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Old 16-12-2015, 21:39   #16
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Re: Renting your house while cruising…….

I rented out our house for 15 years of cruising, and it just got easier and easier with the internet. It used to take a month to find out if they paid the rent--now its hours. I can email my handyman, do online background checks, use billpay for expenses, the improvements continue.

I tried a professional management company and found that not only was it a waste of money, I got the worst tenants from the 'pros'. I took the money I saved on management and used it to lower the rent I was asking. As a result, I got more and much better applicants to choose from.

Never rent to a lawyer or a student, check out the references, and personally interview the tenants and you should be fine.
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Old 16-12-2015, 22:39   #17
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Re: Renting your house while cruising…….

Not a cruiser yet, but, I do own a lot of rentals.

"Just beware, there is a trend right now. People rent your house and then just quit paying. It takes a very long time to get them out. Or if the house is empty, squatters move in... and it take a very long time to "evict" them. Apparently the laws are pretty f'k'ed up regarding this."

Very state specific and "city" specific as well. It takes me 30 days start to finish before I meet the sheriff to change the locks. Other States/cities, it can take 6 months or more.

You have good and the bad. Even though i have managed my own rentals for years, I would hire a PM (and keep a close tab on them) while cruising. Bad renters, questionable maintenance issues, major items, showings, screenings, banking/expenses, neighbor issues, police issues, ect.

I have some landlord stories that would make your hair catch fire, and I do not rent low-end and screen. Every problem I have had has not been with the tenants, it has been with the boyfriend(s).

I wouldn't want to deal with it while i was out and about. But, could be because I am now jaded on the whole landlord thing. A lot of headache that I am over with.
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Old 17-12-2015, 05:10   #18
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Re: Renting your house while cruising…….

Another consideration is liability. The best way to avoid personal liability and protect your personal assets is to hold the rental property in a single purpose corporate entity (meaning it exists just to hold that property....each property should be in a separate entity...this also makes it easy to bring in other investors if applicable). If an event occurs on the property that reaults in a lawsuit, only the assets of that entity are normally at risk.

How do you pierce that "corporate veil": by interacting directly with the tenants and doing or saying something dumb...now you've created a personal liability and your other assets may be at risk. This is another reason to use a pro property manager (a pro company, not Joe Bob...he can create lots of expensive problems for you). Don't assume your insurance has got you covered...most exclude some major potential liabilities, like mold.

Ive owned rental property for decades and have NEVER interacted with a tenant directly nor even met one.
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Old 17-12-2015, 05:25   #19
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Re: Renting your house while cruising…….

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I'm retired military, when active duty, I rented my house, first two renters were great, last one did a tremendous amount of damage to the house, as in tens of thousands of dollars.
Having said that when I sell the house I have 90 days due to tax reasons to have bought more property, or pay horrendous tax, so I'll be buying property to rent, but this time I'll have it professionally managed and some kind of insurance that will cover it, I did neither the first time.


That has been awhile ago and truth has changed, I did sell the house, but apparently due to my age 55+ and the basis I had in the house, I didn't have to pay taxes on the first 500K, so I didn't and invested the money instead.
I looked hard into buying rental property, Condo's, single family houses etc. and by the time all expenses were paid, didn't seem you would make much compared to the hassle and risk.
Check with a CPA before you decide anything
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Old 17-12-2015, 06:45   #20
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Re: Renting your house while cruising…….

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That has been awhile ago and truth has changed, I did sell the house, but apparently due to my age 55+ and the basis I had in the house, I didn't have to pay taxes on the first 500K, so I didn't and invested the money instead.
I looked hard into buying rental property, Condo's, single family houses etc. and by the time all expenses were paid, didn't seem you would make much compared to the hassle and risk.
Check with a CPA before you decide anything
Single family properties typically dont cash flow well. You are just betting on appreciation while someone else pays the bills. Multifamily (like 4-plex and up) produce way more revenue per investment dollar and can cash flow very well.

Cases in point. I have a single family, that based on purchase price price, produces $0.0083 of gross revenue (total rent revenue) per purchase price dollar per month. I have a multi-family that produces $0.017...MAJOR difference...strong positive cash flow AND appreciation...I like that model much better.

Although, multi-families are a LOT more hassle to manage, have more legal/code requirements/hassles, so you definately want pro property mamagement for multifamily.
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Old 17-12-2015, 07:09   #21
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Re: Renting your house while cruising…….

Been leasing to a very nice retired couple for three years. I rent the house about 20% below market rate so it is unlikely that they will ever leave. They take care of the house as if it were their own and pay like clockwork using direct deposit.
Do background and credit checks. Also check references and get to know the people enough to find out what their plans for the future are.
I think it is best to lease on an annual basis rather than rent month -to-month.
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Old 17-12-2015, 07:31   #22
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Re: Renting your house while cruising…….

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Although, multi-families are a LOT more hassle to manage, have more legal/code requirements/hassles, so you definately want pro property mamagement for multifamily.

Best return on the money I could find was actually vacation Condo's, but by the time you refurnish one every couple of years, pay all the fees and the management fees, taxes etc. it seems everyone else makes the money, not you.
Now if I was there and did it myself, then of course that is a different story, but by cruising, I would be an absentee owner.
I think no matter what you do, there is risk involved, so diversify as much as possible I guess even if that means a lower return.
Funny, now that I have no debt, I would benefit I believe from higher interest rates.
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Old 17-12-2015, 08:04   #23
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Re: Renting your house while cruising…….

This is going to be VERY dependent on what state you live in, the evictions laws, the $$ you can rent it for etc. If it is a 'Class A' house with big rents, you will have less problems but harder time finding renters - unless a military base is near. If it is a 'Class C' house with smaller rents, you need to screen very carefully.

Eviction laws vary. We have a property in Kentucky, and we get 21 day evictions from the first late payment. That is dang fast. In Ohio, it takes closer to 60 days. In some less-business-friendly states like CA and the East Coast, it can take 6 months to a year to evict, with burden of proof on the landlord.

All Real Estate is local, so any success stories or horror stories are basically irrelevant.

~ Following Cs ~
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Old 17-12-2015, 09:38   #24
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Re: Renting your house while cruising…….

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This is going to be VERY dependent on what state you live in, the evictions laws, the $$ you can rent it for etc. If it is a 'Class A' house with big rents, you will have less problems but harder time finding renters - unless a military base is near. If it is a 'Class C' house with smaller rents, you need to screen very carefully.

Eviction laws vary. We have a property in Kentucky, and we get 21 day evictions from the first late payment. That is dang fast. In Ohio, it takes closer to 60 days. In some less-business-friendly states like CA and the East Coast, it can take 6 months to a year to evict, with burden of proof on the landlord.

All Real Estate is local, so any success stories or horror stories are basically irrelevant.

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Texas is Landlord favorable too, easy quick evictions, revised Tort Law so absurd settlements are less likely. California is a nightmare.
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Old 25-12-2015, 21:17   #25
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Re: Renting your house while cruising…….

It's true Ca. has some messed up rules and against landlords to boot. I try to screen carefully. The last folks here paid on time but were a pain in the butt.
We had a large winter storm with 45+kt. winds and driving rain that exposed a leak in the roof in the recreation room. I had the roofer over the next day who went on the roof during the same storm to tarp it temporarily in order to at least stop the interior leak with the promise of a roof repair when the rains stopped. The tenant called me, demanding a new roofer because he smelled like cigarettes and if I didn't, threatened to move out. I wished them the best and told her I would refund her security deposit and cleaning deposit and asked which day they were moving. Long silence on the phone. They finally lost both their jobs and moved on.
In Hawaii, I never found decent tenants. They're too transient. But here's a good story...I had to go to landlord school because I ran an ad tghat stated "Prefer retiree. Apparently that is discriminatory. Later, that same fair housing department called and wanted to know if I would take on a "Section 8" family. In my mind it was "why should I help you?" But I did not want to discriminate and nicely declined.
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Old 25-12-2015, 23:05   #26
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Re: Renting your house while cruising…….

Get a credit check from everybody that will be signing on the lease. Carefully scrutinize the report and don't take anyone with a bad credit score unless it is for something beyond their control like an uninsured medical problem. Have owned rental property in Hawaii, Washington and California and haven't had an issue with people defaulting on a lease. Had a few that haven't taken as good care of the property as I would have liked but nothing that involved major expense.

We now are managing two condo's in California from Hawaii. Grandkids are near the units so we go back frequently to visit them and check on the rental. Makes some of the cost of the trips a right off. Condo's are nice for rentals because of no exterior maintenance. Maintenance fees do eat significantly into the income, however. Fortunately have low mortgages so we still have a good cash flow.

If you going to rent a single family home, would want to be able to fly back and inspect the house at least on an annual basis. Hire someone to maintain the landscaping and give you regular reports on how the tenants are treating the property. Have yet to have a tenant maintain the landscaping that didn't require remedial work by us or a gardener when the vacated. Worth it to have the property taken care of.

There is something to be said for selling the house before you leave. No worries while you are out cruising. Unfortunately, you have nothing to go back to when your cruise is done. Get caught in the wrong realestate market and it could cost you dearly to reacquire a land base. Then again, if you sold your property in '07 and came back in 2010-2012, you'd be money ahead.
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Old 26-12-2015, 05:39   #27
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Re: Renting your house while cruising…….

Rather than doing your own checks, get a pro property management company. In the long run they will likely save you money by avoiding issues. Also, move the property into a single purpose corporate entity...should a law suit occur, your other assets will be better protected.
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