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Old 01-20-2012, 09:23 PM   #41
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To the tenant screening tools, I'd add one more.

If you're near a military base then see if is available in your area. It's free for rental property owners & managers, but you only get to list your property and survey the competition.

People with a military ID (active duty, Reserve/Guard, and retiree) can search the entire database. You'll get far fewer calls than Craigslist, but you'll probably rent the place by the third showing. We've rented to three sets of tenants this way with minimal hassle and zero problems.

A friend had a little drama when he rented his 2BR apartment to a servicemember & spouse. The servicemember deployed to Iraq and she started entertaining male houseguests. However she was paying the rent so the landlord didn't object. Then the servicemember's mother came over to have a few words with her DIL, who abruptly terminated the lease. The landlord got to keep a month's rent and turned it around in two weeks, so he's still smiling when he tells the story.

We advertise our rental property as "pet friendly", and we explain that pet damage will be taken out of the security deposit. Tenants will sneak in pets whichever way they can, so this sidesteps the whole problem. Better yet, we get grateful pet owners who know how hard it is to find a pet-friendly rental. A friend of ours was even able to skip replacing her 10-year-old carpeting because the new tenant had a dog. They've been in the place for over two years and may go for longer.

Co-author (with my daughter) of “Raising Your Money-Savvy Family For Next Generation Financial Independence.”
Author of the book written on "The Military Guide to Financial Independence and Retirement."

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Old 01-21-2012, 09:29 AM   #42
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I LOVE. Real estate! I find it to be a better investment over the past 12 years than anything else.

However there is one Major missing eliminate in this conversation and that is Property taxes. In some states property taxes will eat up over 30% of income. Where I invest, I plan on 10% repairs 10% taxes and insurance 10% vacancy. We have economies of scale so I have person full time that just does property management for me full time along with some other things. But does it my style. But if you did not have that would plan on. 10% mo for management. So I see about 40% in costs we run around 25% due to Low turn over and cheap repairs. Again the property taxes. We also never show properties to prospective tenants, there is a key box and they tour the property on there own time. Also we screen tenants like crazy and under rent properties to try and get a tenant to stay for 2 years.

All of that being said I find hard money lending on single family houses to be the best opportunity, I may be biased since that is also my so called day job. Based secured against real estate at low values collecting interest is not a bad way to go, especially given the double returns secured by real estate.

Sorry for typos I am on my iPad and I have to run get my little boy out of bed....
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Old 01-21-2012, 10:08 AM   #43
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"get rich quick scheme - real estate"

Sounds like "Rich Dad, Poor Dad" ...

Nope, NIML....
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Old 01-21-2012, 02:47 PM   #44
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We have had a lot of success investing in rental properties in marginal neighborhoods. We minimize turnover by accepting section 8 vouchers. The downsize is that quite frequently the place gets thrashed and we don't bother to go after the tenants because often that would be a wasted effort. All that was factored into our investment strategy. We do not have any of our own money tied up (all leverage). Our expectations for returns are quite high so the net monthly rent would often pay for the properties after three years. I must caution that this is not for everyone. You need lots of patience, lots of stomach and the ability to not get rattled easily. If you do it the right way, it sure beats working for someone else. My husband does all of the repairs/renovations but he doesn't mind because of the flexibility it gives him.
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