Wednesday, October 29, 2008

Today is the day

And next time I think I'm going to demand a shorter closing. Sixty days is a pain in the ass - way too long. We could have wrapped this up a month ago! Ah well.

But I'm getting my keys in about two hours, and I have 7 appointments scheduled tonight to view the upstairs 1-bed. I hope I rent it quickly and can concentrate on the ground floor. It's going to be an interesting item to rent. I listed it at $950 just to see what happens and I haven't gotten any serious bites. We shall see. It currently looks like crap, so that might be why! I think I'm going to have to come down in price though. I wrote a really nice intro letter to the existing inherited tenant, and included a little questionairre about her needs/wants, hoping that she'd send it back to me (even included a self-addressed stamped envelope). I threw in one of my magnets! Yep, I made magnets with my cell # and name on them for my tenants' fridge. I am awesome. Ha.

She didn't send it back so now my seriously shy self has to call her up and remind her to pay me, a complete stranger, on Saturday. I hope things go smoothly. At least the old owners were fairly young as well, so she won't be thinking I'm some punk kid.

Next planning stage is the party next weekend! WOOT!

Sunday, October 26, 2008

Closer yet and tenant drama

Well, only a few more days to go! We had the inspection yesterday and I'm not worried about anything. Fortunately (or unfortunately) the furnace is still working. Everything looks good to get the third floor rented ASAP. The first floor needs work, of course, but shouldn't be a problem. I can't wait to start messing around in the basement.

Speaking of basements, we've ripped out part of the drywall at Lottridge and the water is definitely seeping, not actively leaking. That's good. Hopefully new downspouts take care of that problem.

And my choice tenants for Lottridge #2 flaked out again! So I still haven't seen any of their money. Apparently they couldn't find their phone, which was turned off, so I couldn't leave a message. Last time they had car trouble. The time before that they had lost the phone CHARGER so it was dead and I couldn't leave a message. They still want the place but I'm worried what it's going to be like every month! This time they even knew where we were going to be -working at the house. If they were really serious, they would have come over.I've called back the other lady and I think she still wants it. Here's hoping. But apparently the young kids still want it too...sigh. I'm going to have to pull out the Rob factor on this one - he has had enough chasing around.

Monday, October 20, 2008

Nine days to go and I seriously almost forgot about it

In nine days I will own three houses and 9 rental units, including my own unit that I live in. In eight days I have to pay for one of them!

Everything is almost wrapped up. I just need to get the insurance paperwork done and my agent is seriously sllllooowww. But he gets us good deals so I'll just have to ride his ass this week. We've got insurance arranged for about $1500 per year, we just haven't finalized it and paid for the policy yet. He's always like this - he says "We have tons of time" and at the end of the whole thing, he's the last one to get his paperwork in. Ah well.

My lawyer is just waiting for that (the insurance) and the transfer of deed from the other lawyer. My mortgage company seems to be happy with everything they have (mounds of paper that I'll bet they aren't even reading). But up until today I didn't really think of the fact that I AM BUYING A THIRD HOUSE. That is slightly crazy. The first duplex, lots of people said "Oh, good idea, tenants can pay your mortgage!" and lots of people said "Oh, it's so stressful and tenants will eat your life." But it still wasn't that big of a deal. With the second house, it was sort of do or die and we were about to learn what investing was REALLY like. Owning a house you don't live in and monitor was a bit scary. Tenant management has never been a problem for me, and as much as I have high turnover I think it's because I pick good people who move on in life (better jobs = better and bigger apartments and/or buying their own place). This buying a third thing really sort of cements where we are going in life, y'know? We can't just decide to back out now. They aren't easy to sell and you can't ignore them and let them run themselves, either. I am a landlord now for good, pretty much.

And I'm pretty damned excited about it. Already want to buy number 4.

Wednesday, October 15, 2008

I am an awesome landlord

Haha - I wish! Anyway, I got two very very good applicants for the apartment on Friday night.

