Does it really need to be replaced?

Yummy bread baking in an oven

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If you own rental property, you’ll want to make smart financial decisions regarding your properties.  One decision that you have some control over is whether to repair or replace items that are no longer working.  Just because an item is broken doesn’t necessarily mean it should be replaced.

Do a little bit of investigation, first.  A search on the internet can usually tell you if others are having the same problem and provide potential solutions.  Sometimes a recall has been issued and you can get the item repaired for free.  Either way you will probably find useful information on an internet search.  There may even be a quick fix for it.

Is the appliance still under warranty?  I know that you are a diligent property owner and have retained your receipts to make that determination.  If so, look to have the repair covered under warranty.

If none of these yield results,  having someone on your team who can quickly determine the best course of action is essential.  Of course if that appliance is really old and decrepit lay it to rest and buy a new one.  You certainly don’t want to keep investing money in something that is near the end of its life.

We personally have learned that residents can get attached to their current appliances and many times would rather fix what they have than have it replaced.  How about just replacing the burnt out heating element for $15 in the dish washer instead of buying a new one?  Or checking why the freezer isn’t making ice, it could simply be a filter that needs replacing.

Be sure to carefully check out what is really causing the trouble and make smart decisions!

Please write in the comments section about an interesting repair or replace story.

How to get a handle on your insurance coverage

There were tons of great tips from super sales representative Rachel Foley from Liberty Mutual Insurance last Thursday on our monthly webinar.  One of which was to require residents that live in your investment property to have a renter’s insurance policy.  Having this type of insurance protects the resident AND the landlord.

Of course there was more info on auto, home, umbrella and life insurance as well.  There is something for everyone.  Listen in for the details!

Please share with others who can benefit from this information and click like if you found it informative.


Invest in real estate without the leg work

Image courtesy of hywards at

Image courtesy of hywards at

Nervous about buying a property, rehabbing it then either selling it or renting it out?  Just not cut out to be the big, bad landlord or seller?  What if you could just invest in real estate without the leg work?  You can!

The vehicle for this type of investment is called “real estate investment trusts” or REIT.  A REIT can buy, develop, manage and sell assets in real estate.  It is similar to other security offerings but instead of investing in a single company, you are purchasing a portion of a managed pool of real estate.

This pool of real estate can generate income through renting, leasing and selling of property.  Then fund distribution occurs regularly to the REIT holder.  Some very good news is that REITs MUST distribute at least 90% of their yearly taxable income, to their shareholders in the form of dividends.  Nice!

Investing in REITs is a good way to get diversification without the leg work.  Sit back and let someone else do it!

Please comment your thoughts on REITs.

Good things come to those who wait

Image courtesy of phasinphoto from

Image courtesy of phasinphoto from

When it comes to filling a vacancy in your rental property, patience and careful review are VERY important.  Create a non-discriminatory evaluation criteria for the potential residents of your property and follow it for each applicant.  The first thing to do is to have the applicant complete and sign an application.  From the application determine if they can afford to pay the rent given their income and debt ratio evaluation criteria.  Next confirm all the information from the application with the applicant’s employers and former landlords.  Be sure to ask open ended questions of the landlords so you can get a feel for what kind of resident they might be.  Then ALWAYS run a background AND credit check, to confirm the information you have been told verbally and on the application.  These are very important steps for a long term, happy landlord – resident relationship.  Take the time, you will be glad you did.

What other criteria would you include in the evaluation of a resident?  Please comment.

Are you interested in becoming a Landlord?

Just in case you missed it, here is a copy of our webinar from Thursday, January 8, 2015, “Are you interested in becoming a Landlord?” Join us this coming Thursday at 7:30pm EST on January 15, 2015 for an exciting webinar on ASSET ALLOCATION!  Just sign up to get an invite to the webinars on our website.  We hope you can join us!