what would you do

bellafloraAugust 6, 2006

Hi guys, I normally hang out at the decorating forum but I'm currently facing a dilemma and need to pick your brain..

We bought our 1st home 5 years ago for 250K. We can sell it for 550K. Current mortgage is about 1500/mo (fixed rate)and annual property tax is about 300/mo (tax will remain relatively constant because in CA your property tax is based on your purchasing price and not assessed value).

DH's relocated d/t job changes. Our choices:

(1) Sell the house and keep the 200+K profit to be used as down payment for the nxt house.

(2) Rent this house and start saving from scratch. The house can be easily rented for 2000/mo. Basically the house will pay for itself. The monthly extra $$ from rent will be put in separate account to pay for maintenance cost. We will have delaying buying our house for 2-4 years while saving for the down payment. Also, we will have to settle for a smaller house.

We have cash saving of a/b 6 months expense & rent. No debt. I project we can save a/b 1500-2000/month after all expenses & rent (we'll be renting for the same amt as our mortgage on the old house). Thus far DH has been the only one working (I'm SAHM) but with DD's reaching the preschool age I can start going back to work in 6 months or so.

Should we rent the place and be tight for a while or should we sell and keep the cash? Our vacancy rate is low about 3.8% and we are in a desirable location (good school, safe, etc, easy freeway entrance).

Thanks for your help.

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I think much depends on your local real estate market. Stroll over to Buying and Selling Homes Forum for some anguished tales of people trying to navigate the current unstable market. Seems crucial to find out if properties like yours are moving or sitting. Not last year, not 6 months ago, but now. And how that might impact not only future prices, but the rental market as well. Many people seem to believe it is better to defer buying (therefore selling also) right now, so your plan may work out very very well.

If your crystal ball is reliable, and you can gauge where the market is and where it is headed, you have your answer.

Ideal in pessimistic scenarios would be to sell at the top, rent and wait for the drop and then buy at the bottom. Ideal in more optimistic scenarios would be to hold and reap benefits of two properties in a future good market. No one knows for sure which scenario will play out where you are.

    Bookmark   August 6, 2006 at 12:07PM
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Renting out a property can be problematic. There can be so many problems with even the best tenants; your house will get very rundown after a while, and you may have to spend quite a bit to get it back to where it should be if you do decide to sell later. Dealing with the whole rental thing, especially long distance, can be time-consuming and emotionally draining. If you hire a property manager, they usually charge about 8% of the monthly rent as a fee plus something like one month's rent to find a tenant. You can't always count on them to do a good job at either finding tenants or managing the property. It is harder to find tenants for higher priced rentals (I can't tell from what you say if your property would be considered higher end or not), so you may end up with some months of vacancy. I've seen some investor calculations that include a standard of 25% vacancy for projecting what the income will be. Also, the tax implications are complicated and can end up costing you if you do sell down the road. If someone does your taxes for you, you might want to ask their opinion.

If you do not think you will ever move back and can make a decent profit by selling now, it might be better to just sell it and move on.

    Bookmark   August 6, 2006 at 12:21PM
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Until your home is sold and you have pocketed the difference between your purchase price and selling price (less fees and taxes) you can't be assured of anything. Don't kid yourself.

Ditto rents. So you rent the place... what happens when your dub tenant defaults? And you have "eat the rent" AND pay the legal costs to evict them, as well as the mortgage due?

You really ought to have more than one year's worth of savings as a hedge against misfortune. I'd unload the house, go back to work ASAP, and invest in reasonably conservative vehicles. If at all possible, I'd buy a home BELOW what I could afford to pay.

Everything you've presented seems based on the premise that real estate will continue to appreciate. But that's not always how it works. How have you buttressed yourselves to weather the unpleasant possibility that economic policy may cut you off at the knees? No one ever wants to think they've overreached their financial wherewithall, but a lot of people HAVE, unwittingly.


    Bookmark   August 6, 2006 at 12:27PM
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chelone, what would you consider "below what you can afford"?..Can you put a % of salary on that? In your opinion, what % would you put down on a home, for financial comfort? Interested to see your #'s...

