, because we are handing over a $100K (give or take) property for $1500 or so. I'm sure I've lost some respectable prospects because of my pet fee (some people get downright nasty with me about it), but we dont know the responsible pet owners from the ones that treat a bedroom as the dogs bathroom until its too late. Nobody tells us up upfront they're going to let their dog #### all over the house, steal our appliances, leave us with bug infestations, or quit paying rent and attempt to live there for free. If they did, it would be easier for everyone (except the bad tenants). · $300 non-refundable here on most of the rentals I manage. - Pets · I charge $50 per pet per month Property Management · Having one rental sucks. Your PM company wont do jack for $65/mo and you are 2 hrs away. Do you have a hvac/plumber/painter/electrician/roofer? You will pay through the nose for these services. It will take up more of your time than you think. On top of all that you're looking to break even best case month to month. I dont think this will end wel · Get a good lease. Get a go to guy in each of the different service industries. Scrutinize your tenants, this will make or break it for you · "I'm biting the bullet and moving over to a management company after managing my own properties for close to 12 years. It's just not worth it, and with the 8% fee they charge, I'll be coming out ahead since I wasn't receiving 92% of the rent over the term of the lease at the first place I'm transferring. · I'll still find the tenants, but the management company does the background check and lease signing. If they found the tenants, it would cost a months rent. · I was too lenient with late payments and didn't do a good job of inspecting the property during the lease. They'll do quarterly walk throughs and charge late fees as soon as the due date passes. · I generally charge 1/2 month then 10%, but we are a full service company and don't mark up invoices, charge start up or ad fees, or have an in house maintenance staff as a profit center. Several of the 8% competitors end up getting 12%+ when it's all said and done. That 1/2 month is bargain part. Typical house gets shown 10 times. Figure an hour time traveling and showing plus gas expense. Often they no show even when you confirm an hour before. Add in qualifying, writing/signing lease, etc and the bulk of the time is up front." · "For 8%: o Full leasing services, including tenant screening and tenant credit checks o Rental agreement signing o 24-hour emergency maintenance service o Rent collection o Rent court services o Eviction services o Lead paint compliant o Professional and ethical service o Monthly and annual financial statements o Quarterly inspections- interior and exterior o Move in/ Move out electronic reports o Electronic financial statements- monthly / annual o Rental registration Tenants · Go whatever route you like. Luckily you aren't dealing with me because you would be racking up late fees for non-payment of rent and get your credit dinged. You'd probably end up paying for that repair and then some via rent increase if you wanted to renew. One of the things we factor into rent increases is the number of calls we get for minor stuff. If someone can operate a screw driver or spray bugs, then I tend not to increase rents as the owner's balance sheet looks better. · choose your renters wisely · Have your potential tenant get a credit report. Most will comply without argument. · When you place an ad for the rental, you can stipulate that the tenant is responsible for all utilities. It won't shy that many away. · You can deduct any expenses associated with the rental property (maintenance, furnace service/repairs, etc). That will offset some of the rental income that you have to claim. · Don't just accept the 1st person that wants to rent it out. You can be a little picky if you are not in a rush to get it filled. · https://biggerpockets.mysmartmove.com/tenant-credit-check.html · 650-699 I try to get 1 st and last. 700+ approved. Under 650 = 31% chance of default. Has to be 1st and last. Under 600 is a no. · Personally I dont even look at credit scores anymore. I used to and would either end up with a 3+ month vacancy or get stuck with a bad tenant that still managed to have decent credit. I've had much more luck using job history, rental history, facebook, the auditors website, and criminal history website. I do rent much cheaper houses ($650-$800) than you though. · A few things that could be red flags for me: · People that own Pit Bulls · People that ask if I will work with them on the deposit (I only ask for 1st months rent and deposit) · People that have been at their current place for less than 1 yr · Multiple families that want to move into a 3 bedroom house together · People employed by temp agencies · Not putting their current LL on the app (or putting a false LL/address match) · Facebook photos portraying behavior I dont want happening at my place · Facebook posts that are inconsistent with what they put on their app (no pets vs pics/posts about their 4 pit bulls) · People that show up drunk/high for showings · People that blame their LL for all their problems (I know who the bad LLs are here). · Basically for me its more spidey senses than hard numbers. Applicants will tell you a lot if you just let them talk as you're showing them the place." · This is why you should ask the LL in the initial phone call what they require upfront. Its as much of an interview for you as it is for us. You can tell some tenants will be a "good match" and some will become a royal pita. · So I've