Month: November 2018

I want to rent my home in birmingham al what do I need to know?


Matthew Whitaker - Monday, November 19, 2018

What’s up, everybody? Matthew Whitaker here doing another “Questions Owners Ask.”

Today’s question is I want to rent my home in Birmingham, Alabama, what do I need to know?

The first thing I would say is how important it is to find a good tenant.

At the end of the day, if I had to tell you one piece of advice, it is so imperative, find a good tenant.

So everything that goes with finding a good tenant like screening that tenant, making sure that tenant has fulfilled their obligations in the past, maybe even driving by some previous houses that the tenant’s lived in.

I mean, you need to do a good job, especially if you only have one house, of screening the tenant.

I would go over and above on this unless you’re like us really used to screening tenants and know what to look for, and even have certain algorithms that we work with, a company to help us find good tenants.

You may not be able to have access to those so you’re going to have to do some work on the front end to make sure that you’re getting a good tenant.

The second thing I would do is make sure that your move in inspection, that you’re doing a good job on it.

Because the last thing you want is for the tenant to destroy something or make a hole and you don’t have a good move in inspection report to go back to.

A judge is not going to look kindly on that if you have to go after them in court and you don’t have kind of before pictures to take a look at.

So do a good move in inspection. Hopefully that won’t happen but it’s always important to have a good move in inspection.

The next thing I would say is, do a good job keeping up with your accounting.

You have, income, you have expenses, I mean, these are things that are going on your tax return. It’s so important that you keep up with every dollar you spend and every dollar that comes in.

This becomes a business when you start running houses. We’re able to keep up for that for our owners in our accounting software.

So at the end of the year, we’re able to give our owners report that basically breaks all this down, but if you’re doing it on your own, you need to make sure that you’re keeping up with the accounting.

And the last thing I would say is to keep good tenants in houses, you have to do a great job of getting repairs done quickly.

The number one reason that tenants move out of houses is because the repairs aren’t being done really quickly.

And I just think it’s so important to keep good tenants in there and you don’t want them to move. I mean, the way to make money in this business is to keep good tenants in your house long term.

I’m Matthew Whitaker with gkhouses. I hope this was helpful.

I am a broker starting a property management company what should i know before starting?


Matthew Whitaker - Monday, November 19, 2018

What’s up, everybody. My name is Matthew Whitaker.

And this is going out to my property management or potential property management buddies out there.

So if you’re already a broker and you’re considering getting into property management, I have three things I want to tell you, three quick things.

Number one, managing 1 or 100 houses is still a full-time business.

You’d be surprised because when you’re only doing one or two or three houses, you’re doing a lot of things manually that we can process out and do…use a lot of automation to do.

And when you’re doing only one, two or three, you do a lot of manual things.

So it is a full-time or at least it feels like a full-time business, whether you’re managing 1 or 100. Please, don’t underestimate how long it takes to manage just a few houses.

The second thing is you need to make sure you create a vendor list, a preferred vendor list prior to meeting them.

The last thing you want is to need a vendor to go out to do something for you and you’re scrounging in the phone book for your clients to find somebody.

That’s going to be really expensive for your clients, you’re not going to provide a good value for them.

The last thing I would say is the place that I see people screw this up the most is accounting.

You got to make sure that you’re handling your clients’ money with trust. And it’s funny, they call them “trust accounts.” But you’ve got to make sure that your clients’ money is accounted for.

You have to be very diligent, I would even suggest using a property management software like AppFolio or Propertyware so that you can make sure that every dime, every penny is accounted for.

I see so many people screw this up, it gets them into trouble really quickly and it’s not fair to your clients.

So that’s it. That’s what would I do if I was starting a property management company.

I’m Matthew Whitaker with gkhouses.

What other benefits do property managers provide other than manage my property?


Matthew Whitaker - Monday, November 19, 2018

What’s up, everybody? Matthew Whitaker here with another “Questions Owners Ask.”

