As I’ve mentioned before, we are fixing up the house we inherited in April to rent it out.
We already have renters lined up starting in February. My wife has known the couple for several years, so we’re not worried about strangers wrecking the place. We will be doing a lease, because skipping that is dumb, even if you know the tenants. They will be paying $1200 per month, plus electric, water, and garbage. We’ll be covering gas and–of course–property taxes. We’re paying the gas bill because we’re going to have most of the appliances on the repair plan through the gas company so we won’t have to worry about appliances breaking.
Those expenses will run about $325 per month, leaving $875 as profit. We’ll probably save another $200 of that to cover future vacancies and for property issues that I’m not foreseeing, leaving $675 to save and invest.
Over the summer, we have spent quite a bit of money fixing the place up.
- Dumpsters x3, $1200. Did I mention my mother-in-law was a hoarder?
- New boiler, $4500.
- Electrical repair, including running power to the garage, $1400.
- Plumbing & gas repair, $900.
- New stove & refrigerator, $1000.
- Landscaping, $2500.
- Other repairs, $8000.
So far, we have spent about $19,500 fixing this place up. There is still a bit of work left to do.
Are we done?
- We have two rooms of stuff that we need to research and price individually before we sell. This includes some old cameras, typewriters, and collectibles.
- We need to buff and polish the hardwood floors that are in surprisingly good shape.
- We have to scrub the entire house. Cobwebs and mouse crap show up in interesting places when 90% of your house is buried for most of 30 years.
- We have to clean the last of the debris out of the basement. This, and some other stuff, will mean yet another dumpster.
- We have to paint walls and ceilings all over the house and the basement floor.
The to-do list will come with a price tag somewhere between $1000 and $1500.
That comes out to about $21,000 spent to make $675 per month. In just 3 years, the property will be turning a profit, then it becomes an actual profit center for us, hopefully forever. The expenses are all tax deductible, but only as depreciation, which means the cost has to get deducted a bit at a time over the course of the next 5 to 30 years.
On the other hand, we could probably sell the place for $200,000. It’s going to take 25 years of renting to make up that difference.