WHY: minimal or more
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WHY: minimal or more (by TOM [FL]) Feb 9, 2019 7:53 PM
       WHY: minimal or more (by Larry [TX]) Feb 9, 2019 8:18 PM
       WHY: minimal or more (by Tom [FL]) Feb 9, 2019 8:39 PM
       WHY: minimal or more (by Robert J [CA]) Feb 9, 2019 10:42 PM
       WHY: minimal or more (by small potatoes [NY]) Feb 9, 2019 10:43 PM
       WHY: minimal or more (by Smokowna [MD]) Feb 10, 2019 3:18 AM
       WHY: minimal or more (by CGB [MI]) Feb 10, 2019 4:57 AM
       WHY: minimal or more (by S i d [MO]) Feb 10, 2019 5:01 AM
       WHY: minimal or more (by WMH [NC]) Feb 10, 2019 5:04 AM
       WHY: minimal or more (by LindaJ [NY]) Feb 10, 2019 5:21 AM
       WHY: minimal or more (by NE [PA]) Feb 10, 2019 5:28 AM
       WHY: minimal or more (by NE [PA]) Feb 10, 2019 5:41 AM
       WHY: minimal or more (by Oregon Woodsmoke [ID]) Feb 10, 2019 6:22 AM
       WHY: minimal or more (by RentsDue [MA]) Feb 10, 2019 7:45 AM
       WHY: minimal or more (by NE [PA]) Feb 10, 2019 7:54 AM
       WHY: minimal or more (by Gail K [GA]) Feb 10, 2019 8:02 AM
       WHY: minimal or more (by Nicole [PA]) Feb 10, 2019 8:33 AM
       WHY: minimal or more (by Tom [FL]) Feb 10, 2019 9:12 AM
       WHY: minimal or more (by Wilma [PA]) Feb 10, 2019 10:45 AM
       WHY: minimal or more (by Robert,OntarioCanada [ON]) Feb 10, 2019 11:13 AM
       WHY: minimal or more (by Oregon Woodsmoke [ID]) Feb 11, 2019 8:10 AM
       WHY: minimal or more (by 6x6 [TN]) Feb 11, 2019 4:59 PM

WHY: minimal or more (by TOM [FL]) Posted on: Feb 9, 2019 7:53 PM

WHY do cheap or minimal repairs COMPARED doing the repairs to make the unit the best it can be.

I understand the minimal and cheap out on repairs. Early on I did that to my units to save money.

HOWEVER, What did I really save when I may not have got the best tenant???

Early on instead of replacing carpet I cleaned it however it still had a little wear and tear in the carpet. I did not install a hard surface flooring of the same flooring the entire unit.

In my case I did it to save money however DID I really save money? And did I get the best tenant that I could due to the minimal repairs to my units. NO

SO WHY do some landlord cheap out on their units and do the minimal repairs???

What do you say???

Two landlords come to mind that spend money to make money;

Brad20K of IN and RobertJ of CA from several posting of theirs over the years they will make the repairs and the upgrades to make their units the best that the unit can be. Both rental markets are different in IN and CA in many ways. HOWEVER they create the best units for their rental markets.

What about your rental market???


WHY: minimal or more (by Larry [TX]) Posted on: Feb 9, 2019 8:18 PM

You get out of something what you put into it. .... donít put much in donít get much out of it. I have always kept my rentals in immaculate condition and I get the cream of the crop renters and highest rents. These renters I get also almost never create a problem. I even have a few single wide mobile homes I keep in immaculate condition and will get more for them than most people do for a 3/2 stick built home.

I get all professionals living in my places including the mobiles. I will settle for nothing less. In 19 years I have never had to clean a house or mobile after someone moved out. I have never evicted anyone.

I treat my tenants with respect and they do the same for me and my properties. You have to put effort into something to get anything of value out of it.

When I was a renter I found probably 90% of the landlords houses I looked at and also rented were kept in horrible condition. They didnít care all they wanted was money. I had a friend who did that and when he went to sell the house all he could get for his $200000.00 plus house was about $90,000.00 because of all the repairs he didnít do.


WHY: minimal or more (by Tom [FL]) Posted on: Feb 9, 2019 8:39 PM

Larry of TX, Excellent point ands great business plan!!! Bravo!!!


WHY: minimal or more (by Robert J [CA]) Posted on: Feb 9, 2019 10:42 PM

I purchased another single family home with my father in my teens. Since my father had experience owning rentals, making money and investing, I listed to his advice.

B & B hardware had a special on a bathroom vanity. A cabinet with the sink top and faucet -- all for $39.95. I picked up the combo vanity and installed it in our rental.

We rented out the house and within the first week the tenant broke the cabinet into small pieces. He simply put his weight against it while brushing his teeth.