Today’s question is what other benefits do property managers provide other than managing my property?

So the first thing I want to say is, is the separation from tenant to owner.

I think it’s very important for you as the owner to make objective decisions about your rental property and have that buffer. And so we do a good job.

Just like a real estate agent does the job of that in a real estate transaction, we do a great job of being a buffer, helping you to make objective decisions.

One of the things that we see when people manage their own property is they start to listen to the stories of tenants.

And certainly there’s some reasons that you would want to listen to the stories of tenants, things do happen, but all too often we find that owners are messing up when they start to listen to stories and aren’t able to be objective about their decisions.

The next thing is the wisdom and handling situations that don’t happen very often.

If you have one or two houses, you may have a situation, a random situation happen once every 5 or 10 years.

Whereas we see things happen on a consistent basis.

And so we can use the wisdom of managing thousands of homes to managing this certain situation, help you save or make the most money in that situation or decrease the amount of liability on you.

The third thing is all our ancillary offerings. We offer things like rent guarantee.

If you’re running your own house, you don’t have guaranteed rent. Access to vendors. If you’re renting your own house, you don’t have the preferred access to vendors that somebody like us does.

And the last thing I would say is landlord-tenant laws.

Just because you don’t understand Alabama or a state’s landlord specific tenant laws, then that doesn’t mean you don’t have to follow them.

And it’s very important. We know those types of things and we know how to make sure to keep you out of trouble.

So that’s it. I’m Matthew Whitaker with “Questions Owners Ask.”

I am a real estate agent how do i show one of your homes?


Matthew Whitaker - Monday, November 19, 2018

What’s up real estate agents?

I’m Matthew Whitaker here with a little self…like a help for you, super excited that you’re interested in showing one of our properties.

We’re agents ourself. We love to work with agents. Really what we like to do is rent houses. So if we don’t rent them, and you can rent them, then heck, we’re happy to pay you a referral fee for that.

But the big question right now is, how do you get into one of our houses?

The first thing I would say is, you need to get set up as a vendor in our system. So we use a self-show lockbox system called Rently.

And what it allows you to do is to be a vendor and have access to all of our property. So as an agent, you can get access to all of our properties.

Each individual, like if somebody was gonna go see one of our houses, they only get access to one at a time.

You as an agent get access to all of it. The easiest way to do that is just shoot an email to [email protected], give us your brokerage, what brokerage you work with, your real estate license number, and then make sure you include your cell phone number.

And what’s gonna happen is we’re gonna text out something to you that basically will be instructions on getting into our Rently lockboxes. So that’s step one.

The second thing is that when you get out to the house, you’re gonna use those same message to look at the lockbox code on the top. So each lockbox is numbered.

You’re gonna get out to the house, call the number, put in which lockbox it is, and then you’re going to have access to that home, and show it.

The third thing is, make sure that your resident that’s gonna move into our house puts you down as a reference on their application. There’s a place to do that online.

The tenant can fill out an application online at our website, gkhouses.com. And then the last thing, once they get approved, and they move into the house, you need to submit the form on our website that basically gets you paid.

You’re gonna have to submit a W-9 form. If you haven’t done that already, you only have to do that one time, and then an invoice, and we’ll get you paid.

So that’s it. That is how to see one of our houses for all you real estate agents. I hope that’s helpful. I’m Matthew Whitaker with gkhouses.

Where should I market my home for rent?


Matthew Whitaker - Monday, November 19, 2018

Hey everybody. Matthew Whitaker here with another “Questions Owners Ask.”

Today’s question is, where should I market my home for rent in Birmingham, Alabama?

So, I think there’s really three places that you need to do that. The first one is the old school sign in the yard. I think too often this gets overlooked.

Typically, people are driving around the areas where they wanna live, they’re driving by the homes, they maybe live down the street, they have a neighbor that lives down the street, they wanna someone to live in the same neighborhood.