    Bookmark   August 6, 2006 at 1:50PM
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I've been hanging around That Home Site for a few years now and I've learned a great deal about many different subjects. What I have found the most surprising is how things differ from region to region. I can say with some confidence that several of us share what I consider a Yankee frugalness (although we certainly are not limited to those living in New England) that puts us in a different category as far as what we would consider one can afford. I understand that everyone has different comfort levels of debt and risk and that's fine...we're all different, but it's just something to keep in mind...

    Bookmark   August 6, 2006 at 2:27PM
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OK, fair enough. I'd consider 50% down and 1/4 of my net monthly salary "below my means". I'd be "rounding up" the payment, too, and making a 13th. payment equal to the rounded up required one. But I haven't been in the position of "doubling" my money on a home... . ;)

And I'd be sure I was maxin' out the ROTH IRA and any matching company retirement plan before I paid the mortgage. I goes without saying that I'd have one year's worth of expenses in liquid assets, and I'd have NO revolving debt.

Minimally, I'd be looking at putting 20% down and making sure the payment was in the range fof 1/4 of my monthly take home. Old fashioned, sorry.

    Bookmark   August 6, 2006 at 3:18PM
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ok, so i am not so far off your comfort zone...My monthly payment including property tax and home owners is .29 of take home pay...We put down a tad above 48% down( held a good amount back for a pool)..Max 401k, save each month for kids college education(still have 4 years til 1st gets there) AND still save about 8% of take home pay each month...

    Bookmark   August 6, 2006 at 5:25PM
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thanks for all your advices. I will research further on the issue to determine whether the long term gain is worth the immediate risk.

Chelone: out here in CA your formula for comfort zone won't work. If I'm to apply that formula I would never own a house. Really, the current price for a 1700sqft house with no yard on zero lot in the area I'm moving into is about 650K. Even with 50% down, mortgage + tax + HOA would still be about 3K-3.5K/month. To be in your comfort zone we would need to bring home 12K-15K/month !!! Most pple I know would consider themselves lucky if their mortgage is about 1/2 of their income! Affordability here in CA is very low compare to other states.

It would be a lot easier w/o children: we can work double tripple shift, 2 jobs each, live in a cheaper (i.e. bad school) district, buy a condo instead of single home, and retire at age 45. But then the brightest happiest moments of my life didn't happen between me and my checking account and life isn't always about dollars and cents.

    Bookmark   August 7, 2006 at 8:49AM
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If you think you might want to move back to the original area at some point, I would hang on to the property and rent it out, though be aware that you will likely have to do an all out cosmetic overhaul at a later date. What you save in property taxes alone over the years will finance a good portion of a renovation.

If the rental idea is one that would be permanent, I'd sell it outright and not deal with the hassle of having renters and one more thing to deal with in an already hectic life.

It also depends on if your house would be rented as a higher end rental. From what I've been told, that's the only type of rental you want to find yourself owning. At $2K/month in CA, it doesn't sound like a high end one.



    Bookmark   August 7, 2006 at 11:11AM
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Do you really want to be a landlord? I wouldn't. And it doesn't seem to me that you are making that much money in the end if you will need to save for 4 years (!!!) to buy a house. Unless I'm reading it wrong you say your current home payment is $1500-$300=$1800 a month and you want to rent it for $2000? That's only $200 a month on top of what you are already saving.

I would sell your house, pocket the cash, buy your new house NOW and starting making equity.

    Bookmark   August 7, 2006 at 12:21PM
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I don't see how this property can possibly pay for itself at $2000/month.

Rent+taxes=1800/month. What about the cost of insurance--you need that.

What about repairs and replacing appliances? What about the cost of maintenance (lawn work, painting, etc)?

There's no way you're even going to break even if you rent for $2000/month--let alone make a profit.

Obviously, you have to make your own decision here, but given the numbers you've presented, seems to me that the best thing would be to sell the house and use that money to buy the new one, or as the basis of your savings for it. Good luck

    Bookmark   August 16, 2006 at 12:02PM
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We were cleaning out a filing cabinet last weekend and came across some receipts from when we leased out our home. There was a $400+ and a $500+ plumbing bill. We agreed to pay the water so the lawn would be kept up. The water bill was always over $100.00 per month. The lady was a bug freak and all the windows were duct taped shut. These are just a couple examples. We would never do it again.

