Making Cents

penniesWorking with several investors these past days have caused me to want to talk about purchasing investment property. Be it commercial or residential, there are some things that real honest to goodness landlords must consider. First of all, they must make a list of their expectations as far as short term goals as well as long term. I know landlords whom I consider to be superb in keeping their properties in good repair as well as partnering with their tenants to create a win/win situations. A happy tenant is a good tenant, and a happy landlord is a good landlord. I recently helped a client rent several of his homes. What I appreciate about him is that he does nearly everything I ask as far as making his properties presentable as well as safe, sound, and secure. He said once, I will never rent one of my properties to anyone unless I feel I can happily live there myself. To be sure, I would never recommend a landlord to allow property abuse or changes in agreed upon lease stipulations. That is just the beginning of a journey down a dark path. My extremely firm remark today to someone who is likely going to purchase a rental property in the very near future was, “Owning a rental property is a business first where there are hard and fast rules, and if rules are broken and no action taken, then the landlord is to blame—not the tenant.”

On the flip side of the coin, because I possess the memory of an elephant at times, I could tell stories for hours on end of my from a-far observations of the inter-workings of landlords and tenants of whom I consider on the other side of the coin. I will never understand why there are people in our world who consider enough is never enough. There are multi-billionaires who couldn’t live enough lifetimes to spend what they have already accumulated, yet they want more. Whenever someone starts talking to me about their accumulations of property; be it personal or real, I internally roll my eyes and think, “Oh, I guess this is yet another one that has been listening to the wrong music.” I’ve spoken about this before as far as the ways of today’s world. Narcissism is running rampant and I personally don’t like it. I would rather be “like” others rather than being separated from the crowd and considered “special”.  Mozart was special because of his gift of music, Einstein was special because of his mathematical insights, and whomever was the engineer over-seeing the building of the pyramid of Giza was special because he created one of the wonders of the world without our modern machinery.

Back to the thrust of this article. I wish for a new breed of investors to start moving into our market who will take the time to calculate return, and the time to properly manage each and every one of the real estate investments they purchase. As a footnote, with the return that so many of our old and dear landed families are getting on their cash hordes at the local banks, I think it is time for them to start cashing out and investing in our local communities. After your calculations, you’ll all find that it makes “cents” that you’ll get a far better long-term return if you create hard and fast standards. I can’t wait for the days to arrive. It just makes “cents” to me.

Joe Chodur

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