Sunday, July 15, 2012

House Is Leased

      First of all, it has been way too long since I last posted. To say I have been busy would be an understatement. I have a full time job which has been the busiest time of the year for me. On the rental house side of things, a lot of has happened. I am going to do my best to sum up most of those things.
      We finished up the rehab on the house. That was a stressful time as keeping the contractor motivated was a chore. Every time I went by the house I saw things that were in my mind supposed to be completed a week or 2 earlier. I delt with attitude from him. Of course I paid him a portion of the money every week or so and waited to pay the remaining balance until the project was complete. What I believe happened was that he didn't have another job lined up, so he drug this one out by working half the day, ect. Needless to say I got pretty involved to motivate him. Dealing with contractors is just part of it and I hope I will be better at it next go around. I also learned what types of work in a house I want to take on.
      A few days before the rehab was complete, I put a sign in the yard and an ad on craigslist. I listed the price right at what I thought was a little on the high side, but more that reasonable to expect for the neighborhood. That was a Tuesday. I was getting calls left and right and had about 5 good prospects lined up to see the house on Saturday. By finding "good" prospects, I screened them over the phone. If they met most of my requirements, I offered them a chance to see the inside and get to know them better. I was not interested in meeting every one that called. Saturday rolled around and my wife and I were at the house. Of course we had a no show or 2, but we had a few good ones show up. We also had a "word of mouth" show up. After getting back applications for one family as well as the family from "word of mouth", we felt we had 2 good options to choose from. My wife liked the "word of mouth" candidate a little more and I was leaning towards the family with the appointment. We wrote down a list of pros and cons and still didn't have an answer. The more we thought on it, we both agreed that the lady with 2 daughters that came by on word of mouth was the better option. To be honest here, my wife's initial opinion was right. This is why I value her so much in this business. We both believe we are decent judges of character, but my wife can see some things in people that I may miss. We got every thing signed and a deposit. 1st months rent was on time. We have received a couple of calls from her as a few things did not work correctly when she moved in. We have no problem getting those things right. For example, sliding door was not hinged correctly and the water hose hook up leaks water and causes a puddle in the flower beds. We are more than happy to get these things corrected as they were not right when she moved in and we want to provide her with a house she can call home for a long time.
      I hope I don't have have more to post from this house any time soon, except that all is well. It has been a good 1st real estate move for us. We got a good education in the real estate business, have a house that "all in" we have built in equity in the house, and should be cash flowing nicely. There are a lot of people to thank for helping with this project and I need to write some them thank you notes now. We are now on the search for our next real estate investment. Please feel free to leave comments or send me a message.

Sunday, May 20, 2012

Getting Our Feet Wet

      We closed on our first investment property about a month ago.  Its is a 4 Bedroom/ 2 Bath in a good nieghborhood. We bought it as a 3 bedroom, but decided that one of the extra rooms already had a closet and would work nicely as a 4th bedroom. I feel that it is a marketable neighborhood to rent in, but have found that the majority of people on the street actually own.
      While there is a decent amount of work that goes into financing, title work ect. leading up to the closing, I expected the real work to begin once the house was ours. I was ready to hit the ground running. It has really been one thing after another. We had to get electrical work fixed before the city would come out and turn utilities on, had a plumber come check the gas lines, and got what remained out of the abandoned house. One thing I did learn was that people (in our case neighbors) will come look through the junk you set out and and pay you for it. Of course we didn't get top dollar, but nothing was in very good shape and it helped us get rid of stuff so we could get started on the house.
      I got with a referred contractor before we closed on the house and he started as soon as the utilities were set up. It has been pretty amazing to watch all the progress. Paint and carpet go along way to giving a house a new look. Not to mention fixing cracks, replacing windows, and a few new doors. We are setup to have the house completed by the end of the month. Once the inside is complete, we are going to start marketing the house for rent. I strongly believe that this is a learning process and we are taking things in stride. My rehab budget has needed to be expanded. I wanted to do much of the work myself, but with a full time job I have found it much more efficient to hire the help. I have been able to see 1st hand the saying that "you make money when you buy" is a very true statement.  In my next post, I hope to have good news in regards to a finished rehab and starting the tenant screening.

Saturday, May 5, 2012

Why Real Estate Investing?

We are in our mid 20's and do not have much real estate investing experience. At the same time, we have a passion for building wealth and recognize the opportunities, especially in todays real estate market. The extent of my experience begins from when I was young. As long as I can remember, I worked a couple days a week at one of my dads properties in the summer and sometimes on the weekends. I would paint, mow, and do other misc. tasks as I grew strong enough. I would get paid a small sum as my dad felt that my time working was important and he also wanted to teach me to budget the money that I did earn. Because of that, from every dollar that I earned, a good portion of it went to "savings." This savings could be for a future purchase of a car, house, engagement ring ect. With all of this being said, I still have very little experience with real estate. See my dad owned these properties and while I went with him to work on the houses, meet tenants, and witnessed him taking many weekend phone calls , I have found that it is a much different process when you are spending your own hard earned money on any investment. My wife has no experience with real estate investing, but I will promise you that she will be vital to our success. She is great with organization, decorating, communicating with people, and many other attributes that I lack in. We have been searching for a house to convert to a rental for a few months now. We closed on it last month. More on that in the next post! Happy Cinco De Mayo!