Monday, July 20, 2009

New window being cut, yay!

Sent from my BlackBerry device on the Rogers Wireless Network

Honesty is nice

So, on friday afternoon I get a call from R. At Sanford #1. They broke the window in the front door. The big, solid OLD oak door.

Sigh. But you know what? They could easily (it's a triplex, all tenants use the same door) have clammed up and shrugged their shoulders. Especially since they're moving out in 6 weeks! And it's not like I can just not fix it. That's not how it works.

So anyway, since it was a friday and it isn't visible from the street, I booked the guy to come out today to avoid emergency charges. He was supposed to be here at 4. Then they called and said "after 5". It's 6:20 and he's here! With the wrong piece of glas of course. Meh. I just want it fixed. Here's hoping!

Sent from my BlackBerry device on the Rogers Wireless Network

Thursday, July 9, 2009

Well, okay, great!

S. at Sanford #3, my adorable single young guy on the third floor, has found a new job! Yay him! So he called me this morning and asked to stay, with just a little help - he won't get paid until the end of the month, so can he use his last months' deposit for July and then pay me an extra $100 a month until he's caught up again?


It is much easier to "work with" a good tenant like him (he's clean, quiet, pays on time, and obviously is responsible enough to deal with a bad situation) than try to find a new one, all for the sake of a last months' rent deposit.

So, phew. I don't have to schlep the 1-bed again. They're hard to rent - lots of unsavouries come look at them because they're so cheap.

BUT. While I was there I talked to A. and R. in the 3-bed. Boo...they're leaving in September. R. got into Mohawk college and they don't have two cars - A. works up in Ancaster. So it's just more convenient for them to be nearer the school. It will be easy to rent the 3-bed, there are none of them around, so I'm not worried about that, I just loved getting their rent by email (early) every month. I never had to bug them EVER and they've kept the place nice.

After that I don't think I'll have anyone leave for awhile. I hope. We are getting dangerously close to baby time, here.

Monday, July 6, 2009

A possible interesting venture...

I mentioned in a previous post that we really need to look at expanding our own homestead...whether that means occupying the whole duplex (not ideal - I *LOVE* my upstairs tenants) or moving on to another house for ourselves. Two people in the 1-bedroom flat is fine...two people and a ton of construction tools/supplies in a 1-bed is tight...two people, construction gear, and an infant is manageable. Two adults, construction gear, and a mobile baby is going to be impossible.

The trouble, though, is that all of our financial resources are tied up in the rentals. We can ALWAYS borrow money from SOMEBODY to buy another income property...heck, they pay their own bills! But banks get squicky when we talk about buying a house that doesn't produce on top of what I guess they consider 4 risky investments. What happens when we have problems! ACK! They don't seem to consider the fact that we live WELL below our means and in an average month set aside $1500 for emergencies/savings...and when pressed can manage $2500 a month. Above and beyond our expenses. They don't care. They like that cushion exactly like that. They don't want us spending it on a house just for us.

So...what to do? Rob has come up with a pretty sweet plan, and I hope he actually goes through with it. First, consider that he works for a HOME BUILDER. Someone who, you know, builds houses and sells them to other people. Someone who is rich beyond our wildest dreams ( the really wild dreams I can imagine it). Someone who understands the complexity of home mortgages and lending.

Can you see where I am going with this?

Rob proposes that he do a deal with his boss for him to build us a house (a BRAND NEW, NO RENOVATIONS, THREE BEDROOM MODERN HOUSE! WITH TWO BATHROOMS EVEN - MAYBE *THREE*!!!) and hold the mortgage himself. Obviously there are drawbacks to this plan, but Rob loves this job and the company he works for, he doesn't mind the implication that he will be tied to the company. And we can always refinance later. But the mortgage would not have to be approved by squicky banks, we could set our own terms, and, even better, it would not draw down our lending power unless his boss felt he had to report it to the credit agencies! It would just be a big chunk of equity.

In return, his boss will have a slightly tighter hold on his star engineer, and would be making money on the loan. If we default, it's no skin off his back to cut us loose.

I hope this becomes more of a reality than a late-night discussion.

The economy finally brushes up against us

My slightly dopey but always ideal-tenant young guy has been laid off. This is Sanford #3, the attic 1-bed. It shouldn't be too hard to re-rent, at least. I feel bad for him, he's a great guy! At least he's doing the responsible thing and moving home to take care of things until he finds other work. Still - he's just finished his apprenticeship as a millwright - remember when that was guaranteed employment (and DAMN GOOD pay)?

So I'm off to get it listed and the webpage updated. Hopefully I can get it filled for August 1. He'll be out before that and the place will be spotless, he is an immaculate person. I'm giving him a break on his last month (calling this his last month and not charging him for it, even though it could backfire for me). He's been a good tenant and I don't like to kick people when they're down..

What am I dreading most about this placement? I have to climb 3 flights of stairs to show this place! Ha. This pregnant thing is starting to get in the way.

Friday, July 3, 2009

All full again - and looking?

Well, it's been quiet around here for the last couple of weeks. The settling into the new house seems to have gone off mostly smoothly - a few hitches with fuses but otherwise no problems. The kids with the baby on the way - the first floor at Spadina - are a little high maintenance but I think that they're learning.

It's the 3rd and I've gotten lazy with rent collection. Granted, the 1st was a holiday. I have 2 at Spadina, 1 at Lottridge, and 2 at Sanford. I actually have to pick UP one of the Sanford ones, but I'll do that later when I'm out and about. S. at Sanford #3 won't be back until Monday but he ALWAYS pays on the 5th or 6th and it's fine with me. The big three haven't paid yet - but they've all arranged for today/tonight. Hopefully I don't have to chase anyone. Ugh. I hate that. And then I'm done for another month! Although I was thinking that with 9 rents coming in right now, I should work out some new collection system. It's a 3-day job collecting everyone's rent.

We're still keeping our eyes peeled for another gold mine like Spadina. If we can find something at a good price with zero work required, I am up for it. We have 3.5 months before baby comes, and we could do it! I just don't want to be tapped out. It's just that after baby gets here there won't be any buying for awhile, and interest rates are ALREADY starting to climb back up. Now is buying time, and I feel worried that we're going to miss the boat a bit. Not to mention that the first purchase we make after the baby has to be for us. The 1-bedroom just ain't going to work for more than 6-10 months.

Lots of happenings on the horizon, that's for sure!