    Bookmark   August 16, 2006 at 4:31PM
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There have been some suggestions that the housing market in at least some areas of the U.S. is overpriced, some say substantially so, and some even use terms like "bubble" and compare it to the Hi-tech system prior to 2002.

I think that it would be a good diea to check out the housing market in your area, check with people who are aware of the housing situation, etc.

You didn't indicate how long your mortgage on the house is to run.

Monthly gross rent of $2,000. is $2,400. per year, and you'll have expenses apart from the mortgage (which is paying off your capital investment), taxes, insurance, maintennce, vacancies, etc.

My friend renovated his home which was large than they needed as the family was grown and gone (well, mostly gone) to include an apartment - well, more or less a "granny flat", after his retirement about 3 - 4 years ago, cutting off doorways from living room and dining room into the front hall, so allowing the former front door to be available as a private entrance to the upstairs. Then built a kitchen into the upstairs, and put a shower into their basemnt, as they'd had only a half bath on the main floor, previously.

He died last year and they'd been having some difficulty with their tenant in terms of paying rent. His wife and their son have been having difficulty in receiving rent on time, and the renter moved (without needing the hassle of an eviction, plus the loss of rent for a period).

They found that the new rug which they'd installed was trash - dogs had used them. A thorough mess throughout the area.

Not only that, the wife has been less than as careful as she might have been in caring for their money (supporting a son's landscaping of the property) ...

... and they are needing to sell their home.

They cannot continue with the apartment, as regulations for a separated apartment require two entrances.

Good wishes in whatever you decide.

After you've provided for ongoing expenses regarding rental of your property, plus provision for contingencies later, you'll have much less than $2,000. income monthly.

The full 2,000 is somewhat less than 5% return on your money, even without the expenses that some have outlined.

I think that you can obtain half of that as current return on quality stocks, and smore than likely a substantial capital gain down the road.

With no hassle in the meantime, except looking at your stockcertificates ...

... and grinning.

ole joyful

    Bookmark   August 17, 2006 at 4:56PM
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I'm not unsympathetic to the plight of those struggling with housing costs. I live in New England and my own community is becoming a fashionable "bedroom" community for the metro-Boston area (one of the most expensive places to live in the country). I am, as Valtog pointed out imbued with "yankee frugality" (a friend humorously told me I was so "tight" it would take a team of "hosses" to pull a finish nail out of my a--). I'm NOT that cheap, but I do believe in keeping my expenses low; "sweating" the monthly bills has never been part of my plan. I have no idea what our home is "worth" on the market. I don't really care; I know damn right well I couldn't find anything less expensive in the immediate area. Just because you can "double" your money doesn't mean it will get you that far after the sale. If you sell your home at the high water mark for real estate sales and buy immediately after in an equally inflated market you likely have gained little.

I would probably sell the house and invest the proceeds in relatively low risk vehicles. Many of the stories on NPR's Marketplace have been about rising foreclosure rates on mortgages across the country... people buying the house they want with the money the BANK approves (always on the high side; because it maximizes their gain through interest payments), rather than the house that meets the basic needs and is "easy" to pay for every month. There have also been many stories about the GLUT of rentals in parts of California... and that renters are really calling the shots. You could very likely rent a home for less than your mortgage payment... banking/investing the difference for a purchase when the market reaches a point in the cycle that makes buying a wise choice.

I'm nearly 50; Mum is 80 and we're facing the same issue with her home. Sell it? rent it? dunno. But that home is not my primary residence. And it was paid off in the 60s.

    Bookmark   August 18, 2006 at 4:09PM
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Four years ago, I faced this same question when I moved to my current house. I had lived in the previous house for 15 years, and the mortgage was nearly paid off, so I knew that I would make a profit on renting the house. I had also rented a small in-law suite in the house for 15 years, so I had a little experience finding tenants and being a landlord.

But was it a good idea financially?

