You may have found and purchased a Detroit investment rental property in a neighboring city that initially seems great–low property cost, high rent, great tenants, and only some minor maintenance that needs to be done. The drive is only about 45 minutes each way, and you only plan to visit about once per month. Everything looks great, so what could possibly go wrong?
To begin with, tenants do not stay forever. Indeed, the average tenant for a single-family residence will last a year and a half. People purchase their own homes, move for job opportunities, and other life events can result in a tenant turnover. Once your tenant leaves, you will need to get the property cleaned and prepared for the next tenants. You can hire professionals to do this work, but at the very least you will need to drive to your rental property to do an evaluation of what needs to be done, and then a return trip to ensure that your vendors did the work as expected. If your vendors have missed a few small things, then this may require additional trips on your part.
Once your property is ready, you will need to advertise your property. Did you remember to take pictures when you inspected your vendors’ work? If not, then you will need to do another trip. Also, for each showing, you will need to make a trip. On average it takes 7 to 15 showings to find a quality and qualified applicant. You could try to schedule multiple showings for the same day(s), but often what works for your schedule does not work for applicants’ schedule, and so you should plan on several trips.
Once you have found a solid tenant, you will need to make an additional trip for the move-in process. However, tenants often have a number of follow up requests soon after moving in, whether it be a question on how to operate the dishwasher to small maintenance requests, and so you will need to plan a handful of trips within the first few weeks after move-in.
Okay, you now have a great new tenant who pays the rent on time. Everything goes smoothly for a few months, but then the toilet overflows. Your tenant must be at work and is unable to meet the plumber, and so there is another trip for you. No problems for a few more weeks, but then your tenant has an altercation with a neighbor over the weekend, and there goes your Sunday. Everything goes smoothly for the next few weeks, but then a fuse blows, but your tenant cannot find the fuse box, shutting off the heater in the middle of the winter…and you get a call at 3 am.
Although that 45-minute drive seemed so easy when you first purchased the property, it’s now a drain on not only your time but also the cost of gas, as well as wear and tear on your vehicle. How much is your time worth? That 45-minute drive each way for all the various aspects that you will need to take care of will add up.
Purchasing a property in a neighboring city can be a great investment with the low purchase price, high rent, and solid tenants that you had initially anticipated. However, the time and cost of the day-to-day duties can turn that dream investment into a nightmare.
The professionals at Real Property Management Metro Detroit can assist. We will show your investment property to prospective tenants, screen applicants and handle the move-in, deal with tenant emergencies and 3 am phone calls, and attend to maintenance issues. Additionally, we continually attend training in tenant-landlord laws, such as fair housing and evictions, plus are licensed and insured to manage your property successfully in compliance with regulations and statutes.