learned credit score means something too. Some people only pay their bills when absolutely necessary. · I pull credit reports but don't use the scores. A bad score doesn't mean a bad tenant. Bankruptcy and short sales kill a score but I find good tenants there. What I look for is collection accounts. I have my own formula to calculate a score based on how the account is rated. My scale is for a 1 (account paid as agreed, no latex) to a 10 (collection account pd or unpaid). Waive all medicals (also a score killer). This system has also been flawless for me. · Your "spidey senses" could land you with a $10,000 fair housing charge. Telling the gov't that you turned down an applicant based on their Facebook pictures isn't going to end well for you · "Co-Signers: No difference. Have them sign the same lease. That said, every name you add is going to mean paying for additional charges for the sheriff to serve them. · You only want co-signers who own property close enough to you where you can file a court case against them to recover damages." · We toss all income regardless of source into the same bucket. 3x needed for good credit, 4x for marginal. · Gov't sources of income are reliable. Obviously we don't discriminate based on age. It's been my experience that older tenants are better tenants regardless of income. · I struggle with my lower end stuff which is why I just move a personal one to sec 8. Times have really changed. Homes that our parents and grand parents lived in aren't something young people today want to live in. The younger generation seems to tie a lot of importance/status to their home. The definition of a starter home as moved up im" · I won't go into full details, but my formula weighs strongly against collections and ignores debt. Low 500s may even pass in some instances. Bankruptcy counts as one ding and wipes out all associated accounts. I'm pretty confident that if I graphed my scoring (or even credit score) vs. cost to fix up after move out you would see a direct correlation · "My current property manager just stresses ""good tenants"" as the 1st, 2nd, 3rd, and 4th most important things. We ask for first month, last month, and security deposit along with background checks, and generally just advertise the going rate for comparable rents in the area. If 3x the rent up front isn't not doable, chances are I don't want those tenants any way. I am more than happy to go a month vacant to find a good tenant. · As for jacking up the rate at first, good tenants are generally somewhat smart, and would steer clear of inflated rents. I mean, not saying it can't work out, just doesn't seem worth it." · "I've used youcheckcredit.com in the past, but $35.00 for comprehensive is slightly better. · I did find this site, which may kind of do it all - http://leaserunner.com/" · don't think it has the exact features you're looking for, but I've been using TransUnion Smartmove for background checks after receiving a paper application. Section 8 · Section 8 - You don't have to take section 8 and can refuse to show. It's going to require some paperwork and an inspection. The inspection is going to be pretty tough. I just had one yesterday and had a punch list of over 30 items. Some things like potential poison ivy in the front bed, wasp nest, and window screens seem kind of minor but have to be dealt with. The best thing is that a majority of your rent is going to be paid for by the gov't. Likely direct deposit and you won't have to chase it. They screen for felons and drug use which is a benefit. I've had better luck with sec 8 tenants in this property than standard tenants. You can not take money from a tenant for more than the allotted rent amount based on bdrms in your area. That amount can be googled. Often you'll get tenants that will offer to pay more than that amount. The inspector told me that it would not be a good thing to get caught by the gov't doing this. Hit me up with any questions · https://www.thebalance.com/how-much-will-section-8-pay-landlords-2124978 · In our county, section 8 is not that cut and dry. The amount depends on a lot of things. The tenant actually qualifies for X amount. So if you get a sec 8 tenant that only qualifies for 625, that is all you can charge (plus fees). Your house will also be inspected and appraised. Repairs will need to be made. You can go to your sec 8 office and ask for a landlord packet which should detail out what they will inspect/expect. And it should tell you how they arrive at the appraisal. Ours starts at a base price based on sq ft, bedrooms, bathrooms. And adds for stuff like window coverings, garage, condition of each room (paint and flooring). · "Our tenants can pay the difference between their personal allowance and the amount of the rent as long as the rent is less than the maximum allowable for a x bdrm house. The last tenant I took evidently was told her share was $39 a month. This was calculated based on her income. Not sure if it was fixed or based on the amount of rent of my home. I noticed the inspector ""scoring"" my home during the inspection for many of the items that you mentioned. Not really sure how that factors in. I this county the inspection comes after the tenant is identified. As you mentioned, each county seems to have flexibility regarding how they administer the program as long as they stay within certain guidelines. · I really should get a better education on the process, I just don't have enough sec 8 housing to justify the time." · You should be able to ask for the "score sheet". I did once, and was told I was the only LL to ever ask to see it