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Rent, tenants and rolling with changes
Old 06-12-2016, 09:16 PM   #1
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Rent, tenants and rolling with changes

Long story, short questions.

The short questions is how do landlords on this board find tenants?
Do you use a realtor (or list with MLS?)
Do you use a property management service?
Do you self list on MLS or another board (like craigslist)?

How I got here...

I own my house for cash, since 2012. In Feb of this year I accepted a job 120 miles north and moved (sold house, bought a new one) as part of a relocation package. Cincinnati to Columbus Ohio...

2 weeks ago I was laid off from that job. I have a severance and also have a house completely paid for in a city I don't live in (or have a desire to live in).
I start a new job tomorrow in Detroit area...

So as I am looking for a place to rent in Detroit (new position has no relocation on the table), I am also thinking 2-3 steps ahead with what to do with property in Columbus.

I have realtors showing me rentals in Detroit (Plymouth) area, so curious what types of services list rental properties with MLS, what they charge landlords, and if people here like that service?

Thank you
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Old 06-12-2016, 09:19 PM   #2
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I own, manage and maintain all my 25 rentals. Craig's list and Zillow to get tenants. I pre-screen tenants before I show a place.

Most PMs charge 10%. Do not look for them to make you money. They will be making money for themselves.
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Old 06-12-2016, 09:35 PM   #3
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Senator.
More power to you! I lived an hour's drive from my rental, and paid a property management company 8% to manage it. I felt it was worth every cent.
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Old 06-12-2016, 09:39 PM   #4
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Senator.
More power to you! I lived an hour's drive from my rental, and paid a property management company 8% to manage it. I felt it was worth every cent.
I live within ~15 minutes of all mine. Giving up 8% would cost me over $26K. It takes less than an hour or two per year to handle each rental, from a property management standpoint. Maybe an hour a month total, for maintenance, turns, answering calls, etc.


Jim,
I received your email. I could not send you an email to respond, as you do not have email set up. And your email bounced back from ugs. You can check out my blog for more information.
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Old 06-13-2016, 05:42 AM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Senator View Post
I live within ~15 minutes of all mine. Giving up 8% would cost me over $26K. It takes less than an hour or two per year to handle each rental, from a property management standpoint. Maybe an hour a month total, for maintenance, turns, answering calls, etc.


Jim,
I received your email. I could not send you an email to respond, as you do not have email set up. And your email bounced back from ugs. You can check out my blog for more information.
fixed

that email address expired in 2005...
where is a link to your blog. Thx for Zillow comment, I saw many more rentals than the realtors were showing me.
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Old 06-13-2016, 06:21 AM   #6
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Wow, that's a tough break to get laid off less then 6 months after relocating.That's a lot of extra expenses.

At that distance you are at the mercy of the property managers and can't even do a drive-by once in awhile. It's prime selling season, any reason why you just don't sell it?
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Old 06-13-2016, 07:26 AM   #7
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We manage our own rental - but it's literally in our back yard. (detached granny flat).

When we moved across country DH's house (pre-marriage) was a rental. We had a property manager for that. It was not a wonderful experience. But we had no choice since we were a 6 hour plane ride away. We sold it when the tenant moved out.

When we were looking for rental properties we were only considering places that were 20 minutes or less away - which may be why we didn't find anything that penciled out as positive cash flow.

As for how we find tenants. Craigslist. We then run credit checks and verify employment. No realtors involved. For your search in Detroit - consider looking at Craigslist - even the realtors and property management folks advertise on Craigslist.

Best of luck with the job, finding a good home in your new location, and selling/renting your old home.
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Old 06-13-2016, 07:04 PM   #8
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Wow, that's a tough break to get laid off less then 6 months after relocating.That's a lot of extra expenses.

At that distance you are at the mercy of the property managers and can't even do a drive-by once in awhile. It's prime selling season, any reason why you just don't sell it?
selling creates a loss
there is a demand for rentals
I can write off more expenses with the move if I run house as a business
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Old 06-13-2016, 08:03 PM   #9
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That's a difficult situation.

Since it's paid off, you will have positive cash flow.Good Luck with being an absentee landlord I hope it works out for you.
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Old 06-13-2016, 08:03 PM   #10
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I will never own a Rental I can't manage myself. I've had too many issues with PM's in the past (to the point where a rental of mine burnt to the ground).

I use Craigslist and Postlets (Zillow) ... Longest vacancy I've ever had was 2 weeks.

At one time, I had 5 doors .... I'm now in only 1 door in a Class A neighborhood. I hope to own & manage about 8-10 Class A homes in good school districts and call it a day.
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Old 06-14-2016, 05:11 AM   #11
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What is a Class A home/neighborhood? Have never heard that term with respect to renting.

Also never heard the term "door" used in place of "dwelling unit," but that could be regional.

(Personally, I used to count toilets. At one point, we owned 3 properties, including our house, for a total of 11 toilets!)

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I

At one time, I had 5 doors .... I'm now in only 1 door in a Class A neighborhood. I hope to own & manage about 8-10 Class A homes in good school districts and call it a day.
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Old 06-14-2016, 09:31 AM   #12
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We are down to 2 little rental houses and 36 apartment units at 6 separate locations. The houses tend to require far less babysitting than the apartments - way less human drama than when tenants are sharing walls. That said, when things break they need fixing, and if you can't be on site to at least assess the problem you WILL end up paying more to correct the problem. We have a trusted person (flak catcher, arbiter, repairman) who stands in our stead when we are gone over the winters, but the micro-manager in me always finds plenty I would have done differently. I count blessings and keep my mouth shut. During the Oregon summers I am way busier with the rentals than I want to be.

We advertise on Craigslist exclusively. Possibly you could advertise on Craigslist, collect and vet applications, and arrange a single day for all showings and to do a contract - then hope you don't have to fill the house for a few years. That would be best case but I sure would like to have someone drive by the house now and again to be sure it was still standing.

Good luck - long distance rentals are challenging.
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Old 06-14-2016, 04:38 PM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Amethyst View Post
What is a Class A home/neighborhood? Have never heard that term with respect to renting.

Also never heard the term "door" used in place of "dwelling unit," but that could be regional.

(Personally, I used to count toilets. At one point, we owned 3 properties, including our house, for a total of 11 toilets!)

Amethyst
You'll hear classes mentioned in Comm RE all the time. I've kind of adopted the terms for Residential I grade rentals A, B, C, F

Class A: Upper-Middle Class Neighborhood. Large, newer homes (less than 15 yrs old). Most everything is relatively new, little to no major maintenance costs in the foreseeable future, with a high quality/earning renters pool.

Class B: Upper-Middle/Middle Class Neighborhood. Smaller/Medium sized newer homes (less than 25-30 years). Maintenance costs start coming in to play and are therefore budgeted for.

Class C: Duplex's/Tri's/Quad's, in Middle Class Neighborhoods. Cost approach is entirely different from B/C, although nothing like a CAP rate on Full Comm.

Class F: I have no interest in being a slumlord. I have friends that are, and the headaches simply aren't worth the payoff to me I, at one time, dabbled in lower income housing, and it simply wasn't for me.

For me to invest in a rental, I need to make 1% on my money monthly. So far, staying within those guidelines has worked. Finding 1% deals in the Class A category is difficult at this point in time .... I have no issues investing in Class B, and haven't had much interest in Class C unless I build the Duplex's myself!

Realistically ~ I can probably come up with about 10-12 classes ... I keep it simple for myself when examining property and try to stay in the middle/upper-middle class area's of investment.
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