Hello homeowners and landlords!! My boss, Stephanie Clark, is always prattling on about real estate and sometimes she comes up with a real gem. One thing she tells me all the time is that “the people that make money in real estate are the ones who hold onto their homes.”
If you have an investment property and plan to become a wealthy property owner keep it and rent it out to well-qualified tenants. Be sure to keep preventative maintenance as the center of your investment strategy.
Maintenance is key – so don’t skimp on maintenance
First and foremost, a well-kept home is easier to rent (think: No vacancy loss) and statistically rents for more $$$! PLUS, it will entice your tenant to stay longer which saves you money too! In addition to those splendid benefits, preventative maintenance is usually cheaper than damage repair and the dreaded secondary damage that sometimes follows.
Consider your property managers feelings. It can be tricky for us to encourage your tenant to take pride in a home when they see that the owner doesn’t. A lease is a two-way street after all. Tenants have obligations, and owners in-turn should keep the home in tip-top shape! It can be downright humiliating to try to justify obvious neglect to a complaining tenant. I’m not that great of an actress.
Wade my maintenance homie with Handyman Solutions has been our “go-to” guy for some time now. His response to me when I said “preventative maintenance” to him, was “caulking and painting go a loooooooooong way”. Protecting surfaces with an appropriate sealant prevents water intrusion and the resulting damage caused.
The Repair-only approach
Many of our owners never do any work, unless we suggest it to them and sometimes not then. I have cleverly named it the “repair only” approach. For instance ,when I call an owner for an air conditioning repair, many times I am reminded that it was replaced “just a few years ago”. My response to that is usually “are you having it cleaned/inspected at least once a year”? The answer is usually a quietly uttered “no”.
Sadly, only about 30 of the 225 homes that I manage have owners that insist on having their coils cleaned at least once a year and some of them twice! I require your tenant to change the filter 12 times a year, so can you help a gal out with a yearly cleaning???
Inspections are a MUST
Our owners enjoy regular periodic inspections with lots of photos. Unfortunately many times inspections are ignored and our stellar preventative maintenance advice is missed entirely. These inspections and advice are part of the many services that we provide our owners. The hope is that they will heed our advice and reap the financial benefits of taking great care of their investment property!
Many property managers do NOT inspect occupied homes
Many property managers don’t inspect regularly, they don’t provide a comprehensive report w/photos, and they don’t suggest preventative maintenance items. I take properties from those types of managers all the time. We see maintenance issues every single day, so we know a thing or two about the affects of neglect.
The best part of preventative maintenance is that not only does it SAVE you money (think wealth-building) if your home is an investment property, chances are, most of your expenses are tax deductible!!!
Take care of your exterior woodwork
One thing I see homeowners neglect are decks, fencing and other woodwork. Handyman homie Wade recommends Thompson Water Sealant. Products vary, but use something to extend the life of your fencing and deck for Pete’s sake!
If you have ever received estimates on these types of projects, you know that having someone seal your deck & fence costs hundreds. If you consider seasonal maintenance costs hundreds, know that replacement is likely to cost you thousands.
How often this should be done may vary based on the severity of the seasons year-by-year and the exposure that your home gets to them, but at least every few years you will want to give them some TLC. OR, just save up for the full replacement that you will be needing. $$$$
Maintain your home for the marketability factor
If your home will be on the market soon, think about CURB APPEAL! The best facelift is almost always fresh paint in a well-chosen neutral color and yes I will give you recommendations. My 2nd favorite rental update is getting rid of old fixtures and anything BRASS!!!
Brass is the kiss of death! Brushed nickel is what folks want, and oil rubbed bronze is also a nice option. I like lighting/fans that don’t show the light bulbs because recently light bulbs became very weird looking! That’s all I have for today! Tata for now!!
Mary – PROperty Manager for Stephanie Clark Property Management