House Update: 3 Mos

Seems like time flies when you’re hav­ing fun, and also when you’re NOT hav­ing fun. It’s hard to believe I’ve been a home­own­er for 3 months already!

Actu­al­ly, based off all the mild­ly-hor­ri­fy­ing-but-yet-also-enter­tain­ing sto­ries from the neigh­bors, my teeth grind­ing issue mak­ing a reap­pear­ance, the num­ber of new grey hairs I’ve dis­cov­ered, and tight mus­cles I’ve expe­ri­enced.… the only thing I’m hav­ing issues believ­ing is that it’s ONLY been 3 months.

One of the biggest stres­sors is adjust­ing to the neigh­bor­hood. All is not as it seems. The streets are lined with beau­ti­ful mature trees that almost meet in the mid­dle to form a green tun­nel in front of beau­ti­ful his­toric homes from the turn of the cen­tu­ry. I’m close to down town and can walk to the gro­cery store(s), laun­dro­mat, and a num­ber of inter­est­ing restau­rants (Hawai­ian BBQ any­one?).

On the oth­er hand, I’m not entire­ly sure I feel com­fort­able walk­ing or rid­ing my bike to those areas. Every­one warned me against liv­ing west of {Major Road} so I picked a place to the east. How­ev­er, no one warned me about liv­ing south of {Oth­er Major Road}. I live two blocks south which is appar­ent­ly enough to make all the dif­fer­ence.

I’m pret­ty sure I’m one of the few to have a col­lege degree on my street. Most of the beau­ti­ful his­toric homes aren’t in the best of con­di­tion and have been hacked into mul­ti­fam­i­ly units. The cops have estab­lished a reg­u­lar pres­ence in the neigh­bor­hood. It’s not an uncom­mon sight to see some­one rid­ing their lawn­mow­er down the street or push­ing a full shop­ping cart home from the store (only to aban­don it lat­er). Pop­ping nois­es that sound more like gun­shots than fire­works hap­pen enough to not be sur­prised.

The house cat­ty cor­ner from me on street A hous­es a known car parts thief. The police are try­ing to catch him but appar­ent­ly he’s a smart thief and wipes the car down after steal­ing the battery/anything else that’s easy to remove. The house across street B from me is rumored to be a front for the local gang. It’s cur­rent­ly up for rent and seems qui­et, but I know that could eas­i­ly change. The house cat­ty cor­ner from me on street B used to be Sec­tion 8. Out of the 5 total bed­rooms in the house, there used to be 17 chil­dren PLUS their asso­ci­at­ed adults liv­ing in the house. Fights broke out often, peo­ple reg­u­lar­ly con­gre­gat­ed in the street and obstruct­ed traf­fic, smashed liquor bot­tles in the streets and neigh­bor­ing yards, drug use hap­pened in broad day­light, and guns were fired off. My neigh­bor 2 doors down from me told me she called the police every day on them for 9 months straight until they were final­ly able to kick every­one out. The own­er had to sell after get­ting a num­ber of vio­la­tions slapped against the prop­er­ty. I hard­ly ever see the cur­rent res­i­dents now so things are much bet­ter.

“The Hole”

I wor­ry about my house becom­ing “that” house. I had to call the police for the first time this week­end. I woke up at 530 am on Sat­ur­day to what seemed like an entire herd of peo­ple in the com­mon space of the house. Talk­ing, shout­ing, yelling, fight­ing peo­ple. I heard “don’t fight don’t fight you don’t want to go back to jail!”.  Things start­ed to calm down after a whole car full of peo­ple poured out of the house, but I still had to call the cops as the guy that start­ed it all got locked out and start­ed to try to force his way in the house. By the time I got trans­ferred to the cor­rect dis­patch and played 20 ques­tions, the guy was gone. The police poked around for a bit and then left.

Lat­er, I found a hole in the dry­wall of my stair case. Since the insti­ga­tor of the trou­ble was my tenant’s broth­er, my handy­man ten­ant gets to fix the wall on his dime. He also got a warn­ing against let­ting peo­ple stay in his place with­out him being there. I’m not run­ning that kind of real estate game! My ten­ants (and every­one else I know) might call me a slum­lord, but I want to do bet­ter than that.

