Archive for September, 2006

Did I interrupt a date?

Wednesday, September 20th, 2006

Remember the roach house photos last week? Well, this is the same house…we had some other guests staying in our property that were not welcome, so we “offed” them, Soprano’s style!


Remember the photo from Sept. 13th of the backyard with the “barn” shed all overgrown? Look at it now! (gave you the before picture too!)

Cool Real Estate History Lesson

Wednesday, September 13th, 2006

Earlier today I made a blog entry about my cockroach house, and in the photos I threw in a cool emblem that was embedded in the driveway. We were curious about what it meant, so Stacy did a little internet research, and it’s actually kind of a cool story…to promote all-electrical houses in the 50’s, there was an ad campaign launched by General Electric with Ronald Reagan as the spokesman, because he was host of the GE Theater at the time. From what I can figure, my house was one of the first 20,000 nationwide to be a “medallion house.” I have attached 2 links here for you to check out if you are interested, one is a photo of the ad campaign with Ronald Reagan and the other is a blog entry with the history of the LBE or Live Better Electrically and the Medallion Home program. I have also attached the photo again for you, but have now decided that I am going to clean off the paint and restore it to its original shiny metal glory. I will post another photo when it’s done! I will also use this history in my marketing when this house is ready to sell…If I thought it was a cool history lesson, maybe my buyer will appreciate it too!

Live Better Electrically


Property Taxes, Oh My!

Wednesday, September 13th, 2006

I don’t know about everyplace else, but if you live in Florida you have recently received what is called a TRIM notice that tells you what your new assessed value is for tax purposes and approximately what your new tax bill will be.  This is the time of year where investors start to re-think their long-term investment strategy!  On the 8 properties we hold (10 units, 2 of them are duplexes) our estimated tax bill is going up $6,100! (that’s over $500 per month!)  I appealed the county on a few things (it showed a shed and there wasn’t one any more, things like that) and on my 2 duplexes I pulled comps showing what the neighborhood was selling for as well as where stuff is currently listed, and I got the values adjusted down $18,000 on one and $19,000 on the other!  That should save me about $727 this year! (the property appraiser in one of the other counties I own property in hung up on me, I guess he didn’t agree with my valuation!)

Lesson:  It’s worth a shot to appeal your valuation!  If the public records show a mistake on the features of your property, definately appeal them, they should have correct information.  If you don’t agree with the value…find out from your county what the appeals process is, and do it!

Took over a new property…German Cockroaches!

Wednesday, September 13th, 2006

We just got posession of a house we bought a few weeks ago (this was the one with the $3,000 hold-back if they weren’t out in time!) and I went to look at it, since I had never seen it before. Overall it looked like a pretty basic rehab, paint/flooring/new countertop/major landscaping/de-smell (oh, I wish I could upload the smell to this page to share with you!) and as I was walking around, I opened the front door and hundreds of German Cockroaches came running out of the door jamb! So I immediately called my trusty pest control guy who came right over to start treatment, because the German kind are really hard to get rid of and it will take 3-4 treatments. While he was there, he noticed some termite damage on the room addition, but he can’t get to the outside to inspect because it is too overgrown, so he will have to check later after the yard is cleaned DSC02411.JPGGerman CockroachesDSC02417.JPG They are supposed to be starting the yard cleanup today. I attached a few photos for you: overgrown yard (notice the electric meter has been pulled), cockroaches, and the medallion that was sunk in the concrete at the carport (just thought it was neat!)

How I just made $3,000 from a clause in a contract!

Monday, September 4th, 2006

I’ve always had a pretty hard-fast rule that I would not let the seller stay in the property after closing, but earlier this year, we found a good way to let them stay (just for a few weeks to pack, not long term!) but still protect yourself.  We now use a “Post-Occupancy” addendum which basically has the title company hold some of their proceeds in escrow and if they are not out by a certain date, that money gets released to me (this only works if the seller is getting money from the sale).  So here’s the one that just happened:

We closed on a house August 15th that 2 sisters were living in.  We held back $3,000 in escrow at the title company and wrote up a lease and an agreement that if they were not out by August 31st then $100 per day would be our “rent” and would be taken out of their escrow money.  It also said that if they were not out by Sunday, September 3rd (yesterday) that the whole $3,000 would be released to me and they would be holdover tenants and we would have full powers to evict.  There was also a clause that said if the place was not cleaned out and broom swept (no junk, no furniture, no food in fridge, etc.) that the actual cleaning costs to hire someone would come out of the escrow money also. (That part I learned on a deal a few months ago…I used to just put a flat $500 if it wasn’t cleaned out, but one of my recent deals cost me $1,200 to clean out ((dumpster rental was $500 alone!)) so his $500 didn’t go very far, although it’s better than zero which is what most investors put in contracts!).

Anyways, back to the $3,000…I just drove by the property and they’re still there!!!  My partner on this deal, Pat, said he spoke with them on Friday and they knew they only had the weekend, they were almost done, and they would call him to set up a walk through.  So, looks like we just upped our profit $3,000 (less a few days holding costs and whatever it costs to get them out).

I’ll keep you posted!

Oh, by the way, one of the guys giving us a bid on the Pensacola house went by on Friday and I guess some neighborhood kids broke in and vandalized the place, I don’t know how bad yet, I guess broke some of the toilets, knocked holes in the drywall…just goes to show how a vacant house carries risks…get them rehabbed and sold asap!

And the other Pensacola house I had an offer countered on last week…we revised our offer significantly downward and I guess it has been rejected…oh well!  Tim didn’t like the numbers on that one anyway.

Keep makin’ offers!