becoming a landlord? your thoughts, please

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becoming a landlord? your thoughts, please

Postby letsgobobby » Fri Feb 08, 2013 1:38 pm

18 months ago I posted about a home we were looking to buy. We did buy the home and have lived happily in it since:

viewtopic.php?f=2&t=79764

But some things have not gone as planned, primarily having to do with location. No, it has nothing to do with being on a corner lot, thank goodness.

What happened is we ended up putting our daughter in a school 15 minutes from our house, because they had a super-unique and cool program. We did not know about this program before we moved. It is a public school, she is in full-time immersion Chinese kindergarten, and the program was just extended through 8th grade with a commitment to extend it all the way through high school. This program is wonderful, she loves it, and it is a great fit for us. We are literally ecstatic about the opportunity she is getting, and how happy she is there. However, we had to lottery in to the immersion program because we are not in the school district. That is ok for my daughter - she is guaranteed to be in the program til the end, now that she is in. But we have no assurances about our son, who is 3 and will start K in 2.5 years. That means if we want to assure him a spot, we need to move within the school boundary within the next two years.

My question is: should we buy a place in the school boundary now, attempt to rent it out for 2 years, then move in; or should we wait and buy in 2 years; or should we buy a new place, move in now, and attempt to sell or rent our current place?

Home prices here have bottomed and are up about 10% in the last year. I think by waiting we will pay more to buy. I think we can find a modest place on a good lot, rent it out for two years and at least cover our costs, and then in 2 years remodel it extensively/enlarge it and move in, then sell our current place. Since we'd extensively remodel we'd be less concerned about potential renter damage; and since the market is in an upswing by all appearances, we'd be able to sell our current house for more (and hopefully the credit market would have loosened up a little, enlarging our pool of potential buyers).

I have no landlording experience and I'm busy. The new neighborhood is only 15 minutes away and it is obviously right next to my daughter's school so I could give my best shot at managing the property, but I'd be willing to hire a manager if that wasn't working out. This isn't about making a killing, it's about ensuring the best education for my kids and whatever incidental costs are incurred in the process are fine.

What are your thoughts about this situation? Is it terribly unrealistic to manage a rental for the first time? Are the potential costs of hiring a manager so much that we'd be better off just waiting two years and buying then?
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Re: becoming a landlord? your thoughts, please

Postby Saleen » Fri Feb 08, 2013 1:47 pm

Are you positive the fact that one child already attends the school doesn't make the chances for the younger one better? Around here, if the eldest child wins the "lottery," younger siblings will be allowed to go to the same school so long as they begin attending while the other child is still there.

It seems like you are on top of the situation, but may be one thing to look into.
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Re: becoming a landlord? your thoughts, please

Postby KyleAAA » Fri Feb 08, 2013 1:52 pm

Financially speaking (excluding what happens to home prices over the next two years), it would be a better deal to buy the new house and rent out your current house. Why? Owner-occupied mortgage rates are significantly lower than those available to investors. If you buy a new house but don't plan to live there for two years, you'll be stuck paying investor rates. These average about 1% more, if memory serves correctly.

Regarding management, the properties are only 15 minutes apart. Managing it yourself shouldn't be a problem SO LONG AS you pick a good tenant. Contrary to the horror stories you're going to hear on this thread, landlording really isn't all that much work except in the very worst (and rare) of circumstances. I would not recommend hiring a property manager since you live so close to the property.
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Re: becoming a landlord? your thoughts, please

Postby Userdc » Fri Feb 08, 2013 1:58 pm

This only makes sense if you are right that home prices are going to be higher in two years.

What's the upside in dollars if you are right?

What's the downside in dollars if you are wrong?

Can you afford to take on that additional risk? Even if you can, is it worth the headache?
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Re: becoming a landlord? your thoughts, please

Postby texasdiver » Fri Feb 08, 2013 1:58 pm

Sounds like a tremendous amount of hassle for possibly no payback.