The old sign in the yard just still seems to rent houses. So, it’s very important that you get a sign in the yard.

I know that’s kind of elementary, but I would not overlook it. The second place that we’re seeing that’s starting to increase traffic is the Nextdoor app.

So, this is a new app where it’s almost like a place where you can post things like garage sales for your…anything that you’re doing at your house.

And you can kind of post it and one of the things that that you can do is also list your house for rent on the Nextdoor app.

Again, it gets pushed out to neighbors, neighbors are able to find their friends, help them move into a house that lives…that’s right down the street from them, live right down the street.

Getting a little tongue tied today.

The third thing is the 600 pound gorilla, Zillow and Trulia. These are still the two best places, the number one best places to rent houses.

About 60 to 70% of people find their houses online still, and Zillow and Trulia are by far the best places to do that.

And, definitely need to make sure that you get the houses on there. That’s it.

I’m Matthew Whitaker with “Questions Owners Ask” with gkhouses.

Should I allow my tenant to move in without paying a deposit ?


Matthew Whitaker - Thursday, November 8, 2018

What’s up, everybody. Matthew Whitaker here with another Questions Owners Ask.

And today’s question is, I have a prospective tenant that’s moving into my home and they can only pay a partial deposit, should I take that partial deposit and first month’s rent and let them move in?

So, this is something I see a lot of people do that manage their own house. This is a mistake I see a lot of people make.

They listen to a story and feel bad for that person and maybe that person is in a bad spot, but generally, it’s not the best business decision for you to not make that person pay the full deposit and pay the full first month’s rent to move in the house.

What generally happens is this person that moves in continues to have financial issues, continues to have financial troubles, and so you need to be prepared for that.

I’m not saying to be a bad person, certainly if you want to do that and you have plenty of money and you are willing to take that risk, sometimes people do that.

But I don’t take that financial risk for our owners, and I don’t think that you should too unless you just have tons of money and a big heart and wanna do that.

Again the answer is no, I would suggest not taking a partial deposit and allowing somebody to move in your home without paying full first month’s rent and full deposit.

I’m Matthew Whitaker with Questions Owners Ask for Gkhouses.

My property manager is no longer sending me rent what should I do?


Matthew Whitaker - Thursday, November 8, 2018

Hey, everybody. Matthew Whitaker here with another “Questions Owners Ask.”

Today’s question is, “My property manager isn’t sending me the rent when he’s supposed to. What should I do?”

So this happens a lot.

This is probably the first indicator of fraud. We’ve talked to potential clients, they will call us and they’ll say, “Hey, owner had send me the money.

The property manager has sent me the money. Their check bounced.” Those types of things. So, this is an indicator that something is major wrong.

And what I would suggest doing is what people typically do which is the wrong thing is they get a lot of empty promises, a lot of hold out for one more month.

They get a little bit of money and they start to build up this huge balance with the property manager.

So, they have a lot of sunk costs with the property manager and they’re willing to wait on hoping for this kind of Hail Mary type miracle.

And that’s not the right thing to do.

Typically, that Hail Mary miracle never comes through and they’re left holding a even bigger bag of debt to the property manager.

This is a case right down the middle of a property manager stealing money.

What I suggest doing is to pull your properties as quickly as possible, terminate that management agreement, and move your properties to another professional manager.

And then that does not mean that that property manager doesn’t still owe you that money, you can still pursue that property manager for that money.

But the best thing to do is to cut it off as quickly as possible.

That’s it. Matthew Whitaker with “Questions Owners Ask.” I’m with gkhouses.

What’s the best book on real estate investing?


Madhuri Vispute - Thursday, November 8, 2018

What’s up, everybody? Matthew Whitaker here with another “Questions Owners Ask.”

Today’s question is, “What is the best book that you’ve ever read on real estate investing?”

