Are You Prepared to Deal With the Human Side to Real Estate Investing?

Unwanted Grief

Sometimes, your renters are beset with unwanted grief.

“Tragedy is a tool for the living to gain wisdom, not a guide by which to live.”
–Robert F. Kennedy

I’m a big fan of real estate investing, particularly if one of your financial goals is to achieve PIRE. We own several properties ourselves and continue to accumulate rental properties. Given that I have zero mechanical ability and we have no desire to deal with the 2 AM “toilet is broken” phone calls from our renters, we use a property manager.

We also use a property manager because she acts as a buffer between us and the renters. Even though it’s quite simple to look on the record of deeds and find out that we own these properties, we’d prefer to keep some distance between ourselves and our renters. We try to be good owners and landlords, rent for fair prices, and provide good, clean, affordable housing, and, by and large, our renters stay in our properties for longer periods of time – which I think is a situation that benefits all parties involved.

However, there are times when we can’t maintain that distance.

Investing in rental properties and psychopathic numbing

Does Your Financial Planner Really Need to be Local?

Bank tellers at the National Bank of Vanuatu on Malekula island waits to serve a customer.

Is technology making them a dying breed?

“They usually have two tellers in my local bank, except when it’s very busy, when they have one.”
–Rita Rudner

I recently attended a seminar about the state of the Fort Worth and Dallas housing market, put on by the real estate editor of the Dallas Morning News. He was talking about how demographic trends mean that, for at least the next few years, the real estate market in Fort Worth and Dallas should continue to grow at a remarkable clip.

One of the driving forces behind his projected growth in prices was the shortage of houses. The biggest issue that builders were facing was their inability to find enough manpower to man their crews to actually build.

He cited one statistic from the Census Bureau that really struck home.

Plumbing is one of those professions that really does require a local presence. Sure, you can look on YouTube for videos of how to send a plumber’s snake down the drain, but if you’re not handy, like I am not, then once the very basic measures are done and there’s no solution, you’re calling a plumber.

Furthermore, a plumber can’t really work remotely. It would impractical for you to set up FaceTime or Skype with a plumber in, say, India, shine a flashlight under your sink, and have him tell you which bolts to loosen and how to seal the PVC pipe. It might be possible to fix your problem this way, but you’d trade hours and hours to save a few bucks, a horrible value on your time.

A lot of people think the same thing about their financial planner. Yes, I am a Fort Worth financial planner, and I do have some local clients, but, off the top of my head, I’d estimate that less than 20% of my clients are actually from Fort Worth or Dallas.

Your Financial Planner Can Be Anywhere

How Much Would You Have to Budget to Go to the World Cup in 2018?

“We’ve prepared the best we can. We’re ready for it. It’s not about talking. It’s about getting out there and showing by our actions.” –Clint Dempsey I’ve been a soccer fan all of my life. My wife and I went to the World Cup in 2010. We didn’t go in 2014; instead, I spent nearly […]

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Beware the Storytellers

“The most dangerous people are those who have been taught some financial literacy.” –Tyler Cowen “You can’t learn how to become a doctor by watching Grey’s Anatomy.” –Charles Barkley Whenever I meet new people, I invariably tell stories. Whether it’s stories about messing with 419 scammers or funny things that happened when I was deployed […]

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Hey, You Paying Off That Debt!

Yeah. You made mistakes. It stinks looking at that long road ahead. Your friends go out. They have a good time. They have nice things. You scrimp and save. You don’t spend on anything that isn’t absolutely necessary to keep your family clothed, fed, and sheltered. You have to say no when invited to join […]

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Help! I’m Being Repressed!

10 points if you can name the movie where the title comes from! If you’ve ever been on a diet, you probably have suffered through the hunger pangs associated with the caloric reduction your stomach is experiencing. “FEED ME!” your stomach (and Monkey Brain) yell at you. By the way, Monkey Brain is what I […]

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