Being a landlord is like any other profession. There is a STEEP learning curve. You would go through the steep part of the learning curve then give it up. Hardly seems worth the effort.

I'd just wait and move when you want to. In 2 years you may find the perfect house that doesn't need remodeling. You never know.
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Re: becoming a landlord? your thoughts, please

Postby fareastwarriors » Fri Feb 08, 2013 6:14 pm

texasdiver wrote:Sounds like a tremendous amount of hassle for possibly no payback.

Being a landlord is like any other profession. There is a STEEP learning curve. You would go through the steep part of the learning curve then give it up. Hardly seems worth the effort.

I'd just wait and move when you want to. In 2 years you may find the perfect house that doesn't need remodeling. You never know.


No experience, 2 little kids, a spouse, and presumably a full-time job...it will be tough. Landlording is a business. Are you ready to start a small business?
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Re: becoming a landlord? your thoughts, please

Postby john94549 » Fri Feb 08, 2013 7:15 pm

letsgobobby wrote: I think we can find a modest place on a good lot, rent it out for two years and at least cover our costs, and then in 2 years remodel it extensively/enlarge it and move in, then sell our current place. Since we'd extensively remodel we'd be less concerned about potential renter damage; and since the market is in an upswing by all appearances, we'd be able to sell our current house for more (and hopefully the credit market would have loosened up a little, enlarging our pool of potential buyers).

I have no landlording experience and I'm busy.


OP: Re-read this part of your post (several times). Then consider: (a) modest places requiring a remodel (aka "fixer-uppers") might not rent for enough to cover costs, and might not attract the best tenants; (b) the "upswing" might stall, or reverse; and (c) the credit market (aka loan rates and affordability) might well tighten, reducing the pool of potential buyers. Stated another way, all your assumptions could well prove to be incorrect. Assuming, of course, you could find a lender to finance the acquisition (a whole nuther issue, as they say).
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Re: becoming a landlord? your thoughts, please

Postby Honobob » Fri Feb 08, 2013 7:22 pm

This would be a fantastic plan (renting original house and buying new principal residence) for someone that WANTS to be a landlord providing the original purchase was made knowing what type of rental it would be. You are proposing to be an "accidental" landlord. Most of those have poor results.

You say the market is up but what is the long term "up"? My properties generally double in value every 10 years but that usually happens in two of those ten years. If you're in those two years you'll be estatic, but if you're in the flat or negative years not so much. And what is the rental history for your type of house? What kind of tenant do you expect to get knowing you'll be selling in a couple of years?

Landlording does not have to be time consuming or hard but you have to do it right and that means have a plan. The housing situation seems to be planning you. You should probably wait until you actually have a need in the new school district. It may never happen. If you chose wisely the first time your house should appreciate the same or better than the new neighborhood.
It's slowly dawned on me that we won the real estate lottery!
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Re: becoming a landlord? your thoughts, please

Postby anonymoose » Fri Feb 08, 2013 7:25 pm

KyleAAA wrote:Financially speaking (excluding what happens to home prices over the next two years), it would be a better deal to buy the new house and rent out your current house. Why? Owner-occupied mortgage rates are significantly lower than those available to investors. If you buy a new house but don't plan to live there for two years, you'll be stuck paying investor rates. These average about 1% more, if memory serves correctly.

Regarding management, the properties are only 15 minutes apart. Managing it yourself shouldn't be a problem SO LONG AS you pick a good tenant. Contrary to the horror stories you're going to hear on this thread, landlording really isn't all that much work except in the very worst (and rare) of circumstances. I would not recommend hiring a property manager since you live so close to the property.