So it’s kinda funny because I just heard this guy mention, in a podcast I was listening to. he wrote another book called “The Millionaire Real Estate Agent.”

But the best book I’ve read on real estate and investing is a book by Gary Keller, who started Keller Williams, and it is called “The Millionaire Real Estate Investor.” Great book.

It was written 15 or 20 years ago, and I highly suggest reading it.

It really gave me some insight into my investing career, and I’ve been buying and selling houses now since I was 23 years old.

So I’m 38 now, 15 whole years of buying and selling houses. And made a lot of mistakes, but that book really kept me from making quite a few more.

So that’s it.

Gary Keller’s “The Millionaire Real Estate Investor.” Hope you read it. Matthew Whitaker with gkhouses.

How much work can gkhouses do on my rental home before they call me?


Matthew Whitaker - Tuesday, November 6, 2018

Hey, everybody. Matthew Whitaker here.

Today I’m doing “Questions Owners Ask.” And I’m talking about our maintenance limit. In other words, how much can we go up to and do maintenance on your home without calling you, talking to you.

So, we currently have a $500 maintenance limit on all new clients that are coming in.

That means that any one item that’s below $500, in other words, we make a trip out there as long as we don’t spend $500 we don’t have to notify you.

This keeps us from annoying you. Obviously, every time we have to reach out becomes kind of a logistical issue particularly when there’s the small items, the $100 and $200 items.

So, the answer is, anything under $500 we’re just gonna handle it, not bother you, put it on the statement and send it to you.

Take it out of the rent money that comes in. So, that’s it.

That’s about maintenance limit. This is Matthew Whitaker with “Questions that Owners Ask.”

How long do i have to get a tenant back their security deposit in birmingham al?


Matthew Whitaker - Tuesday, November 6, 2018

What’s up, everybody?

Matthew Whitaker here with another Question Owners Ask, and this question is specifically for Birmingham, Alabama.

In Birmingham, Alabama, how long does it take or how long do I have to get a tenant security deposit back to them? 

So, this falls right in line with Alabama landlord-tenant law.

It’s very important that you abide by that law just because you don’t know it exists or don’t know what’s said in it does not mean under any circumstances you can’t abide by it.

In Alabama, it used to be 30 days, now it’s 60 days.

So, you need to have a postmarked disposition letter and check if there is one or at least an accounting sent to the tenant within 60 days, and it needs to be postmarked by them.

It needs to be sent to the last known address.

So, if your tenant didn’t give you a forwarding address, you need to send it to the property address.

And If the tenant did give you a forwarding address, then you’re required to send it to that address.

So, that’s it. That’s Questions Owners Ask. This is Birmingham, Alabama.

If I have a tenant in Birmingham, Alabama, how long do I have to get that tenant back their security deposit after they move out?

How long should I own a rental house?


Matthew Whitaker - Monday, November 5, 2018

What’s up, everybody? Matthew Whitaker here, I’m in the car traveling. And I’m with Grey [SP] who challenged me to do a video a day. So, I’m getting it done right now in the car.

So, hopefully the acoustics are okay. This is “Questions Owners Ask.”

Today’s question is, how long should I own a rental house? So, I’ve got some pretty good ideas on this.

But one of the things I wanna tell you is, just to give you some of the data that I’m saying is that, typically, once a house has been rehabbed the first two or three years I call it the honeymoon period.

So, if you own a house for two or three years, your repair maintenance number is gonna be significantly less than then that it is going forward.

Years two through probably six or seven you’ll have kind of common repair and maintenance issues, these are things that kind of once the honeymoon’s kind of phased out you’re gonna have kind of a more natural number.

What I found is that eight to…eight years and beyond is when you start to get into big capitalizable expenses.

That’s things like roofs, heating and air conditioning units, major plumbing, major electrical type of stuff. And so, one should be prepared for that.

So, if I want to say the sweet spot owning a rental house would be between five and eight years.

