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Old 05-12-2009, 01:33 PM   #21
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Some of the better off people in our town happen to own the garbage truck franchise. Big money taking care of stuff others don't want to touch.
Yep used to know a guy who made tons cleaning up other peoples waste. Someone has to do it Just not me.
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Old 05-12-2009, 03:06 PM   #22
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Think Tryan said it wasn't so bad last time these were posted - clean & paint vs. repair. It does happen though - have done dump runs with 3/4 ton of trash from one place - and that's after returning goods to tenant and any of her friends & relatives i could cajole into taking stuff. Not fun though.
We went to a realtor's Open House where the property looked like that.

You know it's going to be interesting when the house looks like crap as you pull up to the driveway-- no paint in over a decade, dry rot everywhere, landscape overgrown and fence falling down. Then a cleancut aloha-clad individual wearing a realtor's nametag comes out of the house carrying a huge trash bag in each hand, and dumps them in the back of a pickup.

When we got inside they weren't asking you to remove your slippers and stay on the carpet protectors. They were removing the carpets. It wasn't quite as bad as the Houston photos, but it looked like the "Animal House" set after the cast was finished rehearsing. Speaking as a submariner, the smell of cigarettes (of several types) and human waste was simply indescribable.

I asked the realtor why he'd taken the listing. His answer was that it was a tough market and would probably be a quick sale to a sweat-equity buyer. In the meantime they were charging the seller $75/hour for their cleaning services.
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Old 05-12-2009, 04:38 PM   #23
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We went to a realtor's Open House where the property looked like that.

You know it's going to be interesting when the house looks like crap as you pull up to the driveway-- no paint in over a decade, dry rot everywhere, landscape overgrown and fence falling down. Then a cleancut aloha-clad individual wearing a realtor's nametag comes out of the house carrying a huge trash bag in each hand, and dumps them in the back of a pickup.

When we got inside they weren't asking you to remove your slippers and stay on the carpet protectors. They were removing the carpets. It wasn't quite as bad as the Houston photos, but it looked like the "Animal House" set after the cast was finished rehearsing. Speaking as a submariner, the smell of cigarettes (of several types) and human waste was simply indescribable.

I asked the realtor why he'd taken the listing. His answer was that it was a tough market and would probably be a quick sale to a sweat-equity buyer. In the meantime they were charging the seller $75/hour for their cleaning services.
Why on earth would the agent have an open house with the house in that condition? Seems like they would wait until the place was atleast decent. Probably would of got a better price.
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Old 05-13-2009, 04:31 PM   #24
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Why on earth would the agent have an open house with the house in that condition?
Eh, realtors no talk stink here.

But from their body language and what wasn't said, I think they shrugged their shoulders and did as the seller dictated. The sellers were living on the Mainland and their son (whom they'd appointed as "caretaker") was leaving the property shortly to join the military. So I guess the sellers were reluctant to have a vacant house in that condition and were in a hurry to sell as quickly as possible no matter what the offers.

The house came on the market as we were trying to distance ourselves from a "We buy houses for cash!!" guy who we'd naively assumed was ready to do business with us. When we decided we were done talking with him, he'd decided to keep calling with "more ideas". So we gave him the address of this place and suggested that he might get a better deal from that owner, and we haven't heard from him since...
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Old 05-13-2009, 05:21 PM   #25
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Big money taking care of stuff others don't want to touch.
Well said!

Made 3 offers on bank owned properties in the last 2 weeks. 50-60k for property that foreclosed in the 175-225k range. Got within 5 and 8k via counter offers. One was snatched up by a owner occupant (can't compete with THAT). The one active offer is unfinancible (mold) so I expect the bank will have adjust the price for a cash sale. We'll see ... real estate is fun again!
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Old 06-20-2009, 10:23 AM   #26
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An article which highlights some of the realities of absentee ownership of rental property - and tenants one might be renting to in low cost apartments. A true fact is that many of the problems are tenant created, but become issues that the landlord must, or should, deal with. We rent some old and worn places, but they are clean, get regular painting, and function properly - a good trick renting at low rents, making a profit, and avoiding the slumlord epithet.
How I Became an Accidental Slumlord | Newsweek Business | Newsweek.com
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Old 06-20-2009, 03:11 PM   #27
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An article which highlights some of the realities of absentee ownership of rental property - and tenants one might be renting to in low cost apartments.
What a frightening article, eh?