It's not that bad. I refinanced my primary residence and my investment property, both with Wells Fargo, both last month, both 15 yr fixed. The difference was 2.75 vs. 3.125, closing costs were the same.
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Re: becoming a landlord? your thoughts, please

Postby Calm Man » Fri Feb 08, 2013 7:39 pm

If you are going to move why wouldn't you buy the new house and sell the current one and move? Also, nothing is guaranteed bobby. The school district could have to shave costs and stop the Chinese immersion conceivably.
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Re: becoming a landlord? your thoughts, please

Postby Hector » Fri Feb 08, 2013 8:15 pm

You bought a house 18 months ago thinking you found the perfect home. Now you are thinking about moving out!
For now you think buying another house in the school district would be the perfect home and has to be done in 2 years. Something might change in next 2 years. Why not wait for 2 years?
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Re: becoming a landlord? your thoughts, please

Postby letsgobobby » Fri Feb 08, 2013 9:12 pm

Hector wrote:You bought a house 18 months ago thinking you found the perfect home. Now you are thinking about moving out!
For now you think buying another house in the school district would be the perfect home and has to be done in 2 years. Something might change in next 2 years. Why not wait for 2 years?

good point :oops:
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Re: becoming a landlord? your thoughts, please

Postby donall » Fri Feb 08, 2013 9:58 pm

adamcate wrote:Are you positive the fact that one child already attends the school doesn't make the chances for the younger one better? Around here, if the eldest child wins the "lottery," younger siblings will be allowed to go to the same school so long as they begin attending while the other child is still there.

It seems like you are on top of the situation, but may be one thing to look into.


Please look into this (policies and practice), the sibling admission is quite common amongst magnet and selective admission schools (think about it, parents would have to send or drive to two different locations). Most principals also have a few slots for situations like yours that they can use discretion in choosing students. Things also change in school districts in two years. Being a landlord is a risk, I would only do it to earn money, not to prepare for a future (maybe) home. Good luck
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Re: becoming a landlord? your thoughts, please

Postby letsgobobby » Sat Feb 09, 2013 1:33 am

there is no sibling admission policy here, it is quite explicit because demand exceeds supply. We asked (several times).

I can't move yet. A policy at the hospital is being changed but until then I have to live within 30 minutes. This new house is 40ish.
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Re: becoming a landlord? your thoughts, please

Postby letsgobobby » Thu Jul 04, 2013 4:08 pm

We are making an all cash offer on a modest 3/2 1400 sf home for $187,000. It has already had an inspection by an earlier potential buyer and the owner is fixing nearly everything. The earlier buyer had financing fall through so the home went back on the market this AM, and already has two other offers; ours is the third. We are offering full price (that is what homes go for in this neighborhood) and cash, so not contingent on financing or appraisal, but it will be contingent on our own inspection.

We think we can rent for $1400-$1600, taxes are $2200, insurance could be $800,assume maintenance of 1.5% per year, which gives us a ballpark return of maybe $12,000 or 6.41% per year, plus depreciation, so a lot of that won't be taxable (my amateur understanding - if this goes through I'll have to be a quick study of landlording).

We'll move in ourselves in 18 months, live in the home for 6-12 months, then either renovate and move there for good or move back to our current house and rent it out again (if landlording was enjoyable) or sell it (if it wasn't).
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Re: becoming a landlord? your thoughts, please

Postby travellight » Thu Jul 04, 2013 4:41 pm

I would get your own inspection and don't rely on hearsay that a former inspection was okay.

Those numbers sound pretty good. The big "IF" is if it will rent for $1400-1600; if it does, it is a nice set up. It really doesn't matter what the market does in a few years with those numbers; the rent covers costs. You could just hold on to it, let the renters pay off a 15 year mortgage and then have rental income be part of your retirement. I did this 6 times and hope to be all paid off in 5 years. I am also a physician with a very busy practice and a single mom, and I manage them myself, long distance several states away. I don't mind the work and "hassle" factor. I see it as challenging myself in another skill set.

What allows me to sleep at night is that I am conservative and know that I can cover all my mortgage costs if all properties were vacant at all times. Everything above that is gravy. If you can comfortably cover both mortgages if you did not rent one out, I think you are at low risk.
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Re: becoming a landlord? your thoughts, please

Postby frugaltype » Thu Jul 04, 2013 5:32 pm

I would be very very sure that that program is going to continue.

What are the alternatives if your son doesn't attend for some reason? Is there a just as good option? Is Chinese the particular attraction, in which case what about hiring a tutor? With his sister possibly speaking Chinese to him as well, that would seem very workable.

I was a landlady once; never again.

This sounds like a huge upheaval for a future possibility.
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Re: becoming a landlord? your thoughts, please

Postby TTU » Thu Jul 04, 2013 6:54 pm

Becoming a landlord for a house less than 15 miles away is not the same as starting a small business! I am a landlord myself. You find good renters through a thorough vetting process. Credit scores tell you a lot about people. Get good references and past employers/landlords. Believe it or not, there are good, responsible people out there who pay the rent on time and take care of a rental property.
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Re: becoming a landlord? your thoughts, please

Postby tibbitts » Thu Jul 04, 2013 8:13 pm

TTU wrote:Becoming a landlord for a house less than 15 miles away is not the same as starting a small business! I am a landlord myself. You find good renters through a thorough vetting process. Credit scores tell you a lot about people. Get good references and past employers/landlords. Believe it or not, there are good, responsible people out there who pay the rent on time and take care of a rental property.

It's like with stocks: people who've analyzed a bunch of stocks over the years, and bought a few that all turned out to be good investments, will patiently explain to others how, by looking at the "right" financial ratios etc., anybody can be a successful stock picker.

Rental houses aren't any different. For every landlord who has good experiences, there will be another who has bad experiences. The winners and losers won't always agree whether their results are primarily attributable to luck or to skill.

Paul
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Re: becoming a landlord? your thoughts, please

Postby letsgobobby » Wed Jul 10, 2013 2:13 am

I may have overestimated the rent; could be closer to $1200-$1400. The initial inspection looks good. A few cosmetic things the owner is fixing; one area of dry rot that the owner is fixing. No structural/foundation/major cost centers look bad - roof is 5-10 years old, heat pump brand new, water heater less than 5 years old. We have to fix a garage door and replace a walk in shower with a bathtub.

We would be willing to take a loss on the house, with or without the need for a property manager, to get our son into the program (there is no sibling preference, but once you're in as a kindergartner you're in for good). It seems very unlikely the program will change for the worse in the next two years. This year the school district just expanded the program through 12th grade (the oldest group will be incoming fourth graders this fall). It is amazing - just amazing - to watch the kids gain second language proficiency at this age. I am so envious of their brains. Oh, the days of neuroplasticity! The full immersion experience is worth its weight in gold and even daily language class to say nothing of tutoring would never come close to replicating the quality of their instruction. The teachers are fantastic, the students and parents highly motivated.

If this turns out to be a bad financial decision, I will think of it as a year or two of private school tuition. If it turns out better than that, gravy. If it turns out to be profitable, we'll keep the property.

Any good recommendations for a book or a website about rental properties, landlording? I'm thinking of the Dummies series; Eric Tyson, one of the co-authors, also wrote the Personal Finance for Dummies book and it wasn't horrible.
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Re: becoming a landlord? your thoughts, please

Postby harrychan » Wed Jul 10, 2013 2:37 am

I personally don't understand the popularity of the Chinese immersion programs. I learned very early on that language itself does not make you successful. There are over 1.5 billion people that speaks Mandarin. Also, have you considered that your son wouldn't enjoy this program as much as your daughter? Seems like a lot making drastic move based on an assumption.
This is not legal or certified financial advice but you know that already.
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Re: becoming a landlord? your thoughts, please

Postby RobInCT » Wed Jul 10, 2013 9:48 am

I would look at other ways to get your child into the program within the bounds of ethical behavior. I understand you have already asked about sibling preferential admissions and have been told it is not possible. Does the school have a policy on kids who start in-district but move out-of-district after enrolled? It might be cheaper and less of a headache in the long run to rent a house in the district the year your son will be enrolling and to sublet your current house for a year than to embark upon this complicated scheme.