I worked up a spreadsheet on a rent vs. sale scenario, and then consulted a couple of astute people I know to go over the spreadsheet. One man I know who owns 150 rental properties said that people who invest in real estate are looking for a return of about 6-10% on their investment. This means that my monthly profit in cash flow from the property should be about 6-10% of the value of the equity in the house. The profit was in that ballpark and there seemed to be a slight advantage over the sale scenario.

I decided to rent.

I am now a landlady with three residential tenants and also property manager of a small commercial building with three commercial tenants. These activities provide about 2/3 of my income. So I am waist-deep in this business.

The downside of being a landlord is that dealing with tenants and properties you don't live in can be a real P-I-T-A. Even when tenants are reasonable people who pay the rent more or less on time, they will never care about a property like a homeowner would, and they invariably squander utilities if they don't have to pay for them.

And if you get a bad tenant??? Major headache, so I've heard. Knock-on-wood, I have not yet had to deal with any bad tenants, but I do seem to have an instinct for selecting good tenants.

You will also get phone calls at inopportune moments with headaches like main drain backups, electricity that won't work, and leaky pipes. If the water heater decides to spring a leak, it doesn't care if it's early on Sunday morning or that you might be away on vacation.

The upside to renting real estate is that it can and SHOULD be profitable. The profit from the rental house pays for a good chunk of the mortgage on the house I live in now. And most of the time things go smoothly and it is not a lot of work.

Real estate investments can also grow wealth in the form of reduction of principle, tax savings through depreciation, and appreciation of value of the property. But do not count on the housing market going up in your local area. You should be making a profit on a monthly cash-flow basis.

Also bear in mind that IRS defines a primary residence as a property that you have occupied for three out of the previous five years - so the house you are thinking about renting will become an investment property if you do not sell it within two years. Then it becomes an investment and the tax rules change.

    Bookmark   August 20, 2006 at 10:33AM
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When I stated "This means that my monthly profit in cash flow from the property should be about 6-10% of the value of the equity in the house"

I meant the YEARLY profit in cash flow.

    Bookmark   August 20, 2006 at 10:47AM
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If you have a lovely home, by the time you have had 4 different tenant families the house will not look the same. Its one thing to rent apartments in a building that is meant to be rented. When they trash the place, we send in the crew to carpet, paint and tile. I screen carefully, credit check, etc. but can't predict the unexpected divorce, new boyfriend with chains, tattoos and a motorcycle.
If the market was just beginning to be on the upcycle then renting might make sense but the market is cycling down. I understand, that in California once you sell you might not be able to afford to move back. So thats one reason to rent out the house. You have to balance all these issues.
If you are going to rent, credit check carefully. We charge $25 to credit check each adult; and we also check the Megan's list website in California. (sex offenders) If you are renting a house out--drop by and see where they live now and what it looks like.

    Bookmark   August 21, 2006 at 2:11AM
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You say "even with good tenants, they will never take care of the rental like they would if they owned it".
I see this, over and over again on the various forums.
There is also a flip side to this.. I also see, over and over again people who put the bare minimum...cheapest materials, possible into rentals.