Speak­ing of mak­ing things bet­ter, I’ve been field­ing quotes from con­trac­tors with an eye towards fix­ing up the exte­ri­or of my house. The gut­ters are orig­i­nal steel gut­ters that are rust­ed beyond any shred of usabil­i­ty, some of the wood­en shakes and fas­cia boards are rot­ten (because the gut­ters aren’t work­ing), and the whole thing needs new paint.
 The pic­ture to the left is my front porch. It has the poten­tial to be such an amaz­ing space. It used to have a patio fur­ni­ture and an unwant­ed enter­tain­ment cen­ter on it before I got rid of them. Even just hav­ing those gone makes a huge dif­fer­ence.

But I’m get­ting ahead of myself here. I end­ed up get­ting four bids on the project.

Bid #1: Pro­fes­sion­al painter. He paints beau­ti­ful old hous­es and does a fan­tas­tic job. Vot­ed num­ber one painter in the area. Very expen­sive. He want­ed $17k for just paint and labor as gut­ters and the wood repair would be extra.

Bid #2: My handy­man neigh­bor. Not licensed, insured, or bond­ed. Doesn’t want to see me get ripped off by any con­trac­tors. Would take a lot of time as he would be work­ing by him­self. $5k, I buy sup­plies.

Bid #3: Bad ass lady con­trac­tor. Nor­mal­ly does big­ger projects but wants to stay busy until her next job. Has a pas­sion for old hous­es and loves the details on the house. Has a crew and will take approx­i­mate­ly a month. Cur­rent­ly run­ning a spe­cial deal where any paint job gets you $1/sq ft deal on refin­ish­ing any wood floors up to a year lat­er. $6500 all in.

Bid #4: Rec­om­mend­ed con­trac­tor from my local real estate group. Super nice guy, point­ed out a lot of details about the house, and insist­ed on call­ing me lit­tle lady or young lady. I think we crossed paths on what I want­ed, because his bid came in at $61k. No, that’s not a typo. I don’t know exact­ly what mate­ri­als he was going to use, but that’s 75% of my mort­gage. Let’s pause a sec­ond and reflect on the ridicu­lous­ness of me sink­ing that kin­da dough into JUST the exte­ri­or of my house.

Con­sid­er­ing I didn’t want to take out a sec­ond mort­gage on the house or go into any kind of debt for the project, I went with the bad ass lady con­trac­tor. She nev­er once patron­ized me and is gen­uine­ly excit­ed to bring the house back to look­ing beau­ti­ful. The front porch wood will be replaced where need­ed, the whole thing is get­ting stripped, the front door is get­ting stripped, and then every­thing will be stained to match the orig­i­nal mahogany wood ceil­ing. The rail­ings and steps will be stripped of their ugly brown paint and become white (or in case of the steps, paint­ed and sealed with con­crete paint). The rest of the exte­ri­or will be replaced as need­ed and paint­ed. The gut­ters will be tak­en down and new seam­less ones WITH gut­ter hel­mets will be installed. I’m pret­ty pleased about the gut­ter hel­mets, to be hon­est. I have huge sil­ver maple trees in my yard and they shed A LOT of leaves and heli­copters. The less I have to bor­row a super tall lad­der to clean out gut­ters, the bet­ter.

I wrote her a huge check this week ($2,275!) for the deposit on the work, and will pay her the rest of the amount when she’s done with the project. She’s going to start May 31st and be done in a month! She’s very respon­sive and easy to work with, so I have strong hopes this will go well and I’ll end up with a house that lives up to its poten­tial! Depend­ing on how things go, I plan on invit­ing her back to take advan­tage of the floor refin­ish­ing deal. I look at the house and get over­whelmed. She looks at the house and gets excit­ed at the work to be done. Between the two of us we’ll have this house whipped into shape in no time!

So, all in all, my real estate expe­ri­ence has been most­ly pos­i­tive so far. It’s been stress­ful, but then, what huge change in life isn’t stress­ful? I have no doubt I’ll look back on this start and laugh at how stressed I got over the whole thing.….. but that prob­a­bly won’t be any time soon.

Any tips for the noob real estate investor? Think I should get a CC and a gun? Got any work on your prop­er­ties at the moment? Sound off in the com­ments and let me know!

