Homeownership is hovering around 65 percent, the lowest in six decades. That means
35 percent of homeownership is non-owner occupied, which requires property management.
Industry experts do not expect this number to fluctuate, as interest rates are rising, making new home ownership unavailable for many. The most recent segment of our population is waiting for home prices go down, watching parents lose their homes, and generally not making homeownership a goal in life.
Managing hundreds of properties for over 30 years, here are two pieces of advice I’d offer anyone managing their own income property:
1. Be proactive, not reactive. When it comes to maintenance, don’t wait for things to break. The number one service call that can set you back financially is your air conditioning system. Often, filters are left unchecked by the tenant, which causes the coils to freeze up or the drain lines to become clogged. As a result, leaks can appear on the floor or ceiling. In either case, the water damage is much more costly to repair than changing a $10 air filter. Inspect your property every six months to make certain things like carbon dioxide detectors (on each level of the home) and smoke detectors (in each bedroom and on every level) are working properly.
Make a habit of changing your rental property a/c filters at that time. You may want to leave a few extra filters at the home, so as to remind your tenant to change the filter every few months. It will save your tenant money on utility costs, making the home more comfortable since the system will be working at maximum capability, not fighting for air through a dirty/clogged filter.
2. The water heater is also an item that is much easier and cost-effective to replace during the week than on Saturday or Sunday at 10 p.m. Most manufacturers warranty their water heaters for six years -- and there IS a reason for that! If your water heater is over 10 years old, you may be living on borrowed time. Tenants will not live without hot water, and it must be fixed/replaced right away, or you may be crediting your tenants rent for the time they were without hot water. During your six-month inspection, listen for a noisy water heater or look for buildup on the supply lines --signs that say it’s time to change out your water heater.
A six-month inspection is also good to determine the quality and quantity of your tenants. You will be surprised to find the extra bed in the living room or a cat or dog living at the residence on a no-pet lease. During the inspection, look for items that may need to be addressed before they become a problem.
If you have a question or need a referral, do not hesitate to call us. We would be happy to assist you. Landlords normally like to share their experiences -- good or bad -- to help our industry become the best it can be, and provide our tenants with the best possible service. Remember, your tenant is creating wealth for you and your family, and they will value your attention to your property.Type your paragraph here.
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