So I leaned early on there is value in buying something that will stand the length of time during a tenancy. The replacement vanity was made of real wood, not press board and lasted 19 years until I remodeled the bathroom for a sale.


WHY: minimal or more (by small potatoes [NY]) Posted on: Feb 9, 2019 10:43 PM

Since I took over from my PM who ran things into the ground, I have chosen to fix things up and make them better.

The problem can be where do you stop?

At first I was a cobb and then realized if you are going to do something then do it right, go get the tools and parts you need instead of making do w/ scraps and mismatched fasteners. It has not been cheap. To me updating kitchens and now bathrooms has been worth it. People want a nice bathroom (they don't necessarily keep it nice).

But I've also come to appreciate the balance of C rentals. Why go nuts spiffing up a place when the next tenant is going to ruin the floor, smoke heavily, have their dog scratch the woodwork, etc.. Yet I'm not letting things slide like they were when the PM workers would paint the walls and the paint roller made a line along the ceiling they didn't bother to paint. When it comes time to gut the rotten bathroom floor, I go ahead and tackle as much as there might be since I am hitting it. So don't ignore that bathroom fan that vents into a cavity.

I find that prospects tell me I have the nicest apts they have seen, and I think it reassures them that I'm not a slumlord, or a jerk. Unfortunately there is a lot of chaff to sift through in my area. For me I know I have gone through all my buildings now and replaced plumbing, etc and have less maintenance issues.

I'm not saying that financially I am ahead because it is a choice to put funds back into a property instead of pull cash out. After 5 years fixing things, there is less in disrepair. Now I am on more of a maintenance cycle. I feel good knowing I provide safe clean residences. I have less headaches, both in the tenant and maintenance arena. Can you put a price on less drama?

The slummy LLs in my market have a niche, all the downtrodden who need something to live in, even if it has a ceiling that drains from the bathroom above. Some will say it's the tenants who ruin things, I say it's the owner that neglects their property which makes the tenants angry. It is a vicious cycle that I avoid by taking care of things properly.


WHY: minimal or more (by Smokowna [MD]) Posted on: Feb 10, 2019 3:18 AM

I spent over an hour in the Mr.How Store in Daytona Beach picking out door knobs for a new rental. Daytona is home to a pilot's school and I had one of those impatient pilots waiting on me during that time.

The problem was I had a great Schlage front lockset, but I wanted to use Quickset locks inside. I toiled over the decision.

I launched a career of building high end improvements into lower rent housing. It worked for me and brought me loads of criticism.

Here is the problem. What do you tell someone on a budget? I tell them, you could probably have a different model lock on every door and it would be okay.

If you can accomplish clean, then the next task is to cater to what the current teni like. If Teni don't like carpet, no reason to clean an great condition carpet - it should go.

My current problem is that I'm still using out of style ceiling fans. I'm supplying furniture that is blah to say the least.

The answer to your question is to have a Master Plan. Select the improvements that will last in the home. I believe the Mr. Landlord conventions teach good methods on this subject


WHY: minimal or more (by CGB [MI]) Posted on: Feb 10, 2019 4:57 AM

Clean and functional. I also am of the mindset if I fix or replace something, I do it with the intent of making the unit self sufficient for many years. --67.149.xxx.xx

WHY: minimal or more (by S i d [MO]) Posted on: Feb 10, 2019 5:01 AM

Fix it to the level the market requires.

I don't put $5/sq ft hardwood into a Class C rental. $1.69 Allure or other resilient option. Class A or B, sure...hard woods.

I do buy quality plumbing fixtures since those usually handle abuse a lot better, and plumbing fixes take time and get expensive.

New window AC units vs. used.

Used appliances... Class C won't pay more or stay longer for brand new.

There are lots of angles one could look at this. I think the cash flow advantage of Class C units makes up for the more frequent repair schedule, but quality of supplies doesn't extend the life of anything other than in certain areas as mentioned earlier (plumbing).

One problem with putting long-lasting things in B or A units is tenants want units that are trendy and updated. What's the point of putting in a 20-year kitchen counter when you have to remodel to stay "fresh" every 10 years? --173.20.xxx.xxx

WHY: minimal or more (by WMH [NC]) Posted on: Feb 10, 2019 5:04 AM

It's a fine line between improvement and over-improvement in our case these days. But back in the day it was the opposite: we too often said, "Good enough!" when it wasn't, and the quality of our tenants reflected that.

We learned. Create a better unit, get a better tenant, simple.

We rent Class-C+ housing. We use simple big-box materials, but we DO add ceiling fans and fan timers and decent paint and flooring and up-to-date hardware. New blinds. And they are CLEAN. --50.82.xxx.xx

WHY: minimal or more (by LindaJ [NY]) Posted on: Feb 10, 2019 5:21 AM

A lot has to do with money on hand and tenant pool. When I was young, I really didn't have the money to do anything but fixes on my 1800s house. So I used spare parts and adequate replacement. My labor was available not necessarily the money for the item. As I got older, my finances got better, I was able to do more upgrades between tenants. But they were still 1800s farm houses. So I would not get the high end tenant, the high end rent. So top of the line is wasted. Now I do upgrades that look good, will hold up, but not necessarily stylish.

