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Old 06-09-2016, 06:41 PM
 
7,449 posts, read 7,868,440 times
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WHAT IS YOUR EXPERIENCE BEING A LANDLORD IN PHILADELPHIA? I ask because…..

I have a house and am thinking about MAYbe, perHAPS renting it. A friend had a house she rented and the person didn't half pay the rent, and had a toddler who put a whole in one wall. But I know another person with more than 80 units (a combo of houses, duplexes, triplexes)….and he left his corporate gig to full-time manage his properties.

I have one (paid off house) -- and to honest I really don't WANT to rent it. But, keep reconsidering getting extra income -- instead of having the house cost me 300 a month…which I CAN afford to just carry. So that's not an issue. I don't NEED to rent the house for the money.

Also, I myself plan to retire to that house in about 9 years…which IS not exactly soon, I know. But I also don't want to have to remodel it after 9 years of tenants' wear and tear…when I could just move into as is (I totally remodeled it about 9 years ago) And there's basically been no wear and tear since then.
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Old 06-10-2016, 06:05 AM
 
Location: Mount Laurel
4,177 posts, read 9,640,419 times
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First thing you need to ask yourself.


1. Do I want to be a LL?
2. Do I have the capacity mange my own rental or do I hire a PM company?
3. If you plan to move back into the house or sell after a rental, it will require work once you rent it out.
4. It is obviously better to get rental income than having to spend $300 month for carrying cost but it really depends on #1 and #2.


If you still want to be a LL, make sure you understand what you need to do to be a LL in Philadelphia. There are a few things you need to do first.
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Old 06-10-2016, 07:21 AM
 
Location: Dude...., I'm right here
1,244 posts, read 799,046 times
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Everyone's experience is different but you need to understand that your outcome will depend on your situation.

A good house in a good location will attract good tenants and will be less work to manage. And then it's all downhill from here if depending on your location and condition of the property. You could lower your rent below market rates if you are not in a good location to attract good tenants, who also tend to be very picky. Bad tenants will take the best available option, even if it is bad.

Because of a myriad of factors in the housing market, there is a shortage of good properties and hence there is a large pool of tenants looking for rentals. The key will be the screening process. Not all property managers are the same and in my experience, I find them to be a bit lax because they don't want to do a lot of work and want the unit rented out as fast as possible.

I think a good start for you would be to speak to the guy managing 80 units. He may give you local insights and if you think he's doing a good job then you could get into a deal with him.

Even if you live in your own house, repairs are inevitable. So don't expect otherwise from tenants. Only that good tenants will be more responsible than bad tenants.
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Old 06-10-2016, 09:03 AM
 
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If this were JUST going to be a rental I knew I'd never move into, I'd take the rental risk. BUT this is a house I already know I want to move into in 9 years. (It's a childhood homeI've owned for years, mom mom lived there until she died in 2014)

I guess I'm torn because relatives and some acquaintances tell me I'm crazy NOT to rent it.
I keep trying to override my gut…Do I WANT to be a LANDLORD…no. But people say I should MAKE money on it, instead of having it cost me.

I don't think 3,600 a year is that much to have a house I can retire to. Technically I see it as "buying" a move in ready retirement house for 36,000. Sounds like a steal, to me. But they say you could have the house, and not have it cost you anything. (Uh yeah -- but peace of mind!)

They say I'm focused too much on the "worse case scenario." But I think that's what gets people into trouble many times -- NOT thinking about a worse case possible. Sure you get to right off any repairs. But if I don't' rent it there won't BE any tenant caused repairs. I stay in the house one weekend a month now. Because I do want to keep the water flowing and air and heat on, check on it. See that the grass is cut, etc. (So technically my weekend drives to Philly cost me in gas and eating out, also)

People say that just because I can afford the cost of "carrying' the house…doesn't mean I should, doesn't mean I'm not losing out on money I could be making….that even IF the rent I've collected is just paid back and spent on the remodel for me…at least I break even and it hasn't "cost me."

-- Do I want to get a city business license and a rental license?
-- DO I want some in a remodeled house I already know I'll want to move into. After nine years of a tenant it WILL need to be remedied again. Versus not renting it out it won't need that.
-- Could I sleep at night fearing someone would tear up my house? Sure I can go through the eviction process, sure I sue. but dod I really want to have to go through that?
-- DO I want to have to worry about injuries in the property (even with insurance)

All the above is why I've been torn since day one…and I'm still torn...

