Real Estate

Lesson Learned while Searching for our Next Rental Property

The weekend means a lot of different things for a lot of people.  Some of you out there spend your weekends hanging out with your friends, partying, and celebrating your two days away from work.  Other people, like myself, spend their weekends on business ventures such as going to open houses with the goal of finding new properties to invest in.  At least that is how we spend most weekends, and though we don’t always end up making an offer on any homes, each potential property we visit helps us to better understand current market values.

For us, it is a good use of our weekend.

While there were no real good investments to find this weekend, we did learn a thing or two about water damage repair from a chatty realtor Saturday.  We were looking at a home that was priced well below market value, so we knew that something was up.  You don’t usually find deals like this in the current market, so we happened to ask what was going on.

He had a story to tell.

It turned out that the home had a bit of a flood after the drain pipe fell off of the upstairs washer.  They had hidden the damage by painting over it, but after the realtor had mentioned the issue, we could see what we were missing.

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Needless to say we walked away from that property.

But the silver lining is that we learned a valuable lesson that will be applied to any other property we might look at – so looking at houses this weekend was worth it.

Posted by Melissa Jones - April 16, 2017 at 3:17 pm

Categories: Real Estate   Tags: , ,

Rental Property Troubles

IMG20170206WA0020It seems that all of the rental properties that I have bought in the last few months have been ones with problems.  This happens from time to time, and no matter how much planning you do before buying a property, there is always the chance that there will be problems.

Trust me on this one.  In fact, let me share a story with you.

Two weeks ago I put an offer in on a duplex in an area that I have had my eye on for some time.  The good properties in the area are few and far between, so I had been waiting patiently for something to come up for sale that I could snatch up.  Like always I made sure to keep my emotions out of my investing, so when I bought the duplex, I thought that I had a winner.

But I had made one mistake – I didn’t do a walkthrough of the property myself.  I had one of my employees do it and bought based on their suggestion.

It was a mistake.

As it turned out, the property had some extensive water damage and we had to call in some consultants that specialized in Water Damage Restoration Castic to deal with the issues.  They have been working on the property here for a day or two now, and though progress has been made, it is not in a rent-ready state yet.  Hopefully we’ll be able to get it out there for rent soon, but in the meantime I learned a valuable lesson: I need to do walkthroughs on my own before buying any new rental properties.

Posted by Melissa Jones - February 16, 2017 at 11:01 pm

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Inspecting our Newest Rental Property

While I don’t have a lot of rental properties in my portfolio, I treasure each and every one of them.  They will be the way that I pay for my retirement and I treat each and every one of them as investments.  A lot of number crunching goes into picking them out, but I still like to inspect them in-person once we have taken possession of them.

So I found myself out at our latest purchase here today and I couldn’t wipe the smile off my face.  I had bought this bungalow because of the amazing curb appeal that I saw in the pictures, and standing there in real-life was a completely different experience.

The place looked good.

While first impressions are important, I wanted to see what the place looked like inside.  I knew that this home had some water issues in the past, but one of my favorite water damage restoration Los Angeles companies did the work, so I wasn’t worried about it.  In fact, the inside of the home was in better shape than I would have expected, so all we will have to do before we rent it out is a little cleaning and a fresh coat of paint.

Hopefully it won’t take long to get the work done – I’d like to have it rented out by the middle of the month.

Posted by Melissa Jones - January 3, 2017 at 3:43 pm

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Dealing with a Mold Problem

For the last few months I have been buying up houses in foreclosure and flipping them.  I was inspired by the many television shows that depict flipping houses to be an easy way to make money, and for the most part it has been very profitable.  Up until the house that we bought last week our purchases have only required minor renovations to get them to the point where we could put them up for sale, and I really thought that we had the hang of the whole “house flipping” business model.

It seemed too easy.

Unfortunately everything changed last week.  We picked up a house that looked like a steal and we thought that we had another winner on our hands, but we were wrong.  When we opened the door to the house, we quickly realized our mistake – the home smelled like mold.  After a little more exploring through the home, we discovered that there was extensive water damage that would have to be dealt with before we could sell it.

I was worried that fixing this “little” problem was going to eat up all of our profit.

We consulted with a firm that specialized in mold remediation Los Angeles to get a feel as to what we had gotten ourselves into.  After they came out and looked at the problem, they put together a plan that would solve the problem with the least amount of money.

Thankfully we were not in as much hot water as I thought.

By the end of this week the mold issues should be dealt with and we will be able to work on renovating the home.  Hopefully we will be able to list it for sale by the end of the month.  At this point I would be happy to break even on the property, but only time will tell how well we make out.  It has definitely been a good learning experience that will impact how we buy properties into the future.

Posted by Melissa Jones - November 5, 2016 at 8:25 am

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Last Minute Window Repair

Up until yesterday, everything was on schedule for the property that we had been working on for the last couple of weeks.  We picked up this small, three bedroom bungalow a couple of weeks ago with the intention of quickly fixing it up and flipping it for a profit.  Like all properties that you are going to flip, speed was of the essence and the longer that we held onto it, the less money we were going to make.

In a nutshell, we were in a rush.

But we had not accounted for something to happen at  the last minute.  It was an accident, but the cost of once choice was going to make the difference of us being able to sell the home right away or wait until we were able to get it fixed up.

Let me tell you the story of how a broken window just about cost us a house sale.

It was the last day of the renos, and we were just doing the finishing touches and staging the home.  The lawn had grown a little longer than I had liked, so I decided to take the lawn mower out and give it a once-over before being done for the day.

It really only should have taken twenty minutes, but I never made it to those last five minutes.

Disaster struck when I caught a rock in the lawnmower and it flung the rock through the window in the house.

It broke instantly.  All of a sudden, the home was not in saleable condition.

It wasn’t exactly how I envisioned how the day was going to go.

But I had an ace up my sleeve.  I had a buddy that worked installing windows in Glendale, and I called him to see if he could help me out.  I explained the situation, and he hopped in his car and was replacing the window just a half-hour after we hung up.

It was exactly what I needed.

Thanks to the last minute window repair we will still be able to put the house on the market on Monday, and I am hoping that it sells right away.  Fingers crossed that there are no other problems in the next few days.

Posted by Melissa Jones - November 4, 2016 at 9:07 pm

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