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Well, the spring fever got me and I made an offer on a cute little brick rancher. Circa 1972. Problem is that the roof is not in great shape - rotted decking on one part, extensive hail damage and just plain old. There are probably a dozen other minor issues, but this is the big one.

I've asked the buyer to see if their insurance company will replace it, due to the hail damage. Also called a roofer to get a quote. If Insurance won't replace it, I'll see if they're willing to split the cost of a new roof as part of the offer (reduce the purchase price by 1/2 the cost of the roof). Now that they know about it they'd have to disclose it to future buyers anyway.

Waiting on the roofer and insurance adjuster. Fingers crossed.

SG

In Spring
A young girls' fancy
Turns towards thought of l...

Real estate.
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I've asked the buyer


I've asked the seller. I'm the buyer.
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I've asked the buyer to see if their insurance company will replace it, due to the hail damage.

Just beware that by even asking about the possibility of a claim, the property is getting an insurance claim mark added to the history tracked in the CLUE (Comprehensive Loss Underwriting Exchange) database. Too many marks by either you (as the buyer) or on the property you are potentially buying can make the property uninsurable, or kick up your rates significantly.

Here's an article on insurance reporting and how it can impact purchases of property: http://www.insure.com/home-insurance/past-claims.html In the article, it provides a link to get a CLUE report.

AJ
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So - I got the house. The seller just wanted to close and get a check so we agreed to forget about the roof for a price reduction of $5K to cover the roof and any other repairs.

Met a roofer. He said he can patch it, make it last another 4-5 years for $1K, or completely replace it for $8K. I could patch it and pull in rents for a few years. I've got about $13K in my fix-it fund, though. Roof is about 15 years old. We're in a hail and tornado prone area.

Patch and wait, or go whole-hog?

SG
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Patch and wait for the next hail storm
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Ditto on the patch and wait for hail.

Also, on a pro-rated basis, if $8k gets you an aversge 20 year roof, that's $400/yr annual cost.

If you get only a measly 2.5 years out of the $1k patch, you break even. Anything after that is gravy.

Plus it will give you more cash on hand for the other uknown renos that have a tendency to rear their heads on a new purchase and rental prep.

The patch reserves more of your $13k savings for those.

Laura
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Patch and wait, or go whole-hog?

I'd patch and wait too.

However, what would happen if you patch, big storm comes through, water damage, and insurance wants to claim you were delinquent in fixing the roof? You've already gotten $5k off, so you could think of it as only spending $3k more. Food for thought.

JLC
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I took y'all's advice and patched the roof. I think it was the right decision.

Working on plumbing and electrical and paint now. Had a wallpapered dining room and bathroom that I've spent the last 2 weekends scraping. My handyman said he didn't know how to do wallpaper, now I'm thinking he lied because it's miserable work, but I don't blame him.

Good news is I've lost about 2 lbs scraping wallpaper and feel every muscle in my arms, back, and legs. It's a pretty good workout. The bathroom had two layers. One down, one to go. My body isn't used to manual labor after 30 years at a keyboard.

My realtor said she has some clients who just buy and rent without doing ANY cleaning, painting, or fixing. I like to get ahead of everything and have it all fixed and painted before the first tenant, less to do down the road. I feel a sense of pride in my houses that I want them nice when people move in. Also I've found things while cleaning - like one of my bathrooms had an ungrounded outlet in the medicine chest and NO OTHER OUTLET in the bathroom. Even the home inspector missed that. So - getting it fixed next week. Safety hazard! I'll probably have $5K into fixing and painting by the time I'm all done but it'll be good for years to come and rents will make that up pretty quick. I also managed to buy it at about $10K below market, so I'm not upside down.

Meeting the window guy at 12 to have a couple of old single-pane wood and glass windows circa 1970's replaced with vinyl clad. Can't afford to do the whole house, so just starting with the 3 worst ones.

Feeling achy but having fun.

Next: Mop the garage with diluted bleach to make it less smelly (some musty/smoky smell).

SG "Supporting the US economy"
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House is in mid renovation and realtor wants to show it to an out of town couple. Told her the floor is covered in tools and paint cans and door knobs ....but she begged she didn't have anything else with the 2 car garage they wanted.

What is the feeling here on pets? Have had one good and one bad experience with dogs, though the bad was an unauthorized puppy.....the good was an old dog who slept all day.
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Next: Mop the garage with diluted bleach to make it less smelly (some musty/smoky smell).


If a simple cleaning doesn't do the trick (smells come back after initial bleach "coverup" odor dissipates, consider if any areas might need painting with Kilz stain/odor-blocking primer. Paints and surfaces can absorb bad smells.

Case in point - when an unauthorized unneutered male cat sprayed all over carpet, baseboards and first 2' of drywall, we had to reno. Didn't want to redo drywall in full unit! Carpet was due for reno, so we ripped it and pad out. But the subfloor (concrete slab-on-grade) had absorbed urine too. The stench was overwhelming. You literally felt you needed a gas mask to breath in there. You could smell it outside the closed front door!

So I did 2 treatments with Simple Solutions urine neutralizer and 2 coats of Kilz odor-blocking primer before reinstalling carpet. Did the same to the walls (cleaned with SS, painted wiyh Kilz Primer) before repainting. I didn't want any odors to reactivate or permeate on damp days.

Never had any odor problems after that.

For simpler odor problems, cleaning with vinegar can help too.

Laura
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What is the feeling here on pets? Have had one good and one bad experience with dogs, though the bad was an unauthorized puppy.....the good was an old dog who slept all day.

I don't do them any more. Had some good ones, but more mediocre and one bad. Bad was $5k in damages, mediocre included damaged Levelor mini-blinds (dog peering out window/chewing/pawing blinds), some urination on basement floor (despite that cat was litter box trained), carpets wearing out sooner/more stained, more cleaning/odor removal on flips, chewed/scratched door frames/doors, extended vacant times between flips because if extra cleaning, poop in the yard or on the condo grounds (but it's never from "their" pet), time spent rectifying poop issue/fees with Board (yes, I charge back tenant, but still a waste of my time). I'm sure there's more I've forgotten.

You have a house and yard, so digging, free-roaming and nuisance issues are a possibility. For sure a tenant should have renters insurance. I require all of mine to have it. But you'd want to look into any requirements you might want for them to have pet liability insurance coverage, so your liability doesn't take a hit. I haven't researched that.

The choice does depends on your market area, and property, as well. I can still pull in good prospects without pets. At worst, I might run an extra month vacant each time I flip tenants. Since I don't flip yearly (generally multi-year stays), if I pro-rate potential/actual damage costs/cleaning inconvenience against some lost revenue, I find lost revenue as the lesser wallet hit and less frustration from destroyed proper and my lost time. This includes the extra time I have to spend to "vet" pet-owning prospects and background-check their pet.

If I did, it would only be with additional "pet rent". I already max out security deposit at 2 months (state limit), so can't add "pet security deposit" to it. But our state allows "pet rent". Usual seems to be $50 per animal per my realtor. I don't think our state has defined limits per second on what would be usury, but might possibly take the total effect into consideration, especially in towna that have a Rent Commission. That's an educated guess afa rent limits. Haven't researched extensively how pets might affect the max rent mix, if at all.

Also, I would not do a pet without meeting them. Is the animal calm, quiet, trained? If it's barking and jumping all over me, that doesn't bode well for long-term behavioral issues. Does the owner appear to know the basics of good dog training (if a dog)? Does owner have proof of all shots up to date? Letter of recommendation from vet and/or trainer? How old? I love animals (and have them) but old ones can more susceptible to bladder/kidney/urination problems. And puppies can have house training problems.

Absolutely no un-neutered/spayed animals. Less worries about innapropriate territory urine marking, less prone to fighting or having (suprise!) puppies that need a home.

I'd choose someone with a female over a male. Males lift legs/spray more easily. At least females squat and you only have floor, not wall, damage.

Recommendations from past landlords. Preferably not the current one (wants to see pet gone). What is their plan for their animal during the time they work? Free roaming of house, crating, tie it outside? What do they do with their pet during vacations/weekend trips? Who is their emergency caretaker?

Fill out a pet lease addendum. Clearly outline their duties, responsibilities, requirements. Cleanup, noise, nuisance issues, etc.

Ask why they want/have a pet. "Guard dog" might mean something chained in the yard all day. Or yapping up a storm at home. What activities do they do with it? Engaged owners are better owners.

At our condo, one of the building occupants (not my unit), has a gawd-awful yappy Pekingese. Barks its damn head off whenever anybody walks by. I feel sorry for residence near that unit. Growl too, and I bet a high-risk to be a nipper.

Good luck whichever way you go.

Laura
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Spell checker on my phone s*cks apparently. That's what I get for not previewing. Hopefully you can figure out the reply accordingly :)

Laura
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What is the feeling here on pets?

I don't allow pets at my vacation condo. Love pets, stay at places that allow dogs when I travel, while I trust/know my pets, I don't trust/know others.

JLC
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I allow pets in my rental. Guy has a golden retriever. It's an older dog, well-trained and the tenant works at home, so no problems. I'd allow in the future--they do pay a big, non-refundable deposit.

I think the fact I allow his dog is one reason tenant has stayed so long.
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they do pay a big, non-refundable deposit.

MEK - how does that work in your state? They have no restrictions of any kind on pet deposits, and/or security deposits?

Problem for us is our state restricts the landlord's ability to charge separate pet deposits. And definitely not non-refundable. The maximum security deposit is 2x rent (1x rent if 62 or older). Calling it "pet deposit" doesn't allow us to bypass that. The state says the total of all held, non-rent funds, refundable or otherwise, can't be more than 2x rent.

That standard deposit covers risks of potential "normal" damages with non-pet tenants. If I had to fully replace carpeting/flooring from a pet's urine damage, that replacement would not be covered in full by the 2x rent deposit, never mind any other unit damages that may have occurred. It's one of the reasons we finally opted out of pets after our last, big, hit. Didn't help that she skipped town too.

We do have a monthly pet rent fee as an option, but that provides just a thin cushion vs potential for damage.

YMMV :)


Laura
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I guess it's not technically a pet deposit, it's just advance pet rent, I suppose, or a "pet fee." "Deposit" seems to suggest it's refundable, but it's not.

Texas is pretty owner-friendly--I don't think there are a lot of limits on things like that. The regular deposit is held aside, and can only be used for certain things, but the pet fee is pretty wide open. (I use a management company).

On mine, I have the $300 pet fee, and a $300 damage deposit. That will go up next time around for a new tenant if current tenant doesn't renew.
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For SG, this is a decent explanation of pet fee, pet deposit, pet rent, etc. In some states, assigning a pet fee or pet deposit can limit your right to apply the security deposit towards any costs of pet damage, so one must research applicable state regs before deciding how best to proceed when accepting pets:

https://www.landlordology.com/pet-deposits-pet-fees-and-pet-...

Laura
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I guess it's not technically a pet deposit, it's just advance pet rent, I suppose, or a "pet fee." "Deposit" seems to suggest it's refundable, but it's not.

In some states the terminology makes a significant difference in a written lease and can be the difference between what's lawful and what isn't), even if the cost is the same.

Some places don't allow *advance* rent - it has to be in monthly installments if it's called rent, but a one-time fee is OK. And yes, if it's non-refundable, I'd stay far away from from use of the word "deposit". Fee usually works better. :)

Laura
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