Tuesday, July 3, 2007

Lord Of The Slum

There are some new money-making schemes floating about the Mansion. HH wants to buy some rental property. Of course, HH was the one who wanted to get out of the rental business five years ago. We used to have a duplex in town. Unfortunately, I let HH chose the renters for one side, and he chose the man and wife with three kids and no job. That ended badly. I had been lobbying for the college girl whose mom and dad said they would help her.

On the way home tonight, HH got a call from some woman who has four rental houses and is trying to sell two. Because that's the way we do things around this Mansion. Not by going through a real estate agent to buy property, but by cold calls from strangers. According to HH, the guy at our savings & loan who we used for the loan on the Mansion and our other rental property and the LandStealer land gave this woman HH's number. I suppose she has financed her properties through their office, and now wants to sell. HH has gotten tips like this before, but always from the loan guy, not the third party. This gal says she wants to get out of the rental business. She has four houses. Two are rented through HUD, and she gets paid through HUD, and doesn't have to do much of anything but collect the money. Supposedly, she is a single mother and doesn't want to put so much time into being a landlord. But she only told HH about the two nonHUD houses. One is a four-bedroom that brings in $575/month, and she wants $49,900 for it. It has been rented to the same tenant for three years. The other is a two-bedroom that brings in $400/month, and she wants $39,000. It has been rented to the same tenant for two years.

We drove by to look at the houses. They do not look nearly so rough as that one HH wanted to buy a few months ago. These had no sign of that deadly black mold that the other one had growing all over the drywall. These did not need new roofs. These were actually rented. These were in good neighborhoods. In fact, the two-bedroom was only about five houses down from our old house in town. Both houses had good siding, strait lines with no sagging or swaying, and the yards were mowed. And there were not 4-5 cars parked out front. And, unlike the next-to-last rental houses HH looked at, they were not rented to Mexican greenhouse workers. Not that there's anything wrong with Mexican greenhouse workers, but the last guy that was selling had one house to house the Mexican women, and one house to house the Mexican men. They all work at a local greenhouse. We used to see them walking the two miles to work, carrying their lunches in Wal*Mart bags. And Wal*Mart is NOT on the way. That's when the #2 son had to be dropped off at daycare every morning. I'm sure they're not the exact same workers, but you know what I mean. I wouldn't want to be in trouble for housing illegal aliens or anything.

I am kind of neutral on the buying-of-rental subject. It sounds good, because there are already renters in place. I assume they are paying the rent, or they would not have been in one place so long. That is one of my main questions, along with whether the utilities are the responsibility of the renters. And what the insides of the houses look like. It's not like we haven't been in the rental business before. The rent pays the payment, with enough left over for repairs. And it's good for the taxes.

We'll see what develops. Tomorrow, I'll tell you about HH's other scheme.


Mean Teacher said...

The only way I would want rental property is if A) I had long term tenants with a history of paying on time every month, B) I had a man around who had the skill and the time to fix things as soon as they break, and C) I had a lawyer who could send a dirty letter and/or help me with eviction/lawsuits if such things ever became necessary.

When I was leaving Hattiesburg to go spend a summer in my mom's basement, my landlord begged me not to move out because I paid on time every month. He offered to lower the rent and everything. He and his wife are in real estate and have lots of rentals. Having a tenant who didn't have to be threatened was like a novelty to them. Dealing with people who can't or won't pay on time has got to be a pain, cause then it jacks up YOUR money.

Aren't I supportive?

Hillbilly Mom said...

That's why I thought it sounded good that both places had been rented by the same people for over two years. And HH is a wizard at fixing things, even though it's not the way most people would fix them.

Deadbeats were the problem with our duplex. One side kept the same tenant, and she paid regularly. That was enough to make the loan payment. The other side HH rented to the unemployed family. I think they paid first and last month's rent to move in, and then never paid again. I kept harping at HH to file to get them out, and he said, "But they have a baby." 'So call DFS,' was my opinion. Because they had that baby, I'm sure they would have had other options. The government takes really good care of poor babies. They were living SOMEWHERE before we rented to them. And I used to run into them at The Devil's Playground, so they were getting money somewhere. HH even gave them a bunch of our boys' baby clothes, so there was even less money they had to spend.

Anyhoo...we live near the guy who owned the duplex before us. He also had a tenant who wouldn't pay. He said you can't legally put their stuff out on the street, but he went and took off the front door and the back door. His story was that he needed to fix them, and couldn't afford it without them paying their rent. He also said, "Any normal people would have left, but they KEPT living there." Then he took a trailer and loaded up their stuff and hauled it off to dump somewhere on his land. Probably a sinkhole. Then they moved. He knew they wouldn't go to the police, because they owed him so much money. And anyway, who KNOWS who took their stuff...they didn't even have doors.

That's redneck justice.

Redneck. Diva. said...


Hillbilly Mom said...

Your 'd*mn Baptist' mouth is preachin' to the choir, by cracky! I spent a summer in a rental house with 5 girls. One had cats. You don't wanna know what we found between the couch and the wall.

I am not being mean to Diva. That is a phrase that came from her own children. Dude.