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49 thoughts on “House Update: 3 Mos

  1. Yikes! Let’s hope you’re the begin­ning of your neigh­bor­hood “turn­ing the cor­ner”. I had a friend who bought on “The Edge” in Atlanta, and had a sim­i­lar sit­u­a­tion to yours. Two years lat­er, it’s one of the hippest neigh­bor­hoods near down­town. A bit of a lot­tery, but it can work out well.

    Good luck, will be inter­est­ed to see the progress from your bad ass lady con­trac­tor!!

    • The thing that’s frus­trat­ing to me is, this neigh­bor­hood is in almost the exact cen­ter of town. Every­thing is with­in a 15 minute dri­ve (or, gasp, bike­able!) vs being on the “good side” that means it’s at least a 20 minute dri­ve. I can walk home from the bars down­town if I want to risk it. The archi­tec­ture is amaz­ing. And yet, peo­ple don’t want to live south of the major road because “it’s bad”. No, it’s a lit­tle rough, but it’s not “Bad”.

      • I don’t know Gwen… if those real­ly are gun­shots the area might deserve a “Bad” cat­e­go­ry.

        Beau­ti­ful house, must have been a great neigh­bor­hood at some point.

  2. I love your opti­mism as you work through sev­er­al chal­leng­ing sit­u­a­tions! What fun would life be with­out chal­lenges! Keep up the good work and look­ing for­ward to see the out­door refresh!

    • Thanks Jason! It’s def­i­nite­ly a chal­lenge but it has to get bet­ter in the future. I’ll revis­it this if it doesn’t!

  3. I’m sort of a 2nd Amend­ment nut, so take this with a grain of salt… I think you’re smart to get a CC and a gun PROVIDED you take a course in gun fight­ing. You want to fall back on train­ing in a high pres­sure sit­u­a­tion. If you can’t see your­self putting day­light through an attempt­ed rapist, don’t start down any road that goes there.

    Guns are “fun” in the sense that most shoot­ing con­sists of per­fo­rat­ing paper at the range . There’s some­thing Zen­like about get­ting all still, hold­ing the sights on the tar­get, then send­ing the round between heart­beats. My mom was the best shot in our house grow­ing up. My daugh­ter was the best shot when she was liv­ing at home.

    If you decide to get a gun, make sure to ask your “sketchy” ten­ant with the prone-to-vio­lence broth­er which one to get. It’ll sub­tly let him know you’re heeled even if you get a com­plete­ly dif­fer­ent weapon.

    • Steve, I was in the mil­i­tary, so I have sol­id train­ing to fall back on should things get sticky. I like the idea of ask­ing my ten­ant about weapons just to let him know. Until then, I’ll have to keep my soft­ball bat handy!

  4. Oh nnoooooo I’m so sor­ry to hear all of that stuff. :((( We used to live in an apart­ment like that, but I’m sure it’s much more hor­ri­fy­ing if you own a house. I guess that explains how afford­able the home was. :/ It sounds like you’re han­dling every­thing well, though! I mean, I’m from Texas, so I think (almost) every­one should have a firearm for pro­tec­tion in their home, but that choice is yours lol. 😉 Keep your chin up and keep truckin’ on with those goals!!
    Mrs. Picky Pinch­er recent­ly post­ed…Should I Eat That?My Profile

    • I’m not quite “Texas” on the lev­el of gun crazy, but I do appre­ci­ate they have their time and place to be use­ful.

  5. Wow, that sounds like a lot to deal with. You sure are learn­ing a lot, and help­ing oth­ers (me) out along the way! Thanks for shar­ing.

  6. You need to let go of those ten­ants that are caus­ing you headaches. They are not worth the trou­ble and the stress. I am always call­ing the police on my neigh­bors. They par­ty 3 or 4 times per month. They do this on their front lawn. I guess they want every­one to see how bad­ly they live. They are a bunch of knuck­le­heads! I would not be sur­prised if they were deal­ing. Good luck with your real estate prop­er­ty! Just be care­ful.

    • I’m very, very care­ful! In the first 3 months, this is the only time he’s real­ly caused an actu­al issue (besides the one night I had to ask him to keep his rap­ping down at mid­night). He’s aware he’s on a short leash, so he’s warn­ing his bud­dies no shenani­gans when they’re over.

  7. Do you have a dog? Some­times a large breed dog can be a great deter­rent. Some bars even allow you to bring them with you depend­ing on where you live! Assum­ing the large dog does­nt have behav­ior issues (watch out for sep­a­ra­tion anx­i­ety, over­ly stranger aggres­sive, and dog-to-dog aggres­sion), it can be a great addi­tion and com­pan­ion you can walk or even bike with. (Check with your home insur­ance about breed restric­tions.) Of course, it is a long-term expense, but might pro­vide you some peace of mind. 🙂 Thank you for shar­ing the good, the bad, and the ugly. Wish­ing you lots of luck!!!

  8. My rental prop­er­ty has had very few seri­ous prob­lems like this, it’ll be our pri­ma­ry res­i­dence that needs this kind of repair work so we’re embark­ing on the same ren­o­va­tions life around the same time. I wish you could send me your awe­some con­trac­tor!

    I think it sucks that this is a bit of a rough neigh­bor­hood but that’s enough for peo­ple to label it as a Bad neigh­bor­hood. If more peo­ple were will­ing to make some effort, it wouldn’t be either of those things. But like you, I’m not liv­ing the slum­lord life either so the invest­ment that you’re mak­ing feels as much finan­cial­ly smart as it does moral­ly right. 😉
    Revanche @ A Gai Shan Life recent­ly post­ed…Just a lit­tle (link) love: drunk and Thor’s ham­mer edi­tionMy Profile

    • It seems like there’s a def­i­nite line between finan­cial­ly right and moral­ly right. What makes sense for my finances is to keep every­thing as bor­ing and plain as pos­si­ble. Moral­ly right is to fix this house up and make it look beau­ti­ful… no mat­ter who tries to destroy it. A lot of this doesn’t nec­es­sar­i­ly NEED to be done, but I want it to be done because this house deserves it! 🙂

      • I like that phi­los­o­phy. We should strive to leave the world a bet­ter, more beau­ti­ful place, even when it doesn’t make finan­cial sense.

  9. I can’t believe it’s been 3 months already, time moves so fast! Sor­ry to hear that you are hav­ing headaches. Always frus­trat­ing to find out you picked a neigh­bour­hood that could use some work. Hope­ful­ly it’s on its way up. Also, glad you’re sup­port­ing local female entre­pre­neurs (and at such a good price who wouldn’t).

    • I’m hop­ing more peo­ple real­ize the awe­some­ness of the “poten­tial” and move in. A few grand hous­es have already been restored and look amaz­ing! Got­ta hang in there though until then.

  10. I’m sor­ry you didn’t know quite what you were get­ting into. I would get a con­cealed car­ry per­mit and a small hand­gun you can car­ry in a fan­ny pack when cycling and in a pock­et hol­ster when dri­ving. A small 380 auto­mat­ic is light and easy to car­ry but very pow­er­ful if ever need­ed. Of course as an ear­li­er com­menter indi­cat­ed you need to be trained. Guys like me that grew up shoot­ing and have been on both ends of the bar­rel have no doubt of their resolve and abil­i­ty to use dead­ly force to pro­tect their loved ones and them­selves but I real­ize there are peo­ple who lack the emo­tion­al capa­bil­i­ty to defend them­selves. How­ev­er being armed is not real­ly that much pro­tec­tion if you are on a bike. If some­one tar­gets you they will just knock you over and it is unlike­ly you could crash, recov­er and pull your hand­gun in time to defend your­self, unless you land­ed pret­ty soft­ly, some­thing I’ve nev­er pulled off on a bicy­cle! But you can cer­tain­ly defend your home against inva­sion pret­ty eas­i­ly by own­ing a shot­gun or a hand­gun. If you are just going to use it for home defense I’d get a 9mm or larg­er hand­gun. Hard­er to con­ceal but much bet­ter at stop­ping an aggres­sor. But the chances of ever using a gun are for­tu­nate­ly very very slim. You have big­ger prob­lems to deal with than being a vic­tim of vio­lence in that neigh­bor­hood.

    • Yeah I’m not too wor­ried about the train­ing aspects. I’m a good shot, and the mil­i­tary taught me to keep my cool under duress. My fam­i­ly is also very pro-gun so I’m famil­iar with them and com­fort­able about using one if need be.

  11. This sounds like a chal­lenge and some­thing to sink your teeth into. Just make sure you’re care­ful and smart, which I’m sure you are.

    You know what they say, if it was easy every­one would do it. So, keep at it, and you should see the fruits of your labor return.

  12. I have 2 room­mates and some­times have to deal with this — luck­i­ly they are most­ly rea­son­able the biggest qualm I have is that they nev­er clean up after them­selves…

    I have 1 room­mate who will smoke from time to time and the house smells for a while, and he also will go out most nights and make a lot of noise when he comes home. I’ve gone back and forth on kick­ing him out, but I’m prob­a­bly going to have him go through his lease.

    Is there any­way you can kick them out through the lease agree­ment?
    Erik @ The Mas­ter­mind With­in recent­ly post­ed…Look­ing for a Wife to Reduce Tax­es!My Profile

    • Fun­ni­ly enough, he doesn’t have a lease. He’s on a month to month basis. The pre­vi­ous own­er didn’t have either of them sign a lease past the first year, just kept col­lect­ing the rent. So, the­o­ret­i­cal­ly, get­ting him out of there would be as easy as writ­ing him a let­ter telling him he has 30–45 days to move.

  13. Wow! We had prob­lem ten­ants too, but at least we didn’t live there, so we only had to hear about it! We used a “cash for keys” strat­e­gy to get them out. We strict­ly vet our ten­ants, but this cou­ple squeaked through because oth­er, bet­ter prospects took two weeks to decide they didn’t actu­al­ly want the place and we were des­per­ate to get the cash flow going again. Won’t make that mis­take again.

    Our rental isn’t in a real­ly bad neigh­bor­hood, but those are near­by. It is blue col­lar and ours is prob­a­bly the nicest house on the block. But yeah, the town has a rep­u­ta­tion, which it hasn’t not real­ly earned. Keep the house in good shape, but be care­ful, because those bills can add up quick!
    Norm recent­ly post­ed…Is Van­guard Get­ting Too Big?My Profile

    • If he was just smok­ing it, that would be one thing. But I’m fair­ly sure he’s doing more than just smok­ing, which makes me incred­i­bly uncom­fort­able. I am strong­ly con­sid­er­ing going the cash for keys route! It’s a great way to avoid hav­ing to go through the legal sys­tem.

  14. Besides liv­ing in LA and the ter­ri­ble hous­ing mar­ket that we have, not know­ing who your neigh­bors real­ly are is just anoth­er rea­son that Team Waf­fles is not on the real estate boat. You are a bet­ter per­son for putting up with this. I felt my anx­i­ety and stress lev­el rise just read­ing your post.
    Mrs.Wow recent­ly post­ed…Going For a Bike Ride- Part 3My Profile

    • Yeah my blood pres­sure is steadi­ly inch­ing high­er! Maybe I need to look into yoga or med­i­ta­tion…

  15. Well if you get a gun, I rec­om­mend get­ting some sort of train­ing. And then don’t tell the inter­webs about it 🙂 What­ev­er you choose, I am sure you’ll do fine.

    Hang in there and stay safe!!

    • Thanks Kevin. I already have a lot of train­ing through the mil­i­tary so I’m not wor­ried about that aspect. I went shoot­ing in Feb­ru­ary with an instruc­tor friend and he told me I had noth­ing to wor­ry about aim wise.

  16. Keep per­se­ver­ing, Gwen! You were smart to save addi­tion­al mon­ey beyond your down pay­ment to be able to curb some of the addi­tion­al expens­es you’ve had pop up. Our base­ment flood­ed three weeks ago, need­less to say, that was unex­pect­ed and it brought a few expens­es too. Like you, we ear­marked a bit of mon­ey for house expens­es when we bought back in Jan­u­ary that helped cov­er the costs we incurred.

    Cheers!

    • Thanks Tay­lor! I am def­i­nite­ly count­ing my bless­ings among all of this mess. Sor­ry to hear about your base­ment flood­ing! That can get pricey quick.… espe­cial­ly if you have stuff stored down there.

  17. The oth­er thing you may wish to do if your area isn’t as safe as you would like would be to sign up for mar­tial arts or box­ing class­es. I’m in Cana­da but gen­er­al­ly speak­ing our laws sur­round­ing self-defense are like­ly sim­i­lar in that using a firearm in self-defense may not always be legal­ly jus­ti­fied. It is nice to have a ‘mid­dle of the road’ option some­where in between being more or less defense­less and putting some­one in the hos­pi­tal or 6 feet under. Plus you will in all like­li­hood have the added bonus of increased fit­ness and ener­gy and meet­ing some poten­tial­ly cool new peo­ple. You may even find (as I did) that you tru­ly love it and it is a life-chang­ing expe­ri­ence.

    As for the rental, find­ing some­one good who you can trust to do good work and treat you fair­ly on the price is a god­send and will make your life as a land­lord far eas­i­er. Hope­ful­ly things with badass lady con­trac­tor work out this way! Not sure what the demo­graph­ics are in your area but I real­ly pre­fer old­er ten­ants – not near­ly as much partying/damage. You are doing great so far though, way ahead of the game com­pared to most at your age!

    • I like the idea of mar­tial arts. I have very lim­it­ed self defense train­ing from the mil­i­tary, but that real­ly only comes in handy when I have to defend my hon­or.…… not when I need to break up a fight between two fit, strong, young guys!

      Demo­graph­ics for the neigh­bor­hood vary, but most­ly err to the side of younger cou­ples and fam­i­lies. There are a few old­er peo­ple in the neigh­bor­hood.….… but even they have their kids/grandkids liv­ing with them.

  18. Sor­ry to hear of the prob­lems with the ten­ants, Gwen. Hope­ful­ly things set­tle down after the warn­ing.

    I thought the 17k bid was high, but 61k?!!! Wow! We’re get­ting ready to close on our first prop­er­ty next week (hope­ful­ly). We’ve got our work cut out for us. Right now we’re pret­ty excit­ed about it…but we’ll see how we feel about it once we’re in the trench­es.

    • And by trench­es you mean deal­ing with the left­overs of a 30 year hoard­er ten­ant. Let me know if you end up clos­ing on time and need some help clean­ing every­thing out!

  19. Yesss badass lady con­trac­tor! You’ll have to Yelp review (Angie’s list?) the crap out of her once done. I hope your crazy ten­ant and asso­ciates clean up their act so you can sleep in peace! I sec­ond the big dog rec­om­men­da­tion but want to add that the extra respon­si­bil­i­ty, lim­i­ta­tions around trav­el and cost are impor­tant con­sid­er­a­tions. Also, young dogs often need to be let out­side to pee at night which pos­es an unex­pect­ed safe­ty risk.
    Mil­len­ni­al Boss recent­ly post­ed…Fea­ture Fri­day: Pay­ing Off Stu­dent Loans with Bald ThoughtsMy Profile

    • I would love to have a big dog, but my apart­ment is bare­ly big enough for me and the cat! Def­i­nite­ly no room for a big dog. I bare­ly even have a yard 🙁

  20. Best of luck! Con­grat­u­la­tions on your intesti­nal for­ti­tude. I am sim­ply a weak­er human. Buy­ing hous­ing that cheap­ly is ALWAYS going to come with a host of prob­lems. Always. Sad­ly, poor­er areas just tend to have these kinds of issues. You can make a ton of mon­ey with poor­er ten­ants and Sec­tion 8, but it comes at a price. TAANSTAFL (to para­phrase- no such thing as a free lunch). Per­son­al­ly, it wouldn’t be worth the stress to me, espe­cial­ly as you are in a part of the coun­try that’s fair­ly depressed and unlike­ly to real­ly gen­tri­fy (no major indus­try, no major uni­ver­si­ties, no moun­tains, no oceans).

    If it’s caus­ing you teeth-grind­ing and stress, have you con­sid­ered bail­ing? This house may be more of a mon­ey pit than you real­ize. Even with the 1% rule, it may not be worth it with trashy ten­ants and major bills pil­ing up.

    • I’m not ready to bail quite yet. I think things will get sig­nif­i­cant­ly bet­ter once I fix every­thing up (or at least just deal with reg­u­lar on going main­te­nance issues as opposed to EVERYTHING NEEDS FIXED NOW) and once I don’t live here. I’m giv­ing it a year liv­ing in the unit, and 2 more years not liv­ing in the place after that. I think it will be bet­ter under a prop­er­ty man­age­ment com­pa­ny so I don’t have to deal with all the day to day stress.

  21. Glad to hear you are enjoy­ing it — well, you’re last para­graph you said home own­er­ship is going well, but the open­ing para­graphs paint a dif­fer­ent pic­ture 🙂 Def­i­nite­ly need to let those dodgy ten­ants go ASAP. Bet­ter to miss a few weeks rent than to be car­ry­ing peo­ple who are going to do expen­sive dam­age to the prop­er­ty.

    Hope­ful­ly I’m just hear­ing they’re worse than they actu­al­ly are — but if you’re call­ing the cops and deal­ing with dam­age to the prop­er­ty, kick em to the curb. Polite­ly
    Lady­FIRE recent­ly post­ed…May High­lights — Best Posts in the Blo­gos­phereMy Profile

  22. Sounds like an adven­ture, that’s for sure.

    We used to live in an “up and com­ing” neigh­bor­hood. Lots of day drink­ing going on. Check cash­ing places on every cor­ner. Some rough hous­es mixed in with nice ones. Peo­ple in the parks hav­ing a good time at 10am. But for the most part peo­ple were harm­less.

    Things changed a lot over the 7 years we lived there. Hope­ful­ly it’s the same for you!
    Owen @ PlanEasy recent­ly post­ed…First-Time Home Buy­er? Boost Your Down Pay­ment!My Profile

  23. Kind of makes me thing of that say­ing where the more things you have in your life the more stress you have. Grant­ed I feel like regard­less of the out­come you are going to learn so much from this expe­ri­ence and finan­cial­ly prof­it from it, so I admire what you are doing. Just chalk the bad stuff up to lessons learned for the future;)

    • Kin­da like your stuff owns you? I think I’ve got a decent amount of stuff (espe­cial­ly after par­ing down so harsh­ly ear­li­er this year). I just lack stor­age options for it!

  24. 30+ years ago we bought a run-down, emp­ty-for-2yrs-house in a coun­try neigh­bor­hood with a bad rep. Lots of weird fires over the years and occa­sion­al gun­shots. But the house was big and cheap and the prop­er­ty ter­rif­ic with lots of poten­tial. We’ve been fix­ing it up ever since and we love it!! The fire­bugs even­tu­al­ly moved (lost their hous­es to repo…..and fire! They were all relat­ed.) The shoot­ers are tar­get prac­tic­ing on their own prop­er­ty, and while I don’t like it, it’s legal. Over the years the neigh­bor­hood has improved dra­mat­i­cal­ly, if slow­ly, and we’re very hap­py here. Hav­ing some rag­tag neigh­bors made our place look like a mag­a­zine cov­er, and now oth­er hous­es are improv­ing.

    Gwen, you might be help­ing the neigh­bor­hood pick itself up. Your house look­ing good might inspire anoth­er to do a lit­tle some­thing, then a lit­tle more. It can hap­pen!!!

  25. Saw your com­ment on 1500days, Carl always writes enter­tain­ing con­tent. Always hap­py to see more Mil­len­ni­als wak­ing up to mon­ey man­age­ment and ear­ly retire­ment. I’m only a few years ahead of you, you’ll find sav­ings and mon­ey start to flow faster and faster as you go. Makes me think I’m on a good path.
    I haven’t gone into real estate invest­ing or becom­ing a land lord, but the thought has crossed my mind many times. I think every time I’ve looked at hous­es to rent, they always look like they need to be gut­ted to me before I can rent them out. I’ll be very curi­ous about your results. I bought a small house a few years ago in small town, for the moment just enjoy­ing the slow ride to ear­ly retire­ment, prob­a­bly as soon as 8 years away at this rate. Now that I think about it, that’s fast to most peo­ple. Think­ing about what finan­cial move I’ll make next in the mean time, like start­ing a brew­ery. I’m cur­rent­ly redo­ing my low­er lev­el of the home, doing DIY as much as pos­si­ble so I can throw as much cash as I can into invest­ments. My only advice is to remem­ber there’s usu­al­ly a quick, easy to install, and cost effec­tive way to do most home improve­ment jobs. Pex is great for plumb­ing if allowed. I try to get peo­ple with a lot of expe­ri­ence to help me so I may learn from them.
    I would get a con­ceal car­ry if you know it’s not a great area. I’m actu­al­ly plan­ning on buy­ing a hand­gun just for home defense, as I live alone on a busy high­way.

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