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Author: mollyd77 Big red star, 1000 posts Old School Fool Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: of 4935  
Subject: The marital challenges of buying 1st rental Date: 1/26/2013 8:52 AM
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I have been wanting a rental property for years. I feel like this year is the time, for reasons both personal and market-wise. Husband has always listened to me talk...and talked a little...but now that I am pushing to really do this, he is starting to drag his feet.

He is astonished when I remind him that we made plans to meet with the realtor. He insisted we wait a whole month before he'd have time to scout neighborhoods together, and on the day we planned, he announced he needed to do an errand for work. He suggests we wait for a financial bequest from a relative - relative in question has no intention of dying. No money for a rental property now - he needs a new car! (We don't: his car is 5 years old, well-maintained, completely paid off and only driven approx 10 miles a day)

As I'm writing this, I'm seeing even more clearly that he is scared of this idea. I admit it will be tough and a lot of work. I've read a lot of books and taken two college courses and talked to a number of friends/acquaintances with rentals, all in order to get ready. He hasn't, which in fairness to him, is probably because he is not as interested in this.

Everyone I know that has rental properties, one spouse is more interested and the other...wasn't.

Do I just push ahead without him? (He has said we can do this, I just hate to *make* him). Try to educate him? He is the type that initially drags his feet on anything new, and then 99% of the time, embraces it happily once it's no longer new.

How did your spouse feel? Any thoughts?
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Author: tk420 Two stars, 250 posts Old School Fool Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 4707 of 4935
Subject: Re: The marital challenges of buying 1st rental Date: 1/26/2013 10:16 AM
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My spouse was hesitant at first too. I would suggest not pushing ahead without his consent. That would damage the marriage. Communication is key here, so you need to ask him straight to his face in a loving way if what he said in the past was what he meant or not. Ask him why he is dragging his feet now. Like I said our venture was a slow start, but now we have 6 rentals and this year will make that into 11.

Jesse

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Author: reallyalldone Big funky green star, 20000 posts Old School Fool Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 4708 of 4935
Subject: Re: The marital challenges of buying 1st rental Date: 1/26/2013 11:07 AM
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I am a reasonably new landlord. I've had rental properties for about 3 years with 2 added last year. I first one was a bit accidental - I was buying something that would eventually be for me but not then.

My husband was pretty much only interested in his own work so he would never have been enthusiastic. After he died, I was looking and I have a good friend who is a realtor looking for properties in an area where I jointly owned a house with my son for about 5 years. I bought a short sale condo and a short sale townhouse last year.

All of my kids are grown and my time is pretty flexible since I am otherwise self-employed. Even with everything in pretty good shape, being a landlord is a lot of work and it can't necessarily be done in normal business hours.

You have children and your husband doesn't have a job where he can leave the office, fix something and return. He may be thinking this through more than you. The other piece is how long could you have a property vacant without worrying about the finances ?(not to post, just to review yourself).

I bought the properties as investments, looking for capital gains later, not necessarily income. If you are planning on a mortgage, check the requirements to get one for a rental property because they are different.

How many hours a week could each of you spend on this ? There's another good discussion. Do you have a written financial plan with your goals ? Was this in it ?

Hope this is food for thought.

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Author: JonathanRoth Big red star, 1000 posts Old School Fool Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 4709 of 4935
Subject: Re: The marital challenges of buying 1st rental Date: 1/26/2013 12:01 PM
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so you need to ask him straight to his face in a loving way if what he said in the past was what he meant or not. Ask him why he is dragging his feet now.

Perhaps a less confronting approach. Don't address his past behavior at all, the initial key is to ensure he feels safe with talking about his fears and concerns. He knows what he is doing and doing it on purpose, whether he is conscious of the decision or not. So, here's my approach.

Remove some of the pressure by telling him you realize the two of you may not be ready to buy rentals at this time and the two of you may never buy rentals. At the same time as equals in your marriage you require a quality conversation. You are asking him to show you the respect you deserve. That is of having an open and honest conversation.

