Investment Offers 2

The Tale of two rentals.

It was the best of rentals, it was the worst of rentals.
Let me compare two rentals I have and share my mistakes and lessons learned.

Rental 1 is a 1630 sq ft 4/2 brick with a 1 car garage. Fully finished basement. The lot is about 6400 Sq ft. Moderate traffic street, low end neighborhood. Asking rent is $1200.

Rental 2 is a 1030 sq ft 3/1 aluminum siding with 1 off street parking driveway. No basement, crawlspace only. The lot is 6300 sq ft. Slightly higher than moderate traffic, low end neighborhood. Asking rent is $1050.

The first rental has been vacant since Aug 1st 2010. Finally a new renter will move in March 1st. 7 months vacant. What went wrong? Simple, we didn’t fill a need. The core principle of any business. What our folks looking for when making this “purchase”. They are looking for a home for a reasonable price. This unit failed to meet that objective. The yard is ugly, horrible curb appeal, the neighborhood is not greatly desired, the rent was high for what we currently offered, bars on the windows gave an unsafe feel, no window covers, and the property had only 2 conforming bedrooms out of 4 thus making most sec 8 tenants out of reach. Inside, the house looked okay as it was recently remodeled in 2008.

House #2 rented in just 8 days. What went right? The house has phenomenal curb appeal, the bathroom is newly remodeled with custom tile work, trim and walls freshly painted, outside trim freshly painted, great landscaping, window coverings, security system and no bars, all 3 bedrooms are conforming, has well designed closet hangers. Fact of the matter is, it looks and feels like a home. That is exactly what our buyers want. They want a home, not a unit.

The big lesson learned here is we must fill the need of providing a home, not just a unit. It must look and feel like a home. That means the yard must be tip top, the house must have great curb appeal. It must show pride. The interior must present a home. That means we will furnish window covering to help prospective tenants see themselves living there. Bare windows are very cold to look at. The rent must be priced for what we offer. I am confident on a competitive rent, so if it is not renting, we need to fix what is wrong with the property or drop the rent. If my wife and I would not be willing to live and this property, then it is not ready to be rented.

The 1st rental will receive many landscaping improvements this spring. Repair sprinkler system, sod, landscaping that I would desire. When the current tenants move out, we will add window coverings. We will also spend time and money ensuring the inside is a home. That may include closet organizers, slightly better appliances, and small renovations here and there. Either way, we will strive to not repeat our same mistakes.

That is it for now. I leave you with this quote “Judge of thine improvement, not by what thou speakest or writest, but by the firmness of thy mind, and the government of thy passions and affections” Thomas Fuller