I’ve been documenting my real estate journey for over 2 years now. As I look back at my previous posts and look at my accomplishments and my failures, I’m so proud of myself and I know I couldn’t have done this without the support of my family and close friends who cheered me on and stepped in when I needed them. I’m so grateful for each and every one of them.
With that being said, being in real estate is hard. At least, being a landlord is hard. Things constantly need repair after a while and there is always upkeep that needs to be done.
Last year was full of repairs for me. From, installing new AC units, water leaks under the kitchen sink, replacing washing machine parts, water heater parts, and pipes bursting in the guest bathroom. It was always something and most of these things happened in December. It seemed like I was always fixing something.
Now, I know this goes with the territory. I purposely have not splurged with the cash flow that comes from this property for this reason and I’m okay with it, but it’s definitely making me re-evaluate my real estate strategy. I’m asking myself the questions.
Do I want to purchase more rental properties and deal with broken things all the time because this is not true passive income?
Should I focus more on tax liens and start bidding in other states again?
What other things can I do to increase the cash flow of my business?
Is there a real estate strategy that is true passive income?
I’m still finding the answers to these questions so this year, I will be reading/listening to more books about real estate and determining what my next focus will be.
For the first time, I experienced one of the things that most landlords dread.
A tenant did not submit a rent payment!
It’s dreaded because some landlords have a mortgage and may not have enough reserve funds to cover bills like insurance or property taxes without receiving the monthly payment.
Yes, I have a tenant who is using the Housing Choice Voucher Program (HCHV) and I didn’t receive payment for 3 months. Yes, from July through September, I didn’t receive rent money. My first thought was to panic, but I know I have a great property manager and a responsible tenant so the panic didn’t last long.
The tenant did what she was supposed to do in a timely manner. I called myself and spoke to several employees at the HUD office responsible for the area. During my calls, I found out they were experiencing a lot of turn over and my tenant’s case worker changed about 3 times before the issue got resolved which is what caused the tenant to be behind in rent.
When it was all said and done, I received back pay and I’m glad I didn’t go through the process to evict the tenant because it wasn’t the tenant’s fault. I’m also glad that I had a reserve fund to cover cost when things like this happen.
Bottom line, just because you have rental properties that are cash flowing doesn’t mean that you won’t experience difficult times and you must prepare for them.
A couple of months ago, I wrote a blog post about receiving a message from my Property Manager. The neighbor’s dog had come upon my porch and tore up the carpet.
That was in August, it’s now October and my Property Manager sent me a text of what the porch looks like now.
It is decorated beautifully for the fall weather. It looks like a porch you would see on HGTV. It has a dark brown carpet now. The tenant decorated a couple of end tables with orange and white pumpkins on them. She also has a scarecrow and fall welcome signs.
It’s all so tasteful and I couldn’t be more pleased to have someone taking care of my property. It has a special place in my heart since it was the first home my mom bought and paid off. As long as I own it, it will always remain part of our family.
If you read the first part of this story, check out the blog post.