I was especially impressed with the tenant whose plumbing repair for an overflowing toilet consisted of drilling a drain hole in the bathroom floor... or maybe I was even more impressed by his oral hygiene and dental skills.
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Old 06-20-2009, 04:08 PM   #28
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Never did RE investment firsthand except my own home.
I have several friends who invested in RE as well as bought properties. 3 of the RE investors got swindled and got stuck paying killer fines for code violations on some abandoned properties in Albany NY. Legal costs to get out of partnership and direct liability almost bankrupted them.
Buyers liked the landlord thing and the income at first, then tended to grind their teeth over it as years went by. All have sold their holdings.

I also currently have 2 guy friends who are heavily involved in buying and on-premise landlording (33 yo) and the other (52) helps him with repairs and upgrades. They keep trying to suck me in as an angel investor, but I just smile and wave.

Myself, I like stocks, bonds, cash, fancy cars......no clogged toilet phone calls in the middle of the night.
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Old 06-20-2009, 05:34 PM   #29
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I've always thought real estate is the best investment in the world. Buy some houses and rent them out. Not apartment buildings. When times are "bad" as they are now, you keep them rented out. When the value goes up you can keep doing what your doing or sell them. Make the profit and roll it over into another house on a Starkey (sic) Exchange. During bad times such as these you should be buying everything you can. You just have more control over real estate than you do stocks. IMHO!!
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Old 06-20-2009, 06:01 PM   #30
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I've always thought real estate is the best investment in the world. Buy some houses and rent them out. Not apartment buildings. When times are "bad" as they are now, you keep them rented out. When the value goes up you can keep doing what your doing or sell them. Make the profit and roll it over into another house on a Starkey (sic) Exchange. During bad times such as these you should be buying everything you can. You just have more control over real estate than you do stocks. IMHO!!
Right with you there JOHNNIE36 (though i like multi-units) - it's where our day to day income and net worth has come from - but people should be aware that it's not a set it and forget it kind of investment - or I'm not doing it right! Reminded of an agent telling us about a cheap RELF triplex back in '86, "this is a cash cow - you just ride it"! We couldn't do it - have to feel good about owning a place when we drive by it.
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Old 06-22-2009, 07:56 PM   #31
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I've always thought real estate is the best investment in the world. Buy some houses and rent them out. Not apartment buildings. When times are "bad" as they are now, you keep them rented out. When the value goes up you can keep doing what your doing or sell them. Make the profit and roll it over into another house on a Starkey (sic) Exchange. During bad times such as these you should be buying everything you can. You just have more control over real estate than you do stocks. IMHO!!
I have to agree with you Johnnie. There's been times when we bought a property, signed the docs, and netted five figures on the deal. It doesn't get any better than that IMHO. BUT on the rental side you have to run it like a business and not like a stock. You must have policies for what to do when x,y,z happens with your rentals. You also have to get non-payers out of your rental as fast as possible. If your lease says you'll file for eviction after 5 days then you better file after 5 days. I've found that the more strict you are the less hassle you have. We manage our Georgia properties from Texas with little to no trouble.
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Old 06-23-2009, 08:29 AM   #32
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(though i like multi-units)
My realtor has been trying to get me back into mutis (they cashflow again). Just can't bring myself to do it ... too many memories of: tenant bickering ("they don't do ..."), Washer over flows (into the unit below), parking head aches (especially in winter) ....
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Old 06-23-2009, 12:50 PM   #33
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Me and 3 partners bought our office bldg in 1996, sold it in 2004 for 1.2m more than we paid. Then 1031'd into 3 condos in Florida. One is a long term rental. One is a one week minimum rental on the gulf, one is a hotel condo with one day minimum rental. We manage the long term rental, and have management companies for the other 2. Regardless of the management companies, its difficult to manage these investments from Illinois. We barely cash flow on these units (even with no mortgages) since we bought at the peak in 2004.
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Old 06-23-2009, 03:38 PM   #34
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Regardless of the management companies, its difficult to manage these investments
Wow, free n'clear and they bearly cashflow ... that's hard to hear!