That’s…people ask me that all the time and that’s kind of the number that I give them and then I already gave you the reason why give that to them.

This is Matthew Whitaker with “Questions Owners Ask.” Again, today’s question is, how long should I own a rental house? Have a good day.

I cant rent my house what should i do?


Matthew Whitaker - Monday, November 5, 2018

Hey everybody. It’s Matthew Whittaker back with another “Questions Owners Ask.”

And today’s question is, I can’t rent my house, what should I do? So, this is assuming that you’ve tried to rent your own house, this is like a for rent by owner type situation, what should I do?

So, there’s two things I want you to look at.

There’s price and product. So, let’s say you’re getting a lot of calls and no one’s coming to see it. In other words, they’re finding out that the price is too much for the area.

In other words, if they’re calling you a lot, but you’re not getting a lot of showings, they’re telling you that your priced too high for the area.

Now, if you’re getting a lot of people to come see the house then they’re saying, I’m willing to pay that much to live in that area. But there’s something wrong with your house.

That’s a product issue. So, we’re always talking price and product. So again, if people are not coming to see your house when they find out the price, they’re saying that that house is too expensive for the area.

If they’re coming to see the house and they’re still not renting the house then they’re saying that something’s wrong with the house. So, let’s take a look at the house now.

When you have a product issue, is it a situation where there’s something like what we call white elephant, like it’s on a main street, it’s near a busy commercial, is there something that’s keeping it from renting that you can’t fix?

Then you need to bring the price down to the product. If there’s something with your house though that you can fix, like a room’s painted hot pink and nobody likes that and you can do that, you can actually bring the product up to the price.

The only last thing I would say is, if you’re having trouble renting it, you could reach out to a property manager. Obviously, I’m biased towards that decision.

We’re paid to come find out what would keep your house from renting and maybe we can help you rent it. In fact, if we help you rent a month early, we’ve more than paid for ourselves.

So, that’s it. That’s “Questions Owners Ask.” I’m Matthew Whitaker with gkhouses.

Is Alabama a tenant friendly state or a landlord friendly state?


Matthew Whitaker - Monday, November 5, 2018

What’s up, everybody. Matthew Whitaker here with another “Questions Owners Ask.”

Sorry I got this backlight here making my face a little bit dark. But today’s question is, is Alabama a tenant friendly state or a landlord friendly state?

So, the answer to that question is generally it’s a landlord friendly state.

And I’ll talk about the exception of that, but it’s definitely landlord friendly from the standpoint of taxes and how they view landlord…

Little alarm going off there. And how the courts view landlords, so they don’t always lean towards tenants like most courts do, or like some courts do.

But one of the things that’s really interesting is, it takes a long time to evict a tenant, that’s not because it’s necessarily a tenant friendly state, is very simply because our Sheriff’s Department who sets tenants out takes a long time and they are backed up and maybe overworked and don’t have enough manpower.

So, that’s it. That’s “Question Owners Ask.” I’m Matthew Whitaker with gkhouses.

My tenant has cars in the front yard what should i do?


Matthew Whitaker - Monday, November 5, 2018

Hey everybody, Matthew Whitaker back with another “Question Owners Ask.”

This question is for somebody that has a tenant in their house and they have cars in the front yard. So the question is, “My tenant has tons of cars in the front yard and what should I do about that?

They’re tearing up the front yard, destroying the grass, and the house.”

So first thing I would say is most leases define where your tenant should park the car, whether that’s in a garage, on the street, it also may define where they shouldn’t park the car.

I still don’t think that even if your lease doesn’t define it necessarily that you’re in too much trouble because I think you can dictate where they park.

I mean it’s pretty obvious that you don’t want people parking in the front yard of one of the homes that you own.

The second thing I would do is take pictures of all the cars.

I think it’s important to have evidence in case this does come to some sort of disagreement.

The third thing I would say is put a notice on the door for material breach of lease.