I've lived in my house for the last 14+ years. We rent. When we moved in everything in the house was the cheapest possible builders grade or less. The carpet was avocado green shag.. let's not forget this was 1992 not the 70's, when we moved in... the kitchen floor was cheap vinyl... harvest gold.
The "yard", if you can call it that was a series of overgrown weed patches... not fenced...there was fencing on both sides of the house... neighbors fencing.
I asked the landlord if we could put in new carpet...he said as long as the replacement is of a comparative quality, ok. I nearly choked...it would be pretty hard to NOT surpass that.
We put brand new carpeting in the LR and BR... my kitchen is small..in fact, the whole house is small.. tiny, actually. 600 sq. feet. We put new flooring in the kitchen and bathroom.. that alone, cost more than the carpet.. IIRC, the kitchen and bath floors costs over 900 bucks..
We pulled out all the weed patches.... sodded they tiny yard and side entrance yard.. put in a fence .. changed out the cheesy, cheap outdoor lights.. they cost 10 bucks, apiece. The ones we bought cost 85 bucks, each.
I just, finally, got around to redoing the bathroom.. I painted, added new base molding, crown molding and a chair rail type molding. We would have replaced the cheesy, cheap MDF vanity except that to do so would have required having plumbing moved.. like everything else in this house, the landlord went with the cheapest possible thing.. and I can't even tell you how many things are *mickey-moused* put together. As it was, we redid the vanity and replaced the horrid top with a brand new one, bought a new faucet and took down the ugly flat mirror (the kind with clips) and replaced it with a fabulous oval, brushed sliver mirror.. and took out the awful light bar fixture... took down the 5 dollar overhead light fixture, too.
Btw, the carpeting and floors were put in in our 2nd year, here.
I have beautiful gardens... the neighbors could not understand why we would treat this house like a home, since we didn't own it.
I never thought it was crazy to do so. We live here.. I want to be happy in my surroundings. The house may be tiny but it is pretty and it is our home.. we live here.
Oh, we also had 2 dogs..sadly, one of the boys died in March..we also had bunnies... house bunnies, free range.. of the house and yard. The house is no worse for wear because of our pets. Why would others assume that we/renters would let our pets turn our home into a shithole.
Did we know that when we moved in that we would still be here, all these years later? No. We did it anyway. The rental house before this one? We lived there for 6 years.. we did much the same thing at that house, too. All of this was done on our "dime".
I can tell you I was disgusted when going to look at apartments/houses only to have the landlords say that even hanging pictures on the wall was forbidden, never mind, painting the walls.
When we, as a couple, first started renting together..we looked at apartment buildings.. and even moved into one... the only time we have ever had a lease. I counted the days to the end of the 1 year lease.. could not wait to get out of there and we knew we would never live in an AC, again...we then rented in law apartments, common in this area.. the landlord lives in the same house.. nope, wouldn't do that either... I can not tell you how nosy, nervy and demanding the landlords were. And we have nothing to hide.. (we did, however, expect some respect for our privacy, after all, we were paying rent)..DH goes to work at 5 am, comes home by 3.. in bed by 8.. right now, I don't work...anyway, am trying to say we are not the party type.. although we do enjoy having our own backyard.. and we do sometimes, entertain small groups (small, don't forget, this house is only 600 sq. feet.. the yard is tiny, very tiny) to BBQ's that start in the afternoon and are over by 7 or 8, usually...on rare occasions...they may last until 10... always on a weekend.

I think we are good tenants... I KNOW we've treated this house just as good as an owner would...certainly better than the landlord has. And I'm not suggesting, at all, that our LL is a slumlord, far from it.


    Bookmark   August 23, 2006 at 8:59PM
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Thank you for being one rose in a weedpatch.

I think that you will agree that many tenants do not act as you did.

I do believe that many tenants act fairly responsibly - but the bad apples make it tough for the rest of us.

Good wishes for continued happiness in your upgraded home.

ole joyful

P.S. Watch out - the landlord will probably increase the rent on the improved home.

o j

    Bookmark   August 24, 2006 at 4:49PM
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As chelone pointed out, home prices are tanking. I
just saw a house in Acton (3 br colonial) for $460K, cheap
by todays' standards as a 3 1 1/2 "starter" home on the same street was listed for $600K in feb '05. March '06
issue of AARP (it was in the ER, I'm 46) read that home prices were jacked up 84% in Naples, FL to 48% in Barnstable County (Cape Cod, MA) where I live, where I
have been searching for other homes.
I would rent it with a one year lease. Seek out a younger family with toddlers (houses seem to stay cleaner this way),
and run their credit through experian. Don't use a boiler plate lease, I use one written by Attorneys and add addendums such as mowing, etc. Do not throw them a bone such as water as above, it staggers the imagination what
tennants are capable of. Do install an Energy Star rated thermostat for a couple of reasons, first a low electric
bill enhances the chances of getting your rent, and second, should the property be unoccupied for any reason, the electric bill will again be lower. The 25% non-occupancy
is to be figured in not only by lenders, but by yourselves.
It's a good rule of thumb that you should adhere to. On my
next investment home the 75% rule will come into play by the lender as the rubber band is streched fairly tight on
three homes. Best of luck!

