Sunday, November 8, 2009

Life as a landlord

I have been a small time landlord for about 5 years now.  We have had tenants in our basement, tenants in a house near St. Mary's hospital, and tenants in our 3rd house for just over 1 year.  All of these experiences have been very positive.

At the end of July, our tenants in our rental house near the hospital decided to purchase a house.  They had been great tenants for almost 3 years.  They were very good to have and we were going to miss them.  Instead of trying to rent it out again, we decided that selling would be the best option for us.  As we found out, part of being a landlord is to sell your properties.

The selling process has been very interesting.  We tried to sell the house "as-is" for the first 2 months.  The renters moved out, we cleaned up and tried to sell it with the original kitchen, didn't fix many of the little issues and we decided not to paint.  We had over 70 people through the house and not one offer.  Our real estate agent, Miranda, is very good and experienced and she thought we would have no issues selling the property.  Unfortunately we found out something very interesting about first time home buyers in K-W right now.  They won't lift a hammer when they buy a house.  They want a house where they can move right in, most likely just like their parents house they moved out of, and they want it all for less than $250,000.  I think this is a consequence of the baby boomer generation that did not do much work on their own, therefore their children have no idea how to do the work around the house.

Understanding this, we decide that we would make the necessary investment into the house to get it sold.  Thankfully my brother in law and father in law are very handy and love doing the work.  I like the work, but not to the extent of these two, and I don't have the skills.

We have spent the past 4 weeks ripping out the old, original kitchen, painting, cleaning, and installing new kitchen cabinets.  We are redoing almost every room in the house.  It has been a big job, and we most likely have 3 more weeks to go, but we are progressing.

For those people who have older houses that you are trying sell, a fixer-upper is not valuable.  Spend $6000 -$7000 to improve the kitchen, then sell it for $10,000 more.  New home buyers are willing to spend some money, but they are not willing to do the work.

More updates later. 

Thanks for reading.

No comments:

Post a Comment