I can certainly see in a class C neighborhood, people want a clean and functional place. The can't pay for a high end, and you won't get a high end tenant in that neighborhood, so the top of the line is a waste of money. --108.4.xxx.xx

WHY: minimal or more (by NE [PA]) Posted on: Feb 10, 2019 5:28 AM

Way too many variables. For me it totally depends on the unit and the location of the building.

One example that comes to mind for me is a repair I did to kitchen linoleum. It had a tear in front of the fridge. It would've been $700 to replace, but instead I pulled the stove out and cut a 2" by 2" piece from under the stove and patched it into the tear in front of the fridge.

Once glued in, you couldn't even tell. It's been like that for 9 years. I'd do the same again today.

Other things are top notch when replaced. Contractor grade of course. I'm not in an area that gets granite counters and travertine floors. We put those in the flips though.

I also buy a lot of things at material auctions. If I can get good products for as cheap as possible, why not?

I have units with new appliances and new flooring and on the other hand am getting ready to band-aid a unit with painted plywood floors, even in the bathroom. Pieces of square cut luan screwed to hollow core doors and painted. That's all this building deserves.


WHY: minimal or more (by NE [PA]) Posted on: Feb 10, 2019 5:41 AM

I just read Robert J's post. I won't do that in regards to bathroom vanities. A press wood vanity is maybe $150-$200. Real wood is $700+

If a tenant crushes mine, I'm charging them. --50.107.xxx.xxx

WHY: minimal or more (by Oregon Woodsmoke [ID]) Posted on: Feb 10, 2019 6:22 AM

I find that clean is the most important feature in a rental, not so much the fancy finishes.

Location is also very important but you only get to control that at purchase point.

I buy parts that are the sturdiest and most resistant to tenant damage, not the latest fashion. That works fine as long as they are clean.

Because I take dogs, I have allowed carpets to get older and a bit more worn... but clean. Tenants with dogs actually prefer flooring that they won't be charged for dog damage. When the carpet isn't acceptable anymore is when I pull it out and install hard flooring. --98.146.xxx.xxx

WHY: minimal or more (by RentsDue [MA]) Posted on: Feb 10, 2019 7:45 AM

One word: TIMING

If I have a vacancy in June I will have 150 applicants that want it whether it has carpet or not. Sure, I could up the asking price if we make improvements. But.... we are in the business of improvements. We will make 50x more by doing those improvements during the busy season to somebody elseís house than we will ever recoup in extra rent for the improvement to our own rental. If itís December then we are slow and the applicant pool is a mess. If there is a vacancy then in need of improvements it gets done then. --71.10.xxx.xxx

WHY: minimal or more (by NE [PA]) Posted on: Feb 10, 2019 7:54 AM

Rents due has a good point about timing and I would add into that the number of vacancies. It's much easier to dress up one vacancy at turnover than if you have 4-5 sitting to get on the market. --50.107.xxx.xxx

WHY: minimal or more (by Gail K [GA]) Posted on: Feb 10, 2019 8:02 AM

Couple of weeks ago I was at one of my rentals when a older fella doing painting at another house asked me to step over and view the place he was painting for the investor who had purchased the place back in June. The investor is not new to doing this and supposedly has a number of rental properties.

Up until then the house had been empty for a number of months. I'd seen workers in the place and I was curious about what they had done.

It's a two bedroom, one bath cottage; no more than 1000 SF. Probably built in the '30's. I could see where the corners had been "cut" in getting it ready to rent. New unfinished kitchen cabinets and the painter had been told leave them "as is" (no painting or sealing which seems kinda stupid). The appliances included a dirty used electric range and a used refrigerator that was already making strange noises. There were washer and dryer connections but tenants would need to provide their own. The windows were original and should likely have been replaced but the guy was only told to paint them to "freshen" them up.

There was no central heat or air and the only window air conditioner was an ancient huge unit placed UPSIDE DOWN in the kitchen window. I never heard of the manufacture.

I don't know what the owner planned to use as a heat source but at that point I suspected he would suggest his tenants buy small space heaters despite the fact this would be against our city code. I saw outlets but no additional wiring to wire in, say electrical heaters.

I forgot to ask to look at the electrical box because at that point the painter (who had done work for this investor on some of his other properties) informed me this guy would be asking rent of $800 for this palace. I was so surprised that if I had false teeth that would have fallen on the paint splashed floor. I told him the only rental house I had in comparison in terms of size and without central heat or air rents for $550 and includes clean appliances, window units for air built in this century and code-approved electric heat.