    Bookmark   August 24, 2006 at 8:48PM
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I don't believe I am one of a few. I grew up in a housing project...that, alone, would probably be cause for pause, for a lL looking to screen out less than ideal tenants. I couldn't wait to be able to have my own place...free to decorate and beautify it.
Maybe my point wasn't clear...but I believe if you put cheap crap into the rental, YOU (the LL, you) are showing that you don't care very much about your own property...so, maybe, why should the tenants?
And, no worries, at all, about the LL raising the rent. He never does...there are 2 small houses/cottages on his lot...he has raised the rent on the front house (not ours) only twice since we've lived here.. and ONLY, after a tenant moves out... and each time it was only a 50 dollar raise. Our rent has never been raised. Our rent is very low.. the LL also doesn't fret over water usage.. here in Massachusetts, it's illegal for LL to charge for water. Don't forget, I do have gardens..only one time did he ever ask about water usage...the 2 houses are almost the same size and both had 2 occupants. He was concerned when one house had a higher water bill than the other. He just wanted to know if there was a leak.
I don't treat the water usage issue any differently than I would if we were paying for it, btw.
When we first checked out the house, the only water issue I checked on was whether or not the LL had installed a low-flow shower head. He wanted to know why. I rented an apartment once that did have one installed... there was, literally, no flow...it was horrible. I complained to the LL.. he denied it. I finally removed the SH and replaced it with a water pick type SH... the difference was amazing! I could actually, now, rinse the soap out of my hair!
As to the post after yours.. can't help it.. I'm still appalled by the attitudes of some LL's.
In this house we pay for heating costs...not the LL. Even so, we did have a programmable thermostat installed... but we don't ever skimp on the heat! It gets damn cold here in the winter and I won't be cold... same in the summer. we run our AC if it's hot. We are responsible for our electric, also. BUT, if the LL included utilities in the rent?.. we would not accept him putting any kind of limits on our usage or comfort level.
The very first inlaw apartment we ever rented, LL occupied, was utilities included.
We awoke one early, very early, spring morn to find the apt. freezing. A real chill, ya know? Well, I promptly marched upstairs to the LL and told her that my heat wouldn't come on.. the thermostat did nothing! She told me it was close to 50 degrees and she decided heat was no longer needed!
Hhhhmm. first of all her, upstairs apartment was full of windows and sunlight.. our lower apartment had, exactly, 2 windows! Windows that didn't let the sunlight in until late in the afternoon. In no uncertain terms, I let her know that we would not tolerate her deciding whether we were warm or cool enough.. and if she had a problem with that, she should have rented the place without utilities included. The nerve! I mean, she lived in the house.. and she knew from prior utility bills what it cost to heat and cool it, year round. So, she had calculated those cost into the rent. We were NOT about to let her make money on us freezing! Cuz, even though HER apartment was full of that lovely, warm and abundant sunlight.. she still had her heat on! Yes.. she had 2 seperate furnaces.
In another place we rented where the heat/electric was included in the rent we had a LL wake us at 5 am screaming that we had the heat on but had the nerve to crack the bedroom window! After all, she said.. 'I am paying for the heat". I said, um, no, actually you are not.. we are.. it's included in the rent!(I always crack my windows, no matter where we live even when we are paying the heat) I have had Ll feel perfectly, entitled to check our mailbox!
So, you think WE are one rose in a weed patch, eh?
I can tell you that we have had some truly, nutty LL's! The irony is that the nutty behavior isn't considered nutty, at all, by LL's!
Many more weed patches than roses.
And we will never, ever again, consider living anywhere where the LL is onsite! Like I said, it does go both ways.


    Bookmark   August 24, 2006 at 11:04PM
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I don't know anything about markets and percentages, but keeping our homes was the best decision we ever made. My husband would never sell anything and that includes homes. Our rentals are what gave us the nice lifestyle we live now. Of course my ability to save and handle the money helped also. We did our own work, so didn't have the expense of hiring help. I also had the patience and time needed to take care of the properties and enjoyed doing most of it.