Last edited by selhars; 06-10-2016 at 09:19 AM..
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Old 06-10-2016, 09:54 AM
 
883 posts, read 530,206 times
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Doesn't sound to me like you're torn at all. It sounds like the people around you are getting into your head too much. You say it only costs you $300 a month; I'm assuming you are talking about property taxes. If so, keep in mind that taxes rarely go down and usually go up every year. But if you can continue to carry the cost and you fully intend to move into the house in the future, then trust your gut. Just keep in mind that you'll need to keep up on the house (which I assume you already do) because houses sitting vacant can deteriorate slowly if not maintained.
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Old 06-10-2016, 10:03 AM
 
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Well…that 300 a month includes -- taxes, insurance AND minimal utilities!! and don't forget the taxes are deductible so I get some of THAT back. So it's actually NOT costing me the "entire" 300 a month.
(I'm only there two days a month, and one vacation weeks a year) I have the lights on timers.

Oh yeah and from April to October -- I pay my nephew $25. to mow the grass!!

My brother literally lives right across the street, so far he's been collecting any junk mail, but I'll be getting a P.O. box for that for about 110.00 a year… Oh he also parks his car in the driveway so unless you're not he block you'd never know no one is there full time. So I do have family eyes on the house every day.

I COULD just get a big locking mail box and put it on the house, but I really don't want to drill into the brick…maybe I'll see if I can find a REALLY could adhesive that COULD be removed down the road. I just don't want it "permanently' screwed into the brick.

The only thing one thing would really save me that matters -- is -- now I go home there once a month to check on the house, be there open it up etc…..and if I rented it out …well, I wouldn't really drive up there from DC once a month anymore. SO Id' save on that one tank of gas….what's that 30 bucks?

Other than to see family once a year -- I wouldn't need to…AND if I did …they have no room so where would I stay?? At a hotel?? Sure I get to right it off because I'd be checking on the rental..but again…do I really what to get into that? Staying at the house I can come and go when I want. Staying at a hotel, then you get into check-in and check-out times….UGHHH! And it's free for out of town family to visit and stay should they come to town.

Thanks Flyers Girl for "feeling me on this"….. I go there once a month -- just so the house is NOT just sitting. And as for "deterioration' -- uh…better and cheaper that…than a tenant's DAILY wear and tear -- and PERHAPS even intentional and major DAMAGE.

Last edited by selhars; 06-10-2016 at 10:19 AM..
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Old 06-10-2016, 12:12 PM
 
Location: Dude...., I'm right here
1,244 posts, read 799,046 times
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Personally, I don't invest my emotions on inanimate things. So I'd say sell the house because it doesn't seem you are cut out to be a landlord. And you may want to live somewhere else when you retire.
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Old 06-13-2016, 11:29 AM
 
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1ondoner, the house is definitely part of my retirement plan for mortgage free living. Basically, it IS my retirement home. ANd it's where I can stay when I come to Philly. IF I rented it out I just wouldn't HAVE come to Philly once a month.

The rental income just isn't worth the headache, city regulations, risk of tenants from hell AND the likelihood I'd have to remodel the place AGAIN, after 9 years of renting it. If this were a house I knew I'd never live in, I would rent it. If thats' me thinking emotionally then so be it.

If the house costs me 36K over 10 years….and then I retire and live mortgage free….seems like a steal to me. I don't know any house I could get for 36K, I'd want to live in.
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Old 06-13-2016, 11:47 AM
 
Location: Dude...., I'm right here
1,244 posts, read 799,046 times
Reputation: 736
Why not sell it now and pay off where you are living (assuming you have a mortgage) and start living mortgage free. Why spend 36K and wait for 9 years?


Quote:
Originally Posted by selhars View Post
1ondoner, the house is definitely part of my retirement plan for mortgage free living. Basically, it IS my retirement home. ANd it's where I can stay when I come to Philly. IF I rented it out I just wouldn't HAVE come to Philly once a month.

The rental income just isn't worth the headache, city regulations, risk of tenants from hell AND the likelihood I'd have to remodel the place AGAIN, after 9 years of renting it. If this were a house I knew I'd never live in, I would rent it. If thats' me thinking emotionally then so be it.

If the house costs me 36K over 10 years….and then I retire and live mortgage free….seems like a steal to me. I don't know any house I could get for 36K, I'd want to live in.
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Old 06-16-2016, 09:25 AM
 
1,616 posts, read 3,321,877 times
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I say don't rent it out and take the 9 years to really get it perfect. Since you have a lot of time you can spread out the improvements so you won't be dumping a huge amount of money into it right away.

It would be too much emotional connection for me. Especially if someone totally ruined something that could not be replaced easily (antique banisters, fixtures, etc...) I would be devastated.
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