Well Rounded Investor

My journey of becoming financial independence by 35 years old

A Week of Landlording

Not everyday is a tough landlording day, but this week was tough. I replaced a water pump on a washer/dryer combo. I’d replace the whole unit, but even the used one is $700, that didn’t even include deliver. The part was $50. Mr.W and I spent 3 hours replacing the water pump. It included the time it took for me to fix the leak on the washer door. I did most of the work, but Mr. W stepped up and did the heavy lifting, controlled the iPad and played back the YouTube instructions. That was a whole afternoon of last Saturday.

It was a great bonding moment for us, we learnt to trust each other. The experience boosted Mr.W’s confident. Afterward, he wanted us to fix his mom’s leaky washer. I ordered the part, it’ll come next Tuesday. Ever since I’ve been landlording, I’ve replaced 4 water pumps, bearings, and heating element on dryer. It’d be routine for us. 🙂

Now, came the hard week:

It began with tenant messaged me their stove has stopped working. I stopped by to reset the circuit. It didn’t work. That was Monday.

Come Tuesday, I did some research, thinking a fuse was blown. Since they only have a stove as back up, instead of waiting for 3 days for part, I opt to buy them a brand new used stove.

After a day of agonizing wheeling and dealing. I got the stove for $145 imcludinf delivery fee. It didn’t work. There was only light on stove, all the top elements was out, the oven element was also out.

This was Wednesday, Then the tenant said the hot water heater wasn’t working. They didn’t tell me the dryer wasn’t working either. So, I went and bought heating elements and thermometers for the hot water heater. After paying my handyman for the job, It still didn’t work.

We then tested for the voltage. It didn’t have 220v, it only gave out 170v.

I called the electrical company to turn the meter off, they told me it could be their lines that was faulty. It wasn’t.

It was  Thursday, I had to get an electrician to change the box, because we weren’t able to get the 100amps breaker that would fit. I resorted to buy the same brand. It would have been easier to go with the original plan, changing out the bad circuit, I thought I’d do the right thing by changing the box. We started the project at 5, I didn’t get home until 11pm.

I had to call Mr. W at 8:45pm to ask for the 7 ft of wire size 2/0 because the box I got was a little bit small so the wire couldn’t reach to to the 125 amp. Mr. W really saved the day, because the electrician would have left if I left him to go to the store. 🙂 it turned out Lowes closed at 9pm, Mr. W had to go all he way out of town to get to a Lowes that opened until 10pm. Thank you, Mr. W.

Come today, Friday, the tenant told me the water was luke warm, it never got hot enough. After work, I had to stop by to change the thermometer setting because my guy didn’t change the back the setting to 125F.

On the way home, there was a random cone in the middle of the street that wasn’t a construction or anything. My choice was to hit it, or steer the car risking to hit the guy on the next lane. I hit the cone. Come this morning, I realized the bumper was broken. I had to use some copper wire to mend it. But it won’t be a permanent solution.

Yep, 1 whole week of landlording. Lessons learnt:

1. Trust my gut and take an easier route.

2. Do the right thing and everything will workout.

3. Trust Mr.W with some handyman skills 🙂

4. I made some contacts, now I have an electrician on my list to work on my property if something goes wrong.
It can be hectic as a landlord, you’ll have to be there if you want to run a lean business. Beside the soft skills to get tenants and keep them there to prevent turnover, you got to learn electrical, mechanical, plumbing, and other maintenance skills.

Are you handy around the house? What’s the biggest disaster you’ve gotten yourself into? 🙂

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15 comments on “A Week of Landlording

  1. Ugh, now that was a week. I am handy around the house, but I dont do appliance repair or anything in the electrical box, Sounds like you guys powered through….and overcame. Great job, but I’m sure it wasn’t fun.

    I hope this weekend is better.
    -Bryan

    Liked by 1 person

    • Vivianne
      May 21, 2016

      So far so good, thanks for the wishes. It’s raining so no soccer, I get to sleep in, enjoy my garden before I have to make a trip to return the items from lowes. Thinking of buying their stock, business is really flourishing here.

      Like

  2. humblefi
    May 22, 2016

    That is a rough week for sure…but you got some good things out of it…that will help you in future. And having Mr.W working with you was probably the cherry on the cake 🙂 I personally know couples who cannot work together on the same project….so, that is definitely a plus point!

    Replacing the box was a good move…esp since it is used 100% of the time. I am curious though…how often do these things fail? I.e. is it better to have some of the common elements that fail stocked up in your garage? If the failures are uncommon, then you do not have to worry about these for a long time now!

    Have a wonderful rest of the weekend.

    Like

    • Vivianne
      May 22, 2016

      The building was renovated in 2004, so it’s been 12 years. I think the problem was they only have 100amps box. When the originally calculated the load, there wasn’t a washer/dryer in the apartment. They went back and added the 220v dryer, which takes 40amps. When everything is running, it overhauls the 100amp breaker.

      I went ahead and upgraded to 125amp box, which is the same current as the line that dominion has send through 250-260v. So, there will be less chance for the breakers to get tripped.