    Bookmark   August 26, 2006 at 11:53PM
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I'm seeing 'double-talk' from the last times I've visited.

Let's see...I've read about numerous HOMEOWNERS who sold or are SELLING to grab the equity out of their home, to INVEST the equity, run away somewhere to RENT for awhile!

Now, does that mean these "have-been home-owners" are going to rent and mess a place up?
I guess so - the way this thread was headed.

I'm with "silly".
I've rented for 30 years. We finally bot (1st for me) a house almost 3 years ago. Landlords ONLY want their money. They DO only put in the cheap basics. Last place we rented, we were in for over 8 years. Always paid our rent on time. Paid for the gardener. Cut down tons of ivy that had been taking over the property even before we moved in!
One time, our plumbing got clogged up. (I don't put things down there even if they DO say "flushable")
WE PAID out of our pocket. TWICE! $125.00 a shot!

Plumbers finally told us that the house was so old, and the plumbing access outside had never been upgraded. It would be major work, and they will NOT come out again without landlord's permission.

Called landlord. Told him everything. Showed him receipts, and gave him contacts.

What did he do? Decided to do the job himself! Removed the toilet, ran a snake, and left. A couple weeks later, it was all plugged up again. I LITERALLY was placing a plastic tub between the toilet seat and lid to use the bathroom. I actually "went" way out in the backyard by a tree also. We had to take very SHORT showers... (Actually, since I wasn't working, I didn't shower much during that time)...because it would take almost all day for the water to drain 'down' out of the tub. AND, really bad stuff would come UP INTO THE TUB. It was discusting.

Landlord FINALLY got the people over to fix it RIGHT. Then, had the nerve to call us and tell us that it cost him about 2K for the job.
My reaction when hubby told me was "What? WHY would he call to let US know how much it cost HIM to take care of a problem that WE had nothing to do with?"

He never put a dime into that place in the eight years we lived there.

WE didn't put anything down the drains / toilet to make this mess. We never had people over either - so it wasn't "company" doing it. It was just something that came up.
OH, What did they do? RAISE our rent! Never offered to refund US the $$ WE spent on plumber.
On top of that, THEY wanted US to LIE - if anyone came knocking at door, say we're a "relative" (for Insurance purposes). Ummm, right. When we're palefaces, and they are dark India skinned...like we REALLY are gonna do THAT!

I've mostly had good landlords. I've occasionally had bad ones. Every house I rented, I treated like my own home.

There are good renters, and there are bad ones. I think the key is to make SURE you do complete checks and references (which could be hard to do, I'm sure.)

There are also BAD landlords, and Good ones. Sounds like "silly" got a good one!

    Bookmark   September 1, 2006 at 11:05AM
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We sold the place. We did have many renters who wanted to sign long term lease on the house. One of the prospective renter loved the place so much that he put an offer on the house. However, we got another offer which was above our asking price so we sold the place. Our escrow was closed in 2 weeks.

After thinking about the situation, I know there's no way DH can handle being a landlord between his new demanding job and his golf games. And the joy of being a landlord will find its way on my lap and that's just too much for a woman to handle. We are happy renting now. The rental is managed by a management company and they are very nice a/b fixing things up. In turn we treat the house as ours and not destroying it like the previous tenant.

thanks for all your advices. Being a landlord is not a bad proposition but at this point in our life, we aren't ready financially and emotionally to be one.

    Bookmark   September 4, 2006 at 1:28PM
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Well, it certainly sounds as though congratulations are in order! I had to chuckle at your comment about the "joys of being a landlord" landing in your lap... ;) , really did elicit an audible guffaw.

Most of all, though, I'm glad to learn you're content with your situation right now. Everything I've been reading and hearing on NPR with respect to the "expensive" markets is to rent, save, sit tight.

I was one of those "golden" tenants, too. Never lost a security deposit and usually received a nice thank you along with my security refund because the place was thoroughly cleaned before I left it. But I've known and seen plenty of "loser" tenants over the years, so I am able to see it from both perspectives.

Anyway, I'm happy for you! you must be relieved.

    Bookmark   September 4, 2006 at 4:39PM
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