Cool it, buster

Cool it, buster

Cool it, buster   When you own rental property, there are a lot of expenses you should plan for. Most people understand making payments on their mortgage and property taxes monthly, but there are sporadic expenses you should be saving for monthly as well. They include things like vacancy and repairs. The savings we set aside for paying these costs is something we call a rental’s “expense factor.”   We…

Robbing Peter to pay Paul

Robbing Peter to pay Paul

Robbing Peter to pay Paul   We just had our first real hot days for this year, which means landlords are about to get calls about air conditioning not working properly.   Now, there are some normal things that can happen when central units go from being “off” during springtime to “on” full blast in the Georgia heat, and these typical malfunctions can hinder a unit’s ability to cool. But…

Money talks, but in-homes reveal

Money talks, but in-homes reveal

  Money talks, but in-homes reveal   Once upon a time, in land far, far away, Ashley and I bought a property in the township of Villanow — well it feels far away. But it’s really only about a 45-minute drive. Now, if you’re asking yourself where in the world Villanow is, many people share that sentiment when I bring it up.   Villanow is located in Walker County, Georgia…

Why do your renters need insurance?

Why do your renters need insurance?

Why do your renters need insurance?   I’ll never forget the story of my mother-in-law’s best friend. She was up in Ringgold when that tornado hit in 2011. She lived in a single-story apartment complex with easy access to town and the interstate. This was fantastic for her because she got lots of convenience without having to worry with any home or yard maintenance.   She was on the phone…

Application with push-button capability

Application with push-button capability

Application with push-button capability   We’re about to see some things change dramatically in the way we market our rentals. Our normal procedure has been to go take pictures and videos of a property, upload them to Zillow’s Rent Manager and then use that link to post the property all over Facebook. We still put signs in the yards, but most of our calls come from online sources these days….

Safe, secure income

Safe, secure income

Safe, secure income   “Go and get a safe and secure job with a good company with great benefits.” That was the advice my grandfather gave to my dad when he was a young man.     This advice was a little strange coming from my grandfather. You see, he ran his own pharmacy and soda fountain on the west side of Atlanta. He had always provided for his family…

Holidays, vacancies and late payees

Holidays, vacancies and late payees

Holidays, vacancies and late payees   I got a call recently from someone needing advice about their landlord/ tenant relationship. This caller was the tenant, rather than the landlord.   This tenant was upset that they had just received — and I quote — “a nasty letter” from their landlord. The letter said the tenant either needed to pay what was owed in full or move from the property.  …

It came back to bite us

It came back to bite us

It came back to bite us   Having a well-thought-out tenant screening process is essential to your success as a landlord. If you haven’t developed this plan, you should really give it some thought.   Let me walk you through the major parts of our tenant selection process and then show you how not sticking to it resulted in us getting a house back in poor condition for the first…

Move-in inspections

Move-in inspections

Move-in inspections   I was out doing service calls on some of our rentals yesterday. There’s a reason for that. It’s mainly that I like to handle the repairs listed on a newly installed tenants’ move-in inspection sheet. First, let me tell you about the importance of the move-in inspection process, and then, I’ll explain why I like to handle those repairs myself.   During the lease-up process, which is…

Start the ball rolling

Start the ball rolling

Start the ball rolling   Does this scenario sounds familiar?   Rent is due on the first and late after the fifth. After 5p.m. on the fifth, you send a letter of demand via email and a text that says the tenant needs to pay or move from the property by the ninth. If not, you’ll have to file dispossessory at court.   On the morning of the ninth you…