Keep the conversation focus on the property and his opinion nothing else, not your feelings, not his, right now you're making it safe for him to talk. If he gives vague generalities, "I don't like the property" ask for specifics. Recognize you may not be able to help him become comfortable buying rentals, even then the two of you jointly have to decide what to do. (Is there any chance you've been pushing rentals down his throat?)

Mutually schedule meetings with him. If he doesn't show ask why he countered scheduled something, ask if you can rely upon him, ask if you can count on his being honest with you.

Just as he needs to show you respect, you need to show him respect. That respect isn't by one party or the other having arbitrary veto power, but by open and straightforward discussion. Where the outcome is respected by both parties and the pressure to change is dropped.

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Author: KennyO Big red star, 1000 posts Old School Fool Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 4710 of 4935
Subject: Re: The marital challenges of buying 1st rental Date: 1/26/2013 2:38 PM
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Do you plan to manage the property yourself? If your husband's already reluctant, that would be a big barrier to a big investment. I'd surely be pissed if my spouse forced me into a potentially big job without my buy-in beforehand. Another barrier would be if you've not noticed that his interest along the way has been pretty low. It appears that you're the only one of the two of you saying, "We should do this."

Don't be in a hurry. If he's reluctant to buy real estate then invest in something else appropriate while you lay the groundwork. Maybe he just needs a push but maybe even a little push might push him too hard. You need to plan this together, even if the plan winds up with you doing the whole thing and he's simply along for the ride. Good Luck!

KennyO

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Author: mollyd77 Big red star, 1000 posts Old School Fool Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 4711 of 4935
Subject: Re: The marital challenges of buying 1st rental Date: 1/26/2013 3:21 PM
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Thanks for all replies. Plan was always for me to manage it, in fact that would be my (ideally part time) job. Both kids will be in school all day soon.

As you pointed out, reallyalldone, my DH is more professionally suited to kicking doors down than hanging them. In fact, I am the family handyman (was just at Lowes this AM, in fact). His only job in all this will be to meet people with me and be the more...imposing face. (Ill be scheduling, running credit checks, researching leases, fixing small things, painting, arranging repairs and remodels, etc)

As to whether I'm forcing him... Well, I don't want it to be a terrible thing in our marriage, but over the years we have pursued ALL of his professional dreams, which involved great sacrifice by the entire family. This is what I want, what I have wanted for years. It's my turn. Maybe that's b*tchy, but it's the truth. And furthermore, he has pointed out the money people have renting to the new troopers. (That is, ideally, our plan). He is just nervous about new ventures sometimes. And he realizes all the work involved in this, I'm sure. :-)

Again, thanks for the feedback, I love it!

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Author: StockGoddess Big gold star, 5000 posts Old School Fool Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 4712 of 4935
Subject: Re: The marital challenges of buying 1st rental Date: 1/27/2013 12:49 PM
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DH has no interest in helping me manage our rental but I knew that from the get go. We both have full time jobs so neither of us is going to leave work to fix a door or plumb a pipe. There are these things called handymen! Your profits might be smaller but for me I just want to break even and my profits will be long term in built equity and appreciated value. I know older woman who manages a dozen With a full time job - she keeps a list of workers and calls them and keeps working. Had mine about 8 years now. Important thing is picking good tenants who won't require lots of handholding and find good plumber, electrician and handyman...

SG. "Supporting the economy"

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Author: n8larson Big gold star, 5000 posts Old School Fool Ticker Guide Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 4713 of 4935
Subject: Re: The marital challenges of buying 1st rental Date: 1/28/2013 11:57 AM
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Here's another angle (forgive me if it's been covered, I only read the thread once): Maybe he has some fear because he's aware of how it could go wrong?

My wife and I both grew up with landlord parents (my dad/stepmom were also property managers), so it was nothing new. We became landlords by keeping a couple of houses we moved out of, and we were on the same page and the division of labor was clear and agreed--I do everything. However, a story or experience of things going very wrong, such as a tenant slipping through the screening process and wrecking the place while not paying rent, does strain things in the expectations department, and could sour one's opinion on the whole landlording endeavor. Even the best of preparation won't reduce your odds of financial calamity to zero.

