Your favorite blogger is back with another adventure to share with you!
It's not only tenants that we have funny stories about. Vendors can also do some amazing things when they need money quickly. I have seen everything from padding their bills, to trying to slip in invoices for properties that they have not even serviced yet. That is why you have to keep a really close eye on not only who you hire, but what is actually being charged to you and whether you ordered everything that is on the bill.
About eight years ago we had a painter who desperately needed to get paid on a project. He called us and stated that he had in fact finished the exterior and we explained that we would be doing a drive by later in the day and that if everything looked good we would be able to pay him for the job the following day.
We went by the property and the front of it looked GREAT! We gave the painter a call and let him know that his check would be ready the following morning. That night we received a call from another agent (regarding the newly painted property) asking us if the back of the house was going to be finished getting painted. We were in shock. We immediately drove to the property and saw that the painter had indeed tried to trick us into paying him after only half the job was done.
The next day the painter came by the office to pick up his check for that job as well as several other jobs. He was surprised to find out that we discovered his little ploy and that we were holding all of his checks until he finished the job to our standards.
He made right on this and finished the job that day. We also kept this policy with him for the rest of the time that he painted for our company which was only a few jobs. When you lose that trust with a vendor it is hard to get it back, and I am sure he didn't like being constantly under the microscope.
It really is amazing the lengths that people will go through in order to get money, and it is important to keep this in mind. Make sure you hire reputable people that have plenty of references. This is the age that people hire a lot of their workmen through Craigslist, Yellow Pages, etc. Just make sure that all their work is done properly and to your standards prior to paying any money out to them.
In my opinion not every home needs a home warranty.
For example, if your home is brand new then you probably get a builders warranty for at least the first year. If you purchase a resale home then it may make sense in cases to look into purchasing a home warranty. Some Realtors and clients swear by home warranties. I tend to lean in the other direction.
In my line of work I have often seen the warranty company either not cover everything that they said they would or make you jump through so many hoops that it is not worth it. An example of this is a client owned a home built in 1959. From about 1994 she started using a home warranty. Every year she renewed this until she finally sold the home in 2009. During that span of time she had two big ticket claims. One was for an a.c. unit and the other was for a furnace.
Most people reading this are probably thinking "she got her monies worth then". At first glance I would think the same thing, but upon taking a closer look at the numbers below you can see what a bad deal she got.
15 years at an average of $400 per year equals $6000. Even $6000 over a long period of time would be ok, but then comes all the other issues. This a.c. was clearly at the end of it's life in 2004, yet they still refused to replace the unit. It took 11 more service calls at $55 a piece before they finally agreed to install a new unit. This added up to $550 on top of all the time and frustration wasted trying to get them to do what they promised in their initial contract. When it got replaced they installed a smaller unit based on square footage only and didn't take anything else into account. To top that off they made the client pay for the crane. This cost the client over $1000. By the end it cost my client spent around $8000 for coverage that I could have paid $4000 for.
I would only recommend getting a home warranty in a few occasions. The first is if you don't have the money to cover a major expense like an air conditioner or heater. The second is when your buy a resale home and the seller is willing to add that in as part of the purchase contract at no cost to the buyer. The reality is that you can find more reliable vendors through friends or networks like Angie's List!
Of course, this is just my opinion on the topic. If you have any examples (good or bad) that you would like to share I would love to hear them!
The feedback has been great from this series, so we have decided to keep this series going.
Tenants are a funny thing. As mentioned before, we hear just about everything from people in order to avoid paying rent. When I first started working here, I always believed what everyone said. At some point (when you have heard the same story over and over) you start realizing that you can't help everyone and that they need to follow what their lease states.
One tenant still makes me laugh to this day. From almost the day she moved in, she had a problem paying the rent. Rather than come clean and admit her difficulty, she would always call with an excuse. One month she was in a car accident, one month she was mugged, one month she broke her leg, etc. This pattern held true for 5-6 months.
It was just frustrating. I think everyone has a heart and wants to help, but if you can't be honest with us, then why would we try to help? Furthermore, if you're not honest we may not even know that you need help.
This particular lady never really came clean until she was caught red-handed. She called (on the same day as usual) and said that she was going to be late paying the rent because she was in the hospital currently and very ill. A few minutes after we took the call we needed to called her back. The only number we had was her home phone so we figured we would just have to leave a message.
The phone rang.....and the "hospitalized" tenant answered the phone. My jaw hit the floor!!! At that point we confronted her and asked what was going on. She explained that she was embarrassed and confirmed our suspicions. We tried to work with that tenant from then on out, but eventually the lies just became too much.
If you or someone you know is going through similar hardships, I would recommend to get your landlord on the phone and try to work something out. Most times that is the best solution for both parties. It just requires good old fashioned communication
A lot of times i am quick to write funny or frustrating stories on this blog, but today I wanted to share a story that highlights why I love what I do.
In addition to being a property manager, I also handle many other real estate transactions. A friend of mine recently hired me to sell his "bachelor pad" so that he could buy a new property with his girlfriend.
As I stated, I know this couple, and they are very meticulous. They did a lot of research prior to hiring an agent, so I was flattered that they chose me. They also did a great job preparing the home for sale. In fact we were able to sell his home in less than a month. The only issue was that we were faced with the task of finding that perfect home and the faster the better.
We were able to narrow the hundreds of homes down to one pretty quickly. After months of negotiating with the bank their offer was accepted and we made the necessary steps to close on this property. During the inspection period it was revealed that what we thought was "desert preserve" was really zoned for future commercial development. Obviously the couple was not thrilled with the thought of a Walmart in their backyard so we canceled the contract. I just remember feeling so heartbroken for them. They had grown so attached to this property and were in love with the floorplan.
I think we all took a few days for grieving and then got right back on the hunt! We went to a newer development that featured the exact same floorplan. When we pulled into the builders parking lot I just got the sense that "this was it". We found out that the community was closing down and this meant huge savings!!!
In a matter of days we had everything wrapped up. As we speak, the home is being built and they should (hopefully) be moving in by the end of August. The best part is that they were able to get the same floorplan, on a better lot, custom built to what they want, for less money!!! I guess good things do come to those who wait.
Another cool detail of the story is that a few weeks ago the happy couple were engaged at the building site of the home. How cool is that? I am truly happy for my clients and friends Parker Stevens and Stephanie Schlachter. Thanks for choosing me as your agents, and congrats on your engagement!
Realtor, Property Manager, New Blogger