How far away?
Click here for Top Ten Discussions. CLICK HERE for Q & A Homepage
Receive Free Rental Owner Updates Email:  
MrLandlord Q & A
How far away? (by Richard [MI]) Mar 25, 2019 2:45 PM
       How far away? (by Live The Dream [AZ]) Mar 25, 2019 9:07 PM
       How far away? (by Sisco [MO]) Mar 26, 2019 2:56 AM
       How far away? (by nhsailmaker [NH]) Mar 26, 2019 5:16 AM
       How far away? (by Deanna [TX]) Mar 26, 2019 8:25 AM
       How far away? (by kkezir [KS]) Mar 28, 2019 8:08 AM
       How far away? (by Busy [WI]) Mar 28, 2019 9:44 AM

How far away? (by Richard [MI]) Posted on: Mar 25, 2019 2:45 PM

Most here know I primarily have Class C places. My tenants typically make 7.25 to $12.50 an hour. Rents are $500-550. They often struggle at those levels.

My area is a smaller town in a county that has a total population of only about 15,000. The next larger town is about 30 miles away.

What I'm seeing is that the larger town has slightly higher wages but at these levels, some tenants want to live here but work on the larger towns. The problem is they use up the difference in gas and repairs on their cars. That extra $2 an hour they might make goes to gas and car. Their cars break more when they put on an extra 300+ miles a week. (15000 miles a year). They miss days from breakdowns, from bad weather in winter, and also often they are on part time so don't get 8+ hours a day, all of which reduces wages but not expenses.

One thing I've done to save eventual headaches (and lost money) is to try and not accept applicants that live more than a few miles from where they work. If it takes $80 a week for car plus 7-10 hours in drive time, it's easier/ cheaper for them to pay $300 more a month for rent in the town they work in.

I can't think of any other solutions for this. How about you?

How far away? (by Live The Dream [AZ]) Posted on: Mar 25, 2019 9:07 PM

Where I live it isn't unusual for people to commute to the next town, which is 45-50 miles, or even to Las Vegas 120 miles away.

In fact I just lost my most recent helper. He's going to start working in Vegas. So he's going to be commuting like 4 hours a day. But he's going to be making like 80K a year vs my piddly $12 an hour. LOL (I was just helping him out while he was between jobs - they are our friends and just had twins!)

My truck costs $30-50 r/t to Vegas depending on gas prices. It's going to cost him several hundred a month to commute I'm sure, but he'll make triple what he could around here.

Her last year in college my spouse commuted from Newport Beach to UC San Diego. I don't know what it cost, but she put 40,000 miles on our Lancer in a year. She had the longest commute of 39,000 students, they even did a story in the university paper, and she graduated as Valedictorian in Computer Science.

How far away? (by Sisco [MO]) Posted on: Mar 26, 2019 2:56 AM

Richard, you are correct to observe the pitfalls of your clientele and make adjustments in your screening accordingly.

I too am in a market in which prospects consider moving to my place or commute from a smaller town 60-70 miles daily.

Payday rent payment is a must for this group.

How far away? (by nhsailmaker [NH]) Posted on: Mar 26, 2019 5:16 AM

Micro managing other people is not in my job description

Making my units clean and as affordable is all I can do

However I do try and charge whatever the market allows

that is the simplicity of capitalism / free markets - they automatically locate / balance resources where needed

I would not give it a minute of my time - tenants do what tenants do

How far away? (by Deanna [TX]) Posted on: Mar 26, 2019 8:25 AM

I'm in a town like that-- it's normal for people here to commute 30-45 minutes to a larger town or city, because the local economy is pretty small. It's why we picked our town-- DH and I got jobs about 60 miles apart, and this town gave us both reasonable commutes.

The biggest problem I ran into with mine was the price of gas. When it's $1-$2/gal, tanking up twice a week isn't bad, but when it's $4-$5/gal, it gets pretty rough on the budget. But that's when you start compensating in other ways-- packing your lunch instead of eating out 5x a week, or going to the library instead of the movies, or whatever.

I've had one tenant where commuting has been a problem. He had started a job in town, then got transferred 30 min away when a coworker was threatening him. (According to him.) He was happy with the new job, but he was already marginal, and the extra gas was stressful on his budget. When it affected me-- we both agreed he needed to relocate back to that town. I was happy to see him go, because by that point, I'd discovered he was a liar.

Just like I take child support or car payments into account when I gauge someone's ability to afford me, it's also sensible to take into account their travel costs. But because gasoline isn't a fixed cost, it can be tricky. I'd be more likely to change my screening, though-- like grossing 4x or 5x the rent-- rather than dinging a prospect for not being locally employed.

How far away? (by kkezir [KS]) Posted on: Mar 28, 2019 8:08 AM

when gas goes back up, it is going to kill them.

How far away? (by Busy [WI]) Posted on: Mar 28, 2019 9:44 AM

On the survey that Brad 20k posted about, wasn’t there a commuting score in there using 45 minutes as ‘reasonable’ commute time? I agree, for a $10-$12/ an hour job, that is tough. HOWEVER, if that $10-$12 / hour job is leading to promotion, then it becomes do-able.

I watched my daughter’s progress in her job out of college. The first position didn’t pay much, had a long commute. But, she worked hard, moved up very fast, has been at many different locations since the, now makes good income. Very good income. And it’s only been about six years since college. But, she realizes she is an outlier. She works hard, works smarter, very good at managing up. Some of her peers couldn’t find their way out of a paper bag.

Subject: RE: How far away?
Your Name:
Your State:

How far away?
Would you like to be notified via email when somebody replies to this thread?
If so, you must include your valid email address here. Do not add your address more than once per thread/subject. By entering your email address here, you agree to receive notification from every time anyone replies to "this" thread. You will receive response notifications for up to one week following the original post. Your email address will not be visible to readers.
Email Address: