Whoever said owning real estate is easy either doesn’t own any real estate or they’re lying to you. Owning and managing real estate is hard work. In fact, it’s just like owning and managing a business. Although, if you bought the property right, (like I bought this house 3 years ago for, I believe, less than $40,000) your end result, when it comes time to sell, or refinance, should be a profitable one. Even with all of the problems I’m going to tell you this house had, the property still appraised for 2 and a half times more than I paid for it!
In addition to that, I managed to keep the property rented to the same person for over 3 years! You’re probably wondering, well, why is this the house from hell? Answer: It’s in an area where it’s not easy getting qualified, honest repairmen. So every time something broke on the house:
- Install new hot water heater
- Repair roof leaks
- Repair air conditioning
- Repair plumbing
- Rip out the entire floors of the house after Hurricane Michael in 2018 (due to flooding); Reinstall new floors and carpeting
- Install new concrete driveway as per city code
- Remove city lien for driveway
- And this probably isn’t even half the stuff I had to do during my 3 year ownership.
End result: I was able to to do all the work above listed over a 3 year period having to get a new repair guy for every single job because everyone was a fly-by-night trailer park, pickup truck driving unlicensed handyman. And even the good ones that did a good job, their phones were disconnected when I tried to reach them to do other work.
It wasn’t really the house that was from hell, it was the people I was getting on Craig’s List that just seemed to be from the bottom of the barrel. The lesson here is simple. I consider myself an expert at people. By just their voice alone, over the phone, I can tell if they’ve been to college, I can tell if they have money in the bank, own their own home, I’ve been doing this a long long time.
Don’t get me wrong, some of the most uneducated idiots can still perform good work. You have to be the puppeteer, as managing this house, I feel like I’ve been one. The other problem was, I was up against a time clock. I had to get this driveway in with a permit pulled from the city and inspected and cleared and okayed to get the lien removed from the house that the city put on based on the house not having a proper driveway.
This lien held up my refi and the clock was ticking. I had a loan in place where I was walking away with a big fat check, therefore, I was operating under pressure. Now it’s all done, thank God, but boy did I go through a bunch of retarded morons when it came to doing the driveway. I finally subcontracted the job out to another general contractor. How strange is that? And he did the job the right way quickly and professionally. I simply oversaw his work. Now the nightmare is over and the house from hell turned out to be a very profitable endeavor.
The way I see it: If anything can go wrong, it will. And for the last month I was busy with this one house picking up the pieces of everything that did go wrong. No way can some inexperienced, unknowledgeable person go through what I went though and not lose a ton of money. Moral of the story: It was my savvy investment vision that caused me to buy the house 3 years ago. And it was my experience and knowledge in real estate property management that made the whole deal a win-win for me.
Would I ever want to do this again? I’m doing it right now with other houses. Same story, different location.
About The Author
- Robert Louis Annenberg Is a 40 year seasoned property owner, manager, investor, builder/developer and business man who is also an author of five published books to date (Amazon.com) and the chief editor of LifeQuestJournal.com. He can be reached at: [email protected] and (201) 289-2500.
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