March 10th, 2014
You’ve invested in property. You have high hopes. You want your investment to do as well as it possibly can and bring in an income that will make it well worth your while.
But, you’re not psychic. You can’t make precise predictions about the housing market.
So what can you do?
Focus on what is in your control. Make sure that your property is marketable and in great condition for years to come. This mostly boils down to great property maintenance.
To understand how to get property maintenance right, you need to know what NOT to do. Here's a quick list to get your thinking kick started:
Finances can be tight, there’s no getting around that. But always leave room for quality materials in your property maintenance budget. Sacrificing on quality will maybe get you by in the short term—repeat, maybe.
For starters, you risk paying more money on a cheap fix. Picture this: a faucet breaks, so you replace it with a low-cost option and save 60 bucks. But you get what you pay for, and soon the poorly made valve in the cheap faucet stops sealing and you end up with a leak. So you need to buy yet another faucet, and in the meantime, your water bill is soaring.
The bigger picture when it comes to skimping on property maintenance costs? The appearance and longevity of your investment will suffer. Not far down the line this will mean less interested tenants (and far less interest from the type of tenants you want), possible rent decrease, a poor reputation . . . You see the slippery slope, don’t you?
Savvy property maintenance dictates that you jump on small problems immediately before they grow out of control, especially as some issues can go from minor to major in a matter of hours.
Sparking outlets? You may want to check it out right away in case of faulty wire connections, AKA: major fire hazard.
Fire and your investment property are not friends.
Even if a tenant is not too concerned about when their repair request is met, it doesn’t mean you should put it on the back burner. Tenants do not always realize the seriousness of the problems they report or what may be going on behind the scenes.
Along these lines, make sure you educate your tenants on the importance of letting you know about any damage to the property the instant they notice something’s wrong.
Be sure to stick to a regular property maintenance schedule and perform inspections of your property every 6 months. After all, it’s easier and cheaper to nip property maintenance needs in the bud than to let damage accumulate and face the ensuing nightmare later.