Favorites, the Landlord edition

by Sandy L on January 29, 2011

I thought I’d buffer my landlord horror story post with just a brief description of why being a landlord is good.

My cousin currently has a 3 family building as well, but 2 of the units are sitting empty because she does not want to deal with the hassle of tenants.  She also has some work to do because they are filled with her and her parents stuff, but I for one think this is insane. She often sites my horror stories as an excuse for not wanting to be a landlord and her brother also had 6 units that sat vacant for years.

Even my 3 worst tenants were still worth renting to financially.  Maggot boy and NYC girl both paid about $8000/each in rent before they moved out.  Both of them only did about $1000 in damage and clean-up fees combined. That’s still $15K more than we would have had if the apartments sat empty.  The other critical thing was that they were paying the heating bill during that time. If you live in a cold climate, you still have to heat units in the winter, otherwise your pipes burst.   Bird Poop Lady lived in our apartment for 10+ years and paid us almost $50,000 in rent. Our best tenant who lived in our place for 20 years and sadly had maggots rained down on her by a bad one paid Babci over $100,000 in rent over the course of that time.  So in summary, being a landlord can be very worthwhile. Babci made close to $200K in rent over the course of 30 years (and she charged very low rent), and sold her house for a  profit once she was done with it for good.  Those proceeds are now her retirement savings.  She’s done alright for herself and she wouldn’t have been able to be in this financial position today without her blessed rentals.

I haven’t done a round up in a while so I apologize for not summarizing my favorite reads sooner.  I blame it on my wireless not working. It’s so much less fun being on my computer at my desk vs couch surfing.

Yes and Yes has a great post  on how to love your life even though you hate work.

Nicole and Maggie talk about things they’d like to do if they get tenure.  I always like posts about people dreams and aspirations. It really gives you something to work towards.

Money Reasons thinks our little blog community is turning into the Borg from star trek.  He and Everyday Tips both wrote a health post on the same day.  Then Me and Punch Debt in the Face both referenced Pee Wee Herman on the same day for totally different reasons. Also Me and Everyday Tips both wrote about our future life in retirement and posted it at the same time. I swear we didn’t call each other the night before and talk about what we’re going to be writing about. I’m sure there are other examples that I’ve missed too.  It’s just weird man.

I loved Molly on Money’s article on Budgeting and Baking Soda.  She tells the tale of how she’s editing out all her crap and getting back to basics on what real necessities are.  She seems to have eliminated half of her personal hygiene products and almost all of her cleaning products with just baking soda and vinegar.

I really enjoy Crystal’s Kindness Commitment Fridays where you write about some random act of kindness that you did throughout the week.  I don’t know why it hasn’t caught on bigger yet as I think it’s a fabulous concept. Maybe it’s just because Crystal Clear thoughts is still so new and building an audience. I do encourage you to shoot over there on Fridays and write down your good deed for the week.

Speaking of Crystal, over at Budgeting in the fun stuff, I liked her guest post on 5 personal safety tips from Diedre at Transformx. Having lived in the roughest neighborhood in town while in college, I had plenty of tips of my own to add to the conversation.

Money Crush Speaks of the Biggest Spending Mistake People Make after buying their homes.  I distinctly remember having very little money for the first year after our house.

I’m curious if Invest it Wisely is going to go completely car free. It sounds like he uses his car very little as it is and I hope he at least tries it out for a little while.  I’ve always been in love with the freedom my vehicles brought me, but I did spend a year in the UK without a car. I missed having one, but I was also in the best shape of my life back then from all the miles of walking I did.

Frugal Dad had a guest post on why Entrepreneurs should hold down a job after college.  I personally learned everything I know about business from working and not from business school.  Theories are one thing, but seeing how business’s work first hand while being paid to do it is invaluable training.  A few years in the workforce is good for any up and comer.

Okay, I know I have a ton of other great articles I read and hopefully I’ll get to a few more next time.

{ 17 comments… read them below or add one }

Nicole January 29, 2011 at 8:15 AM

Thanks for linking to us! The link to you from us today is already stirring up discussion. Should bloggers ever talk about what they know?


Sandy L January 30, 2011 at 6:47 AM

Nicole – yeah, I commented back on that. I don’t blog about work much either except only in the general sense of running businesses. One because I don’t want a potential conflict of interest and two that it feels too much like working. I do think some bloggers learn as they go while they write about a topic of interest. (A lot of personal finance writers are of this breed and I think that’s fine). Many hobbies are like that. You start out as a novice and gain depth over time. That’s cool too.

But, I don’t necessarily think you should be blogging about for example, how to do a big remodeling project if you have no clue about building codes as an example. You could be teaching people how to do things the wrong way and that’s just not cool. And of course you know my take on scientific topics.


Money Reasons January 29, 2011 at 9:45 PM

Your example with “Punch Debt in the Face” is too bizarre. I don’t think I’ve ever written about Pee Wee Herman. I still think you are reading minds!

Thanks for the mention!


Sandy L January 30, 2011 at 6:47 AM

MR- yeah, that was just freaky.


Invest It Wisely January 29, 2011 at 10:57 PM

I miss being a part of the collective! Haha, hopefully will be up to speed soon. Still waiting for an Internet connection at home!

P.S. I gotta go back and check your archives. Maggot boy… wtf? Seems like I missed some good stories somewhere!


Sandy L January 30, 2011 at 6:49 AM

Invest it – I’m sure once you get settled you’ll be at it again.


Deidre @ TransFormX January 29, 2011 at 11:53 PM

Sandy…thank you much for the mention!! I’m so glad you liked the post! Speaking of posts, I’ve been thinking of rental properties lately so your Landlord Edition was very timely!! Thanks for the great hints!


Sandy L January 30, 2011 at 6:50 AM

Deidre – good luck on your decision. I still think about the landlord thing from time to time. Certainly if I weren’t working full time, it would be an option I’d explore again.


Molly On Money January 30, 2011 at 9:48 AM

Thanks for the link. I’m posting the next step in my Budgeting Series today.
I love Crystals kindness commitment concept -I haven’t gotten to that post yet! That girl is a blogging genius.


brokeprofessionals January 30, 2011 at 4:22 PM

I really enjoyed the links and the good points about how being a landlord can (at least financially) very much be worth the headaches. It must be very tough to find good tenants. Perhaps a method to do so would be to give them a cash incentive for maintaining the property. Example- if you paint a room, give me the receipts and I will deduct that from your rent. Of course that could lead to a more complicated lease agreement….


Sandy L January 31, 2011 at 10:19 PM

Broke Professional – I was on the receiving end of that when I rented and it was a win/win. The landlord thing is work, but there are rewards too. I think alot of people fall on both sides of the spectrum with their opinions. Either they think it’s super easy money, or can’t be bothered with the headaches. In reality, the real experience is somewhere in the middle of those two extremes. Thanks for stopping and commenting.


Lindy Mint January 31, 2011 at 2:42 PM

We once rented the bottom floor of a 4-story brownstone, the owners occupied the top three floors. One day we received our $1500 rent check back in the mail, it had gotten lost in the shuffle when our landlords had mailed it directly to their investment brokers. At that time, I realized the value of what they had with this rental – putting $1500 a month straight into investment is pretty sweet.


Jeff @ Sustainable Life Blog January 31, 2011 at 4:59 PM

Great stories sandy. I’ve always been curious about landlording, and even though I dont have a house of my own, I think I may like to get into it someday – thanks for sharing the realities of having good (and bad) tenants.


everyday tips January 31, 2011 at 11:04 PM

Our coincidences were very funny last week! I believe it happened to us a few weeks ago to.

I am sure that renting can be profitable. It just seems like so much work, and I am just not an expert in the field of renting.

I am glad it has worked out for you!


Sandy @ yesiamcheap February 3, 2011 at 6:36 PM

Thank you for showing the flip side. I think that I scare people off with my stories, but all in all I’ve collected $5,250 in rent in the past few months and the home will be paid off in 2.5 years. Even with a headache, it’s nice to have property that will produce income for years to come. The worse than can happen is that the tenant does a crazy amount of damage to the place and the insurance company will have to pay out.


Deidre @ TransFormX February 3, 2011 at 7:29 PM

Sandy @ yesiamcheap …. “The worse than can happen is that the tenant does a crazy amount of damage to the place and the insurance company will have to pay out.”

Nope, sorry to say this is not the case. Most insurance policies do NOT cover tenant damage to rental properties, in fact damage due to tenants is usually in the exclusions… . 🙁


retirebyforty February 6, 2011 at 10:17 AM

I haven’t had much problem with tenants so I am very very lucky so far.


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