Monday, March 24, 2014

It gets crazier!!!

Just when I think my life can't get any more crazy, I add something else.

Jon and I have been talking for several years about getting back into the rental business. I had managed some properties in NC and really enjoyed it. I didn't own the homes, but the property manger job was fun for me.

So last year we started looking for some rentals homes here in Cookeville. Unfortunately real estate market here barely dipped when the economy did and the rental market is saturated. We were in Chattanooga one weekend visiting family and I saw a house for sale that I really liked. I LOVE house hunting. So when we got home I looked it up, just because. That led me to looking at potential rentals. I couldn't believe how much cheaper they were in Chattanooga. So we called a realtor and went house hunting. We were even more astonished to find that the rent was twice as much there. 

After several starts and stops we closed on 4 townhouses this month. Three of them have tenants. But one needed some updates before putting back on the market.

So last weekend, after my race, we drove down to give new owner notices to the three tenants. We also wanted to make a punch list for the next weekend.

This weekend the hard work began. We drove down Saturday night and started work. We will probably be going down almost every day this week to get everything finished. 

But the good news - we have tenants in place to move in next week. This puts the pressure on us to get everything completed. But it means that we won't be going without rent money for longer than two weeks.

The blessings and hand of God was in everything. We had initially offered on another couple of places. But the deal fell through. After we walked away we were informed that one of the buildings was structurally unsafe. Had we closed we would have been looking at some very expensive and immediate work. The rent income was also less than half what we are currently  making now. 

Some other blessings -
1. I ran out of applications (who knew that so many people would be interested?!) on Sunday. One of the downsides to having our townhouses so far from home is if you forget something, it's a 2 hour drive home to get it. I put a note about needing to borrow a printer on facebook. Within minutes I had several offers from local people. I was able to get them and have them ready by the time my next appointment showed up at the house.

2. My brother offered to come over and help us lay flooring for a couple of hours. He ended up staying all day. There is no way we could have accomplished so much if he hadn't been so helpful!

3. The couple that will end up renting from us were walk-ins. After my NC experiences, I was shocked to find so many people who didn't bat an eye at the $50 per adult application fee, the amount needed as a deposit, and the lease terms. In NC it was a fight to get people to pay. And I was lucky to get 1/2 the people who made appointments even show up. 

I have been chasing my tail these past few months as we finalized everything and I tried to keep up with everything else that was already planned. But I'm dropping some responsibilities this year, Caitlin will be starting school in August, and rented apartments are easier to manage than vacant ones.

I'm excited about this new chapter in my "work".

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