Again, I’m not an attorney. A lot of my videos are just to help you out.

Get this information, get the right language from an attorney, put the notice on the door, and then once you put the notice on the door give them adequate time to cure it.

Meaning, they may need a few days to get all the cars especially if there’s a ton of them. Get a few days to get those cars out of there.

Once they’ve done that then hopefully everything is good. If they haven’t done that you’re gonna have to make a decision.

You’re gonna have to decide whether you want to terminate that lease or if you’re willing to just live with it.

You know, it’s very hard to have any credibility though when you’ve already gone this far if you don’t keep pushing it.

The tenant may say, “Well, you know, if I just push back then the landlord does not do anything,” but you still have a decision to make, it’s a business decision and you need to decide whether you go through with the eviction or not.

So that’s it. That’s “Questions Owners Ask.” I’m Matthew Whitaker with gkhouses.

 

What do I do if my tenant bounces a check to me?


Matthew Whitaker - Monday, November 5, 2018

Hey everybody. Matthew Whitaker here with another “Questions Owners Ask.”

Today’s question is my tenant just bounced a check to me, what should I do?

So, a lot of this has to do with what is in your lease. If your tenant signed the lease that basically told you or said how much money you can charge them for that, you can obviously charge them.

The first thing I would do is notify them and notify them of the bounce check, notify them of the charge if there is one and then I would make sure you add it to the register and I would make sure that you may be willing to forgive this one time but don’t get into a habit of continually forgiving these types of things because then they’ll make a habit of doing these types of things.

So, that’s it. “What do I do if tenant bounces a check to me?” This is “Questions Owners Ask,” Matthew Whitaker with gkhouses.

What do i do if a tenant leaves owing me money?


Matthew Whitaker - Monday, November 5, 2018

Hey everybody. Matthew Whitaker back here with another Questions Owners Ask.

Today’s question is, what do I do if a tenant leaves owing me a balance?

So, you have a tenant that moves out, may have had to evict him or her, but they leave owing you a balance, they owe you money.

I always look at this two ways. To me, there’s what I would consider a collectible debt, and again, I’m not an attorney, but this is just the way I look at it.

And there’s a collectible person and then there’s not really a collectible person, a garnishable person. Garnish is the word I should use.

There’s garnishable people and non-garnishable people. Non-garnishable people or people that don’t make enough money to actually garnish their wages.

And so typically what we do is just send them to a collection company and a collection company will hopefully pester them to the point that they pay what’s owed to you.

The people that we could garnish that make enough money, we will file a lawsuit against them and sue them for the money, typically in small claims court, depending on the…how much money.

Last but not least we’ll try to collect them by getting a judgment against them, and then once we get that we’re able to garnish their wages.

So, those are the two types of collections when a tenant leaves owing you a balance. I’m Matthew Whitaker with gkhouses.

What happens if the tenant breaks something How do i charge for repairs?


Matthew Whitaker - Monday, November 5, 2018

What’s up everybody? Matthew Whitaker here back with another “Question Owners Ask.”

Today’s question is about tenant repairs.

What happens if your tenant breaks your air conditioner and the reason that the air conditioner heat is broken is because the tenant didn’t change the air filter?

Let’s talk about that for a second.

The first thing is we want to make sure that you have it in your lease.

So you need to make sure that the tenant is responsible for changing the air filters in your lease. If you don’t have that in there make sure you get it in there.

Second thing, if it is in there, take a picture of the air filter.

It’s very important that you have some sort of evidence to charge the tenant for these types of repairs.

The third thing I would do is supply the tenant a picture of the invoice and a picture of the air filter when you charge them.

So make sure that they have a copy of that.  Make it so obvious that there’s nothing they can do to argue against that thick lint or dust on the air filter is their problem and make sure you highlight it in the lease.

You can also send pages of the lease that are highlighted before to the tenant, everything you can do to kind of build your case against the tenant.