What are the lottery odds? Do they re-do the lottery every year (i.e. is there an opportunity to join in the 1st grade if you son lost the K lottery)? If the lottery odds aren't astronomical, you might be better off trying your luck and then either re-trying the lottery again the next year or taking the more drastic step of moving at that point if it is necessary.
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Re: becoming a landlord? your thoughts, please

Postby willardx » Wed Jul 10, 2013 10:43 am

I am reading this string and your earlier post about buying your current house with interest. So you are planning to move into a 3 bedroom house for several years (until your youngest finishes 8th grade (or longer if they extend the immersion program to high school?)), when 5 bedrooms (and I presume many more square feet) was an absolute requirement just recently. Will you remodel to add more square feet or bedrooms to this small house or just make do?

And don't get me wrong, we seem to make mistakes in real estate all the time. We also live in the Portland metro area, so I understand about the immersion programs and we have friends who moved across town to improve their chances in the lottery (they won!). They briefly thought about renting but the financial stress/risk was too high, so they sold their old house and fixed up their new house a little, and I think they are happy with their decision. They now walk to their school. :D

As a landlord myself, I would do it if you like the way the numbers play out. And I agree with others that you don't need a property manager if you're within 15 minutes of the property. I believe 90% of landlording is screening/finding the right tenants, or else 90% becomes dealing with a problem tenant. For a rental that was 45 minutes away, I made the mistake of hiring the wrong manager, who in turn signed the wrong tenant, and it was several months of anguish trying to get rid of the guy (after I fired the manager). I have had absolutely no problems with my other rentals, and I believe it's because I screened them thoroughly and I have by now developed a good 'gut feel' for people, so when my gut feel and their background check match up, I feel pretty good. It doesn't sound like your rent estimates are way off, and I find your estimated return to be fair and desirable for the circumstances.

As far as books, I never bought any, but I would recommend you use the most recent rental forms from a local management company. I use Portland Metro Multifamily (I think that's the name), it has all the required notices and forms for smoke detectors and carbon monoxide (relatively new), and forces you to do your due diligence (e.g. the rental application allows you to run credit/background checks, the lease itself spells out the deposits (which you have to specify which are refundable and which are not), pet policies, and the like). One big tip: you should not identify any deposit as 'last month's rent,' otherwise you limit yourself in using a security deposit for any damage after the lease expires.

It sounds like you are moving full steam ahead, so good luck. Screen diligently, find a good handyman, and you should be all right if your inspection is thorough.

:beer
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Re: becoming a landlord? your thoughts, please

Postby letsgobobby » Wed Jul 10, 2013 12:05 pm

No, I only have to be in the school boundary the first 6 months - actually there is no written requirement, other than when we submit the application ion April 2015 we have to use an in-boundary address. Once the lottery is complete, I suppose we can move immediately - even if it is before the school year begins. In practice we would stay there about 12 months, then move back to our current home. From that point on my children are in the program, even if they move away.

There is no late entry - if you don't get in in kindergarten, you don't get in. For one thing their language skills are advanced enough that it would be hard to catch up.

We would have rented - that is obviously the cheapest thing to do. But there are almost no rentals in the boundary - the demand is extremely high and there's just very little on the market. At last count I saw two rentals in the entire boundary. We were worried that in two years there would be none, meaning we'd have to buy, and this house was cheap enough for us to pay cash (avoiding loan costs, appraisal, lender title, and closing very quickly) and rentable enough.

Well, it will be trial be fire. We may close in 2.5 weeks, giving us a couple weeks to do any repairs and try to get it rented by mid-August - in time for a late mover to snag one of the open/reserved spots for the immersion program (they save 1-2 spots for kids who move into the boundary after the lottery). We already have talked to several folks on the wait list and they are very interested, because without moving they are on the outside looking in.

HarryChan - my family is of Chinese descent so the Chinese is of more than passing interest. Also studies have shown that bilingual education does lead to some cognitive gains in children. Regardless, it's a global economy and we want our kids to be prepared early for that.
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Re: becoming a landlord? your thoughts, please

Postby sls239 » Wed Jul 10, 2013 12:44 pm

I don't like to agree to purchase things without knowing how much they cost. Basically, that is what you are proposing doing for this educational program. I'm going to guess that not only have you never been a landlord, but you've never done "extensive remodel" either. Even for a seasoned expert - there is a large amount of financial uncertainty in both of these endeavors.

I think a more prudent idea would be to simply save as much money as I could for the next 2 years and get a better handle on what my options are at that time.

I think that it is important to remember that if you feel like this is your only opportunity, you are a lot more likely to be over-paying. But of course, sometimes when it comes to providing for our kids, over-paying can almost be a status symbol.
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Re: becoming a landlord? your thoughts, please

Postby letsgobobby » Wed Jul 10, 2013 1:37 pm

We have to start with the minimum possible financial cost to achieve our goal of attending this school in fall 2015. It appears this would be $1500 /mo x 12 mo based on the 2 rentals that are available in the boundary. That is the shortest we could rent and ethically meet the criteria (in our minds), and likely the shortest lease we could sign. Nothing else would accomplish the goal of attending this school so the other, cheaper options such as tutoring, lotterying in, etc., are not relevant.

So the baseline cost is $18,000. I guess the question is whether this little experiment is going to cost more or less than $18,000 when all is said and done.

Here's my penciling out of worst case scenario:

Rent 12 mo x $1200 = $14,400 (assumes vacant for 6 of the 24 mo we own it and us living in it 6 mo).
Appreciation - 0
transaction costs 10% = $18,700 (assuming we do not FSBO, which many homes in the neighborhood do)
Insurance x 2 years = $1600 (quote was $1200)
Taxes x 2 years = $5000 (currently only $4200)
Maintenance = $10,000 (this is more than 2.5% per year for a home with a new roof, heat pump, and water heater, and all appliances in good working order. The inspection we are performing is also inspecting the sewer lines, and we are conducting a radon test.)

In this case the net loss is $19,900, just slightly worse than the baseline assumption and really - it assumes some pretty unlikely things. Rent and appreciation are likely to be more and maintenance likely to be less. To be clear, we don't have to remodel to rent it out - it is rental ready. The remodel was in the case we wanted to move there permanently, which we don't expect.

This is the cost to attend the first year (kindergarten) but this is a public school so grades K-12 are all free; this isn't an annually recurring cost like tuition. It is more of the price to buy into the program, meet the spirit and letter of the boundary requirements, and then - assuming the house doesn't fit our needs - move and sell or move and rent.

Do you think the scenario I'm painting above is too rosy? I freely admit my inexperience in landlording and I still have time to back out of the home, so please let me know. [that said, we did shop for homes for 6 months before buying this one, so the neighborhood is familiar to me and I think we got a perfectly fair price; not a steal, but we're not substantially overpaying].
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Re: becoming a landlord? your thoughts, please

Postby WhyNotUs » Wed Jul 10, 2013 2:02 pm

A few things to consider,

* NOLO's "First-Time Landlord Guide" is an excellent primer for renting a SFH as a sideline.
* Since you seem to be setting up the new home as an investment property initially, a loan could have tax benefits
• Having the address in-district could be all that you need rather than moving. I have a friend who did that to get his children into an adjacent school district in order to avoid $30k per year in tuition and it is working for him. His rental costs him about $6,000 per year net and he expects that appreciation will cover that. If not, he still feels ahead.
• Private editorial- You are obviously excited about the program and are new to it, turning you life upside down might be a bit premature and as someone else pointed out a program that is right for your daughter and you may not be right for your son when the time comes. Both of my children went to private schools and we approached each with the sense that we would look for what was right for THAT child. Unfortunately for me, that ended up being private schools followed by small liberal arts colleges. :oops:
I own the next hot stock- VTSAX
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Re: becoming a landlord? your thoughts, please

Postby sls239 » Wed Jul 10, 2013 2:50 pm

I would hardly say that assuming that the value of the home doesn't drop is in way shape or form a "worst-case scenario."

Nor does assuming the school policy regarding a popular program doesn't change.

What happens to the value of the property in two years when the new policy is that even in-district students must enter a lottery to get a spot because of demand?

Even most professional risk assessors tend to underestimate the "worst case."
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Re: becoming a landlord? your thoughts, please

Postby letsgobobby » Wed Jul 10, 2013 3:19 pm

sls -

The policy isn't going to change in the ways you've described. They *just* this year expanded the program through 12th grade. The state *just* this year expanded K funding and now all of this school district will be full-day. What I mean is that we are in program-expansion and increased funding mode. Of 48 slots, only 12 were filled by in-boundary students. It is not going to happen that the in-boundary kids would not get first preference, unless there were more than 48 of them; that is a remote possibility but not something we can control and I think essentially impossible for practical purposes of discussion (going from 12 to 48 kindergarteners in 2 years would be a quadrupling of children in the boundary).

Home prices could drop, that is true. We are 10-15% off the bottom but 25% below 2006 peaks. It seems the acute risk is over but obviously home prices do go up and down, at least on a local level.

The problem remains that the cheapest option may not be an option at all: there are only 2 places for rent in the boundary right now and at times there have been none. What happens in 18 months if there is nothing for rent? What are we going to do then? The only option would be to buy; we would have to pay more for a house, there'd be the time/risk factor of closing too late for the lottery or a pending sale falling through, and in the end we still have to buy a house: so why not buy now, at a relatively low price, so we can at least take the 'risk of not attending the school' off the table?

More succinctly: Since renting is not an option, why would buying later be better than buying now?
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Re: becoming a landlord? your thoughts, please

Postby RobInCT » Wed Jul 10, 2013 6:40 pm

Know anyone in the target district who wants to go to school in your district and has a kid your son's age? You could house-swap for a year.
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Re: becoming a landlord? your thoughts, please

Postby dstac » Wed Jul 10, 2013 10:32 pm

letsgobobby wrote:Any good recommendations for a book or a website about rental properties, landlording? I'm thinking of the Dummies series; Eric Tyson, one of the co-authors, also wrote the Personal Finance for Dummies book and it wasn't horrible.


Books/references:

Nolo already mentioned is good.

Landlording by Leigh Robinson is great DYI people getting started (and as others have closest thing to a saint in the biz)

I do like John T Reed's two books: How To Manage Residential Property... & Aggressive Tax Avoidance for Real Estate Investors. I check these out from the library from time to time as a reminder to squeeze every penny out of the properties. (He's not the greatest writer and can occasionally come off as an ass, but he's all about the numbers and doesn't make ridiculous promises.)

Keep in mind that laws very widely by state and large cities often have their own rules. This is important for forms and legal proceedings. Find an expert resource in your area to assist as needed.
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Re: becoming a landlord? your thoughts, please

Postby dstac » Thu Jul 11, 2013 12:28 am

[quote=willardx] I believe 90% of landlording is screening/finding the right tenants, or else 90% becomes dealing with a problem tenant. For a rental that was 45 minutes away, I made the mistake of hiring the wrong manager, who in turn signed the wrong tenant, and it was several months of anguish trying to get rid of the guy (after I fired the manager). I have had absolutely no problems with my other rentals, and I believe it's because I screened them thoroughly and I have by now developed a good 'gut feel' for people, so when my gut feel and their background check match up, I feel pretty good.
[/quote]

Absolutely agree!

Screen, screen, screen. My mistakes on screening have only been with tenants I should have known better. Credit check, criminal records & judgements. Always ask in advance if there's anything you should know because you don't want to waste their screening fee. Typically they'll flat out tell you what they know/remember.
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