      It was an exhausted week for sure. Learning to Working with Mr.W is a great experience as we haven’t lived together yet. A little obstacle can test a relationship.

      Like

  3. Team CF
    May 23, 2016

    Wow, rough week. Silver lining is that it worked out OK in the end (except for the car…). Good luck this week, hope it goes better!

    We do some work around the house, but due to a lack of time we commonly end up having to hire out the work to a professional. Sometimes it is worth the costs.

    Like

    • Vivianne
      May 24, 2016

      Yeah, a lot of time professonal will save you time. Your time is valuable. The time k spend on repairing things, I could have work extra hours at my job and would make a lot more than I’d pay for a professional doing the job.

      Occasionally, even though I had to pay a professional, but I had to go back and redo their work. Hiring contractor is also a pain, they demand 1/2 the money first, and 1/2 immediately after the work is done. If you find something wrong with it, even though they guarantee it, they would stall from coming back out to finish the job, because there is no more money to be made.

      It’s 50-50. Many of my co-workers tells me that once they find a good plumber, electrician, etc, they’d hang on to them. Very crazy, but true.

      Like

      • Team CF
        May 24, 2016

        We know a great contractor, who does not charge anything up front. His work is generally good and I’ve only found minor items that I had to correct afterwards. His only main problem is communication and planning.

        But considering we can actually trust the guy, we keep coming back to him as we think the trust and workmanship is worth the other frustrations (and he is also pretty cheap).

        It’s always a trade off with hiring professionals, I’ll give you that!

        Like

  4. Dividend Diplomats
    May 23, 2016

    Oy vey, that is definitely a rough week. It wil be challenging, but good for you for learning a lot of the repairs needed to avoid paying the cost. Imagine if you had to call someone to repair every little thing that went wrong….no way being a landlord would be profitable. At least you are setting the foundation for you to acquire the skills needed to make the most out of your experience as a landlord!

    Personally, I am not handy. And that is exactly why I do not want to be a landlord haha

    I’m sure the grass is greener and it will get better. Keep at it and keep on grinding through it all.

    Bert

    Like

    • Vivianne
      May 24, 2016

      The grass is always greener on the other side, LOL. I’m sure if you’d put your mind to it, you’ll accomplish anything. You know as they say “different strokes for different folks”, it’d be alright if you don’t want to landlording. 🙂

      I don’t like landlording either, however, it replace 100% of my take home income, allowing me to save 100% of my take home income from my work. So, the reward is high, I figure not all the weeks are like this, that’s why I consider rental property as semi-passive income. Since my nest egg is not large enough, rental property is the means for me to reach early financial independence. 🙂 I’d like a few busy weeks out of a whole year of holding an active job. 😛

      Thinking back, I had my parents to thank for preparing me for this life. They had me in a great school system (even though it was in the ‘hood). Thanks to the strong physics curriculum at my middle school, I learned about electrical and how things fit together at pretty young age.

      My neighbor had a motorcycle and bicycle shop that I used to come over and watch them fix things. It’s funny how at 10 years old, most kids like to watch TV, I’d like to watch people fix things.

      My dad wasn’t a handyman, my Mom was, she used to have a Jeep Wangler and did most of the work on the car herself. I guess I took after my Mom.

      I guess a little bit of luck, a little bit of self discipline to learn new things, a little bit of curiosity, and a little bit of good “handyman” gene making landlording not so bad.

      Like

  5. Dividendsdownunder
    May 24, 2016

    Wow. It’s stories like that, that make me glad I’m not a landlord – so much stress and work.

    We are not handy, but we rent so that doesn’t really matter. The worst thing that’s happened so far is one of our window winder-openers was so old that it broke the window when we tried to open it. It was fixed within 24h by our rental agent and all is good 🙂

    Tristan

    Liked by 1 person

    • Vivianne
      May 24, 2016

      Very nice! It’s great to have quality apartment agent. Some landlord wouldn’t even respond within 24 hours of complain not to mention how long it take for them to fix stuff. I try to respond as quickly as possible.

      I take pride in my customer service. Hence, I have pretty low tenant turnover rate :).

      Hihi, I post stories like this to help people make informed decision about landlording, but I really didn’t mean to scare you away. 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

      • Dividendsdownunder
        May 26, 2016

        Hey Vivianne, you haven’t scared me away, it is unlikely for a long time. We’ll see if we become landlords before the age of like 40/45 lol.

        Tristan

        Like

      • Vivianne
        May 26, 2016

        Bro, you must not have read my article on road to be millionaire. 🙂 if you wait to 40-50, you waste all that time from not leveraging. Gotta hustle when you’re young. 🙂

        Liked by 1 person

      • Dividendsdownunder
        May 26, 2016

        I appreciate there are many ways to reach financial goals, but at the moment we are saving for IVF. Australian property is a very different market to USA, with rental returns much lower, if the returns are more attractive in the future, we may invest – property is not off the table for us. But for now, we think the best place for our money (other than IVF) is shares.

        Tristan

        Like

  6. Investment Hunting
    May 24, 2016

    Ah, the joys of home ownership 🙂

    Like

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This entry was posted on May 21, 2016 by in Best post.

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