And the last thing I want to say is collect and be very firm on collecting.

This is something very basic that every tenant should do when they live in a home. I wouldn’t let them off the hook because it is something they should know how to do.

That’s it. That’s “Questions Owners Ask.” I’m Matthew Whitaker with gkhouses.

What makes gkhouses different from other property managers?


Matthew Whitaker - Monday, November 5, 2018

What’s up, everybody? Matthew Whitaker here, just wanted to shoot a video, had a few minutes on my ride home.

This is something we’ve been doing at gkhouses, doing some introspective work and just wanted to talk to you about it. We’ve been deciding well, what really makes us different?

Like what makes gkhouses different from other property managers. And I really think there’s three things, we call them our three uniques.

I mean the first thing is our team.

We work really hard on hiring what we consider to be the property management industry’s most talented team. Obviously, I’m getting a little sun in my eye.

We have a hiring process we affectionately call “the grinder” and so it is an excellent way to find awesome people to run our team.

The second thing we think is super important is to treat your house like we own it.

Whoa, went over a bump there. So it’s very important to us that we treat your home as if we treat ours.

And in fact, I own rental properties so I’m very kind of empathetic, sympathetic, to these types of…to us treating it like it’s my property because obviously I’m my own client and know what it’s like.

The third thing is we put our money where our mouth is.

And this just means, heck, we’ve got guarantees that basically say we’re gonna execute. We’re putting our money where we only get paid if you get paid, and so we’re gonna put our money where our mouth is.

So that’s it. Those are our three uniques, why you would choose gkhouses over somebody else. Thank you so much, and I’m home.

What is the biggest danger of renting and managing my own home?


Matthew Whitaker - Monday, November 5, 2018

What’s up everybody? Matthew Whitaker here, I’m doing another “Questions Owners Ask.” I’m in another hotel room doing it.

Today’s question is, what is the biggest danger about renting and managing my own house?

So, you know, if you’re a owner and you’re thinking, “Hey, I’m going to rent my house. What are some dangers I should look out for?”

First thing I would say is, choosing the wrong tenant.

I mean, this is where it kind of starts and ends. Choosing the wrong tenant can be really bad.

I really believe that tenants look and seek out kind of unprofessional landlords to rent from because they know that they don’t do background checks.

They know they don’t know what to look for. They know they don’t look at their credit. So, I’d be really careful about that and make sure that I’m screening the tenant and make sure that I know that I’m putting a good tenant in my house.

The second one I would say is, state tenant and landlord specific laws.

So, each state typically has a uniform residential landlord tenant law.

And it basically governs how your relationship with tenant goes. So, just because you don’t know the law exists or you don’t know there’s a law does not mean you’re not responsible for following it.

I would make sure that I got a copy of that and make sure I read that all the way through.

The last thing is quality maintenance vendors.

So, we find that tenants typically leave when maintenance work orders aren’t handled quickly.

And so, a lot of times if you only have one or two houses, you don’t have the leverage that we have with most maintenance vendors.

We actually own our own maintenance company, so in most cases we have all the leverage but you got to watch out for that if you only have one or two tenant repairs not getting done will typically leave a tenant frustrated and give you a lot of turnover.

So, that’s it. That’s “Questions Owners Ask.” I hope it was helpful. I’m Matthew Whitaker with gkhouses.

What types of houses should i invest in?


Matthew Whitaker - Monday, November 5, 2018

Hey everybody. Matthew Whitaker back with another version of “Questions Owners Ask.” Today’s question is, what are the types of houses should I invest in?

So, today I’m really gonna cover…this is a huge question but I’m gonna cover dates.

I’m gonna talk about the advantages and disadvantages of kind of time period built houses.

The first thing I’m gonna talk about is houses that were built from the ’20s to the ’40s. So, a lot of times you find these houses in lower income neighborhoods.

These are houses that were built, you know, that are typically in flat areas, as weird as that is because you didn’t have modern machinery.

They usually, especially in the south, have high ceiling lines and high roof lines because there was no air conditioner at the time. So, the problem you have with these is just antiquated systems.

They might have been retrofitted with things like heating and air conditioning, some modern plumbing, modern electrical, but sometimes they haven’t been.

And even with things like heating and air conditioning, if you have like really high ceilings, then you have the issues of trying to heat and cool a bigger space.

So, typically your repair and maintenance numbers on these homes just because they’re older and there’s more issues with that is gonna be higher. And so you need to have that expectation.

These homes that were typically smaller in terms of square footage. So, that may make up for some of the extra additional costs of repairs and maintenance.

The next houses I want to get into are kind of the ’50s and ’60s that was kind of the next new wave of houses.

One of the cool things about the ’50s and ’60s that I like, and this is an area where I’ve invested my own money in the past and still own a number of homes, is that you get more modern systems and there seems to be an appreciation for really efficient houses.

You get houses that have nicer size closets, better sized bedrooms, the ceilings aren’t as high but you still have modern amenities, you started to get some central heating and air and this era.

These houses I always joke are built like tanks and you find a lot of brick ranchers, a lot of really nice kind of as best deciding, I know that that word’s not a great word, but as long as you don’t mess with it, and you paint over it, it should be fine.

But that’s an era I really love. And, and as cities grew out, particularly in the south, you start to see more of those kind of in the suburbs.

The last one I wanna talk about is more modern houses built after the ’80s, there seemed to be kind of a lull from the ’50s and ’60s up through into the ’80s and ’90s and even up until the day you get into really modern homes.

And one of the things that I believe is that these are probably in nicer areas. So, sometimes they’re harder for you to cash flow these houses that were built during these.

These are really in the suburbs. So, depending on the area, and depending on where you buy, you need to just make sure these homes cash flow. And then of course, new houses.

One of the great things I think about new houses is your repair and maintenance numbers are very low and you’re talking about the first 10 years whereas if you renovate a house, the first two years are kind of the honeymoon.

The first 10 years of owning a new house are the honeymoon. One of the things I found after owning a house for 10 years has been brand new that’s when the heating and air conditioning, some of the systems start to break down.

But it’s great for the first 10 years and as long as you plan on kind of, the fixing those capitalizable expenses at the end, then you should be fine. So, that’s it.

Those are “Questions Owners Ask.” I’m Matthew Whitaker with gkhouses.

Where should i look if i want to flip a house in birmingham al?


Matthew Whitaker - Monday, November 5, 2018

What’s up everybody, Matthew Whitaker here, another “Questions Owners Ask.” Today’s question is “Where should I look if I want to flip a house in Birmingham, Alabama?”

Well, that’s kind of a loaded question but I’m gonna give you two or three areas that I think are kind of depending on your budget and depending on your risk tolerance where I would look at investing.

The first place is what I call “Over the Mountains,” This kind of the Hoover, Homewood, Vestavia, Mountain Brook area.

These are the more expensive homes in Birmingham and they are south of Birmingham, so there’s like a mountain that’s just south of Birmingham.

If you’re from Colorado or somewhere that actually has mountains this is what we call it. And south of the mountain is what we call Over the Mountain. That’s where the big more expensive homes are.

The second place I would focus on is the northeastern side of town. That’s the Center Point, Roebuck, Huffman area.

These are where you can get really good deals and there’s still a lot of retail buyers. So you can buy a house, it’s a lot more reasonably priced and you can get a house there.

The third place I would look is probably a little bit less known area. It is Adamsville and Forestdale. I think that there’s some really good deals here.

There’s not as much density of houses there but you still have a ton of retail buyers and ton of people that are looking for houses. So this is a good place to fix and flip a house.

That’s it. Matthew Whitaker, “Questions Owners Ask.” I hope this is helpful. I’m with gkhouses.