Oooh, first an aside story to let you know how absolutely fucking frustrating this business can be. I set appointments up maximum two days before showing because otherwise people find something and cancel on me. At 2pm Friday afternoon I made an appointment with "Missy". She really wanted to come see it but worked until 6 so made an appointment for 7:15. It would have been my last appointment of the day. At 6:15 "Trish" called me and booked for 7:30. I figured I might as well just stay there (my 6:45 showed up at 6:30, my 6:30 didn't show up at all, so I had to wait around for an hour).

Anyway, "Missy" never showed up at 7:15 and Trish never showed up at 7:30! Gah! They had talked to me mere HOURS before! No calls to cancel or re-schedule, just no-shows. Then, to top it all off, Missy emailed me YESTERDAY (Tuesday) to say that she'd had to work late on Friday and could she please come see the apartment today? DKFakhIHJFKDSJ$@&*(@&(#*~! Phew. I feel better now.

Anyway. The tenants. Two very good applicants - one a young (27) recently engaged couple, both working at decent jobs, seem very with it and intelligent, getting married next September and saving their money accordingly. I would place good money on a bet that they buy and move before a year is up. They say 2 years - we shall see. The second a mid-40s woman and her boyfriend, moving from Owen Sound. No job lined up yet, but will be easy to get one since she's a cleaning lady, and a sizeable amount in the bank from proceeds of home sale after a divorce last year. Her daughter's fiance is dying of leukemia here in Hamilton and she wants to be nearer, and along with that, farther from her ex (not the daughter's father). She'll probably be here for awhile, but the no job right now thing is sticky.We decided to go with the kids. It was a tough decision and I really got a good feeling from the mom. So I went on a hunch and offered her the 1-bed 3rd floor at the new house (yes, the one I don't even own yet). She may only be there for a few months but it gets me through the winter and I can concentrate solely on getting the 3-bed fixed, painted, and rented before Christmas. It's quite a bit smaller than the Lottridge 1-bed but she accepted! On photos! She just wants to get down here and take care of her daughter. I am guessing that when the fiance dies she'll move out, but it'll be spring by then (she's moving in Dec. 1).

Anyway, everyone is happy and I am totally awesome. Edited to add - everyone is happy and I am totally awesome except I really do feel bad about the leukemia-dying fiance. I am not a total asshole. ;)

And I also just realized that the mom is a CLEANING LADY. The very thing I have been trying to hire to no avail. Hmmmm...

Oh, and, on a lesser note

Our roof is going to cost $14,000. Haha - isn't that funny?

Friday, October 10, 2008

Showings - here's hoping

I sure hope I get everything wrapped up tonight. I've got four people coming, one of whom thinks she's going to rent it for sure because it SOUNDS AWESOME!!!! ha. Hopefully she hasn't dreamt up the Taj Mahal here - it is only a $680 per month apartment. Either way, it'd be nice to get this over with so I can move onto the other units at the end of the month.

Wednesday, October 8, 2008

This is getting a bit ridiculous

Ha! My great always pays never bothers me tenant got a new job. In London. Sooo...she gave me notice for December 1. YIPPEE freaking woo.

But hey, she gave me mostly proper notice (I am NOT a dick and won't begrudge her 8 days late on a 60-day notice). And I already have 3 people coming to see it Friday night, one of whom is super anxious and thinks she will love it. Here's hoping. The tenant is really neat and is planning on being out before the end of November so hopefully turnover will be a breeze.

The website has 4 of 7 units vacant. Isn't that great? Especially when I'm supposed to be coming up with several thousand dollars for a down payment and closing costs in three weeks. Fun. Hopefully one of the prospects turns out and I'll have a bonus first and last in the next week or so. 2 of the 7 units are in the new house so they don't really count, and the fourth is the basement which I have to fix up. So not as bad as it seems.

The mortgage market and why Canadians shouldn't panic

I have a GREAT article by CAAMP (Canadian Association of Accredited Mortgage Providers) that details why the Canadian mortgage and housing market is in good shape. Not as strong as it was, but that's like saying I'm not quite as strong as Atlas. The past five years have been a boom like none other. Obviously CAAMP is partisan - they want you to buy mortgages! But they are also not going to blow smoke up your ass.

Here's the article: