Tuesday, February 21, 2017

One of the perils of being a landlord

Pair killed landlord, lived with her body 2 weeks.
Click here for the full story. 

Monday, February 6, 2017

Hearing from the locals ...

Stopping by a small barbershop in Havana gave me a chance to hear from the locals about the economic issues they face and what they think of our new president. 

Friday, December 9, 2016

Writer's Digest book review ...

I entered What You Must Know BEFORE Becoming a Greedy Landlord in the 24th Annual Writer’s Digest Self-Published Book Awards contest.

Here is Judge #87’s Commentary:

The writer’s tone and amusing (though often, if you think about it carefully, very depressing) anecdotes make this book fun to read, even for a reader who has no interest in owning rental properties. 

My favorite parts of the book are the pieces of practical advice I wouldn’t have thought of myself (such as driving by a potential rental property at night and not buying property more than 10 miles away from where you live yourself), along with the stories of terrible tenants and common mistakes.

I’m wondering how many renters really like the idea of the landlord visiting monthly to replace the air-conditioning filters, and whether this is really a common practice among landlords.

The writer is very frank throughout most of the book; a place where I would suggest more frankness is on just what the potential landlord should have going for him or her before getting into the business.  How much cash money does the potential landlord really need?  How much in the way of skills? 

For example, the writer says he was able to repaint a whole house in two-and-a-half days and then re-carpet it in just a few more.  This suggests a great deal of skill on his part.  

Is it worth it for a new landlord to get into the business at all if he or she is not prepared to do those things?

Click here to get your copy. 

Monday, September 12, 2016

65% of UK landlords live close to investment

In What You Must Know BEFORE Becoming a Greedy Landlord, I gave readers the 6 important rules I’ve learned when looking for something to buy.

My #1 rule: Stay within 10 miles of your home.

And a new survey found that 65% of landlords from across the pond agree with me!

Click here to read more of the survey’s results.   

Tuesday, September 6, 2016

Repair vs. Improvement

A reader sent the following question …

Dear Sir:

I just finished reading What You Must Know BEFORE Becoming a Greedy Landlord, which is an excellent resource for potential and current landlords. 

My question concerns repairs versus improvements. 

If a repair cannot be made and an item must be replaced for safety reasons, does that still count as an improvement?

The item in question is a set of concrete steps that have broken away from the foundation and cannot be repaired. The steps are dangerous and need to be replaced before we can rent the house out.

Thank you!



My answer:

Hi John,

With the tax code, much depends on how you interpret it.

Here’s what it says regarding repairs:

“You can deduct the cost of repairs that you make to your rental property. A repair keeps your property in good operating condition and does not materially add value to the property. Examples are painting, fixing leaks and replacing broken doors or other parts of the rental property.

So if I were you, I’d classify your new steps as a repair and deduct the full cost.

Good luck!


Monday, August 15, 2016

Seniors fuming over massive price hikes

Seniors say they feel ‘scammed’ by MetLife and Unum. To learn why, click here

Friday, August 12, 2016

Photo tips to get your property rented … FAST!

Putting photos in your ads can boost the odds of renting your property. In fact, a study found that listings with 11 to 15 photos get 70% more clicks than those with none at all.

But if you make these six mistakes, your photos could actually take away from your rental’s appeal.