We both agreed we'd monitor this house to see how long it took to rent.

Gail --71.203.xx.xx

WHY: minimal or more (by Nicole [PA]) Posted on: Feb 10, 2019 8:33 AM

Agree with the timing. Also, location, type unit and potential tenant pool.

I can take a perfectly beautiful upgraded HGTV house and put in a ClassC tenant. In a year's time, the probability that the condition of the house is going to be the same is close to zero.

If I take one of my Class C units in an alley off another alley or on a noisy, dirty main street and I again upgrade to a perfectly beautiful HGTV house, I am not going to get a Class A tenant.

This business is not one size fits all. --72.70.xxx.xxx

WHY: minimal or more (by Tom [FL]) Posted on: Feb 10, 2019 9:12 AM

Gail K of GA, I agree the kitchen cabinet should be finished: painted or stained. Due to the fact that raw wood will get soiled and stained very quickly then its hard to clean the raw wood.

Gail comparing your units with the landlord that is cutting corners. I bet he will get it rented for $800 and most likely get a section 8 tenant. AND he will make money on the unit for a period of time then rinse and repeat. What has he saved in the process of cutting corners?

Nicole of PA I am not saying upgrade to HGTV high end look. HOWEVER, paint the ceilings, walls and trim, doors and cabinets with a fresh coat of paint. And in the lower end units carpets are a waste of money and in any class unit carpet is a waste of mooney. However installing a hard surface flooring for better wearing hard surface. Carpets are abused with all sort of spills but a spill on a hard surface is easier to wipe up than on carpet.

Speaking of Section 8? Do Landlords that have section 8 cut corners to a degree. Because the section 8 inspections they will flag repair issues. Low income housing it seems they are extremely hard on bi-fold doors. The top and bottom pins are always damaged and the pulls are gone. HOWEVER in the section 8 or low income housing they will charge the tenant but will they ever see the money for the damage? OR will section 8 pull the tenants section 8 or will section 8 let them slide????


WHY: minimal or more (by Wilma [PA]) Posted on: Feb 10, 2019 10:45 AM

I have a sfh in a modest neighborhood, but in a highly desirable location. The place is a little dated, certainly not HGTV-worthy. I keep it in excellent repair, replace items with good quality, and keep the curb appeal attractive. But I don't do the granite/stainless steel/hardwood upgrades. Why?

I've found that the people who are attracted to this house are not fussbudgets. They value clean, neat, and in good repair. They often comment that "this is nice, feels like Mom's house". They tend to be sold payers, low drama. They also like the fact that the rent is a bit below market due to the middle-of-the-road approach that I take.

When it comes vacant, we'll change out a carpet for Allure, get rid of the last of the neutral wallpaper, and change out the kitchen cabinet doors. But we like our class of renters, and will continue this way until times or tastes change. --71.175.xxx.xxx

WHY: minimal or more (by Robert,OntarioCanada [ON]) Posted on: Feb 10, 2019 11:13 AM

Buying commercial grade materials over the long run where not replacing every few years. Commercial grade porcelain tile will out last other types of flooring along with easy to clean. Commercial grade locks will last where the cheap grade 3 fall apart. Shopping a few different Habitat for Humanity restores it is possible to pay a lot less then the big box stores while doing more while at the same time spending less. Often can pick up a small amount of porcelain or ceramic tiles for a bathroom. So and on off can stock up then use later. Metal receptacle covers last longer along with not being easy to break. So in the end with a budget can do more less. --147.194.xxx.xx

WHY: minimal or more (by Oregon Woodsmoke [ID]) Posted on: Feb 11, 2019 8:10 AM

{{{{{{{{....... this guy would be asking rent of $800 for this palace........}}}}}}}}

Gail, he is one of the landlords who specialize in evictees, bankrupts, Section 8, and bad credit.

If no one else will take the tenant, the tenant has to pay super premium rent and not complain about conditions.

I won't take those tenants and someone has to. He ends up OK because he is getting so much extra rent to pay for whatever damage he decides to repair and to cover eviction costs.

It's too bad when you get a landlord like this close to your rentals. I've had good tenants move out because of the hassle of living next to that sort of undesirable tenant. --98.146.xxx.xxx

WHY: minimal or more (by 6x6 [TN]) Posted on: Feb 11, 2019 4:59 PM

My sfh is in a class c plus neighbor hood. It is 1930 and is not perfect. It is clean and safe and is the best looking house on the block. My friend told me when rehabing that I was putting way more into it then most people would put into a rental. I told him I did not want to be repairing all of the time. I have owned the house for 8 years and have had to do little in way of repairs. I have not had the best tenants but luckely it hasn't been all that bad in terms of house damage. I also try to get as much life out of things as possible without ending up with a pile of junk. I want my house to look nice and be in good repair but reasonably. --73.120.xx.xxx

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