This is what I want, what I have wanted for years. It's my turn. Maybe that's b*tchy, but it's the truth.

This is important to remind him about, in my opinion. I think it's easy for a man to forget stuff like this (or not recognize it at all). However, it needs to be done in the right context. Don't hit him over the head with it. Just say it when it's your turn to talk in the 'honest discussion' described upthread.

-n8

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Author: foo1bar Big gold star, 5000 posts Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 4714 of 4935
Subject: Re: The marital challenges of buying 1st rental Date: 1/28/2013 1:03 PM
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over the years we have pursued ALL of his professional dreams ... he has pointed out the money people have renting to the new troopers. (That is, ideally, our plan).

From this, I'm assuming he's a state trooper (or other law enforcement)

FWIW, if I were him, I'd be cautious about this.

This business can reflect on him professionally.
He needs to make sure that he and you follow the law or it will be headlines and bad for his department and bad for him.
For example, he probably can't run their name through the computer just because he's curious.
and when there's illegal activity, or suspicions of illegal activity, he needs to do what is legal AND what will look OK on the evening news. (Ex: if there's possibly something illegal, the two of you make sure that you don't enter the building illegally. And if there is something illegal going on, you probably can't look the other way - for example, some landlords might ignore/not inquire about TV cable hookup that looks illegal, but you probably shouldn't.)

Renting to other troopers (or other Law enforcement) is probably a good way to minimize those kinds of concerns. But it does limit your rental pool quite a bit. And if you advertise, or have someone contact you about the rental, I don't think it'd be good to say "I'm only renting to cops" - but that'd be a lot better than "I'm not renting to a lady on welfare with 3 kids" :)

A for-rent poster on the break-room bulletin board probably gets you a better class of renters. (I know it works well for teachers renting to other teachers.)

Good luck

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Author: JonathanRoth Big red star, 1000 posts Old School Fool Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 4715 of 4935
Subject: Re: The marital challenges of buying 1st rental Date: 1/28/2013 9:27 PM
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For what it's worth, in CA:

"I'm only renting to cops" - but that'd be a lot better than "I'm not renting to a lady on welfare with 3 kids" :)

Discrimination on the basis of income and on the basis of family status are both illegal. And I don't think one is more illegal than the other.

On the other hand:

A for-rent poster on the break-room bulletin board

This is perfectly fine, however, you are limiting the candidate tenants to those in a single station and their friends, which depending upon the community size, may be a problem.

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Author: mollyd77 Big red star, 1000 posts Old School Fool Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 4716 of 4935
Subject: Re: The marital challenges of buying 1st rental Date: 1/28/2013 10:03 PM
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Hi foo1bar,

Thnx for your very sensible suggestions. Fortunately, DH is *extremely* by the book, especially as regards anything with his job. He is even reluctant to take the free coffee some places offer when he's working.

It's funny, when some acquaintances hear we're looking for a rental, they say, "oh, you could go by in uniform and scare the tenants". That is the LAST thing he would do - that is not what his job is for and he takes it way too seriously to even think of something like that. And you're right, he would get in big trouble.

Thanks for suggestion re: legal entry if something is wrong at the place. Glad you reminded me of that...think in our state you have to give 24 hours notice if you want to gain entry, but need to put possible exceptions in lease (unpermitted pets).

M

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Author: foo1bar Big gold star, 5000 posts Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 4717 of 4935
Subject: Re: The marital challenges of buying 1st rental Date: 1/29/2013 11:46 AM
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Discrimination on the basis of income and on the basis of family status are both illegal.

"In the Sale and Rental of Housing: No one may take any of the following actions based on race, color, national origin, religion, sex, familial status or handicap ..."
http://portal.hud.gov/hudportal/HUD?src=/program_offices/fai...

No mention of job or income in that.

So, I'd say discriminating based on familial status IS illegal.
But I don't know of a law that says you can't limit your rental to just people in <job category>. (I believe there is a complex that just rents to teachers near me, or at least that was their plan)

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Author: KennyO Big red star, 1000 posts Old School Fool Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 4718 of 4935
Subject: Re: The marital challenges of buying 1st rental Date: 1/29/2013 1:31 PM
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Of course, if you do select tenants, in part, by occupation, eventually there will be a lawyer with time on his hands and a glint in his eye who will find a way to couch it in terms that make it look like you're discriminating against his clientele; a clientele eager to move into a place where they're misfit and unwelcome.

KennyO
who's just renewed his cynic's card

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Author: JonathanRoth Big red star, 1000 posts Old School Fool Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 4719 of 4935
Subject: Re: The marital challenges of buying 1st rental Date: 1/29/2013 8:23 PM
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No mention of job or income in that.

You're quoting federal law (HUD) where my comments were about CA state law.

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Author: foo1bar Big gold star, 5000 posts Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 4720 of 4935
Subject: Re: The marital challenges of buying 1st rental Date: 1/29/2013 8:23 PM
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Of course, if you do select tenants, in part, by occupation, eventually there will be a lawyer ...
I agree - which is why I say don't do it. :)

After re-reading Jonathan Roth's post, I see he was referring specifically to California.
(And they do have a law against discriminating based on "source of income")

So if you're in CA, both would be illegal discrimination - one illegal under state law, the other illegal under state & fed law.

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Author: Retrograde Big red star, 1000 posts Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 4721 of 4935
Subject: Re: The marital challenges of buying 1st rental Date: 1/29/2013 8:32 PM
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Discrimination on the basis of income and on the basis of family status are both illegal.

I agree with family status not being a factor for discrimination but I'm certain you can set income limits for screening tenants. I have frequently seen "must have monthly income of at least 3x the rent" stated in ads. Perhaps you meant that you couldn't discriminate based on the source of the income? As in the case where it comes from welfare or maybe child support.

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Author: JonathanRoth Big red star, 1000 posts Old School Fool Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 4722 of 4935
Subject: Re: The marital challenges of buying 1st rental Date: 1/29/2013 11:28 PM
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Perhaps you meant that you couldn't discriminate based on the source of the income?

Yes, thank you for the clarification.

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Author: culcha Big gold star, 5000 posts Old School Fool CAPS All Star Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 4746 of 4935
Subject: Re: The marital challenges of buying 1st rental Date: 3/12/2013 6:14 PM
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Everyone I know that has rental properties, one spouse is more interested and the other...wasn't.

Do I just push ahead without him? (He has said we can do this, I just hate to *make* him). Try to educate him? He is the type that initially drags his feet on anything new, and then 99% of the time, embraces it happily once it's no longer new.

How did your spouse feel? Any thoughts?


I'm the spouse who isn't into rentals at all. I just do the taxes. I don't meet with prospective tenants or fix stuff on the property, I don't even look at the houses she wants to buy. I just do the taxes. We have 10 properties now. I've seen some of them, but not all of them.

In our case she was the one who wanted to do it; the kids were grown, and why not? I didn't drag my feet; I just let her do it. (What am I going to do -- forbid her?)

Now I invest in stocks. But she never does. She buys and rents houses. I have nothing to do with it.

In your case, I'm not clear why you can't just go ahead and do it. As you say, you've studied the stuff, you know what you're doing. Why does he even have to be involved? Not sure I get it. Let him save and invest money in the way(s) that he is comfortable. You can save and invest money in the way(s) that you are comfortable.

You could encourage him to invest in the way(s) that he is comfortable. But I don't see why he has to get involved with the real estate if he's really not interested.

culcha

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Author: mollyd77 Big red star, 1000 posts Old School Fool Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 4758 of 4935
Subject: Re: The marital challenges of buying 1st rental Date: 4/29/2013 2:35 PM
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Thanks for a great post, culcha.

****no judging in this, just saying**** husband needs to be on board because that's how we make financial decisions. It's not his account or my account, it's all our money together. I know people do things differently, that's just how we do.

Glad to hear it doesn't stress you out, and congrats on having 10. Wow!

M

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