Reminds me of a co-worker (back in my mega corp days) who had a ski-out condo at Kilington. He was living in NYC so he used a local realtor for the rental. Kept hearing that the unit was vacant. So one weekend he packed his skis and left to hit the slopes. Only to find a tenant had been in the unit ALL WEEK! Fired the realtor ... never collected a penny. Locals have it all rigged.
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Old 06-24-2009, 12:24 PM   #35
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I don't have or can rely on pensions (military, work, government). I have a civil engineer degree but works for a general contractor and my salary is in the middle range. I am a very hard work but for some reason like most people on this forum I did not want to work for the rest of my life...so I have depended on rental income to FIRE. My wife does not work, we have two kids and I forecast that I can or have the option to retire completely before the age of 40. So I think I have succeeded with real estate investement with a lots of sweat equity involved.

By the way, in May 09 I spent 2 hrs and so far in June i spent 0 hrs on my property.
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Old 06-24-2009, 01:20 PM   #36
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Good for all you out there with real estate investments. We got out of the business in 1992. We only did this because I never trusted any enough to manage properties for us 1300 miles away. Had five houses and one four unit. From 1986 to 1990 we kept them all rented. Moved to Florida and it just became a hassle when there were repairs or rent had to be collected. Got tired of making those kind of phone calls. Sold every one of those properties to the renters on land contracts except for the four unit. Sold that to a fellow realtor in Michigan. We were getting 11% interest on those land contracts. Eventually I talked every contract holder into getting their own mortgage (with a little help from a banker friend), thereby cashing me out. Best investment in the world IMHO.
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Old 06-24-2009, 06:36 PM   #37
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we've been trying to buy more bank owned homes, but the competition around here is quick ...especially on the good ones. i put 3 offers in on 3 sfh's that'd been on the market no longer than 3 days....each offer was replied to with a statement like "thanks, but we already accepted another offer." a day late, and a dollar short. one actually went for 6k OVER asking...and I thought my full price offer would seal the deal.
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Old 07-05-2009, 10:54 PM   #38
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speaking as a second generation fixed income lad, with an interest in real estate, I ended up doing well with real estate lending in order to move the yields up over 10%....second mortgages for self employed, first mortgages on commercial condos, gas stations, that sort of thing.

there is a science to this which you can read about. It can take some effort to get accepted by the good brokers. If you don't learn the rules and follow the rules, you WILL get creamed, and quite thoroughly.

If I had followed the rules I knew, I would have been FIRE at 50 instead of 55. Rule I broke was "don't place loans to personal friends of the broker"....the general rule is make sure the lawyers, the brokers and the borrowers are all arms length from each other, not dependent on each other for business, so that you are controlling the situation, and not being controlled.

This would however be a scary thing to be in in certain parts of the world, but with low Loan to Values, not necessarily so, especially with first mortgages.

One almost sure way to making money is to carefully buy houses in college towns and rent rooms to students. Once again, there is a science to this and it is labour intensive.

Another angle I saw real estate guys use (that were my borrowers) was to find active government subsidy programs and milk them, like for improvements to buildings in target neighbourhoods or for low income housing or for energy efficiency.

Another angle was to buy multifamily rental townhouse developments and split them into condos.
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Old 07-06-2009, 12:51 AM   #39
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That article is exhibit A, B and C, of why I don't buy rental properties.

My grandparents had a very comfortable retirement with rental properties. But between the constant repairs, the hassles of dealing with normal tenants, and the 10-20% of tenants who were crooks, deadbeats and vandal it was never an easy way to make a buck.

The article rings more true than Honobobs cheerful portrayal.
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Old 07-06-2009, 08:44 AM   #40
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Wow, free n'clear and they bearly cashflow ... that's hard to hear!

Reminds me of a co-worker (back in my mega corp days) who had a ski-out condo at Kilington. He was living in NYC so he used a local realtor for the rental. Kept hearing that the unit was vacant. So one weekend he packed his skis and left to hit the slopes. Only to find a tenant had been in the unit ALL WEEK! Fired the realtor ... never collected a penny. Locals have it all rigged.
the hard lesson of capitalism is that you have to assume everyone is a crook...the employer, the broker, the tenant, the lawyer, the brother in law, the kid, even the spouse (I have a story for each one of these)

when my dad got the news that he was terminal, we spent many hours discussing how to structure the estate so that there was balance of power between my mother and myself, so that if either one of us went nuts, the other would not be irreparably damaged, and that she could continue to be supported under various scenarios.

structure the deals accordingly, or learn the hard way
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