Landlords, is your own place better than your rental properties?

16 Replies

I remember one time my son told me..."This is actually nicer, why don't we move here instead of renting out?"

So I am just curious, do you all stay at bigger, better more updated homes in a nicer neighborhood then your rentals?

Also, is your home in better conditions compared to your rentals?

I remember my wife once told me..."Hey Sam, one of our garage overhead light has a bad ballast and it's been that way for six months and you don't have time to fix it, but if a tenant calls you with a jambed or stuck bifold closet door you run over the next day...can you please get your priority in the proper order?"

Do you also put your tenant's repair items ahead of your own?

"The shoemaker's children go barefoot," as the old proverb goes.

Yes and no for me.  Many of my rentals have nicer kitchens, but my house overall is nicer.

(Laughing to myself)  Unfortunately when you have lots of rentals, lots of repairs, tenants moving in and out, damages and evictions, it seems like we put ourselves last and everyone first. (Oh and those new roof and roof repairs...a killer)

My husband and I lived in a cute little place (needed lots of updates) for more than half of our landlording career.  Nine years before we retired we decided to move to a big beautiful house.  (After all we deserved it...right?)  

We lived in our new home  for 9 years and were hardly ever home.  And.... actually, big and beautiful doesn't necessarily brings happiness.  I never loved that house.

After we retired in 2009 (actually we were going to re-invest in another area but didn't make enough money off of the sale of our homes due to the market at that time) we never did reinvest.  Instead we bought a nice brick ranch home by the lake (use to be a cabin and the owners kept adding on to it) and are very happy here.  The house has "character".  (I would have been happy if we just had fixed up the old place instead of moving to what some would consider a "dream home". )

So, yes, most times than not, landlords wives and their homes are saved for last.  :(

Nancy Neville

Your priority is in the proper order.  

My house is larger and worth more than my rental houses.  But the appliances are older and there are any number of small projects that never seem to get done.

My husband and I joke that our tenants all have nicer and/or larger places than we do. Almost all of our FL tenants live in upgraded large condos with terraces overlooking water - lake, canal, river. Almost all have stainless appliances, granite, marble floors, etc. They are in good areas.

Our NJ rentals are in an area that's pretty bad, and the houses are nice but functional - but far larger than our 1/1 condo. Eventually we'll move to one of the FL properties.

My house is definitely a lot nicer than my rentals but my tenants' repairs get taken care of way quicker than anything at my house.  

We buy homes that will be future investments :) So yes our homes are just as nice as our investments. Even if there pure investments they are alone gthe same "guidelines". I certainly jump alot quicker to tenant requests than my own needs. If the heat goes out I get on my tenants ASAP, where as I just added an extra blanket to my own for months :)

One rental property has a brand new granite, new cabinets, new flooring kitchen.  Another rental has all new windows, new sliding glass doors and a new skylight.  16 rentals have new paint this year.  One rental has a new roof.  3 rentals have new furnaces.  2 rentals have new central air........

My house is not as nice as many if the places i own, but the location i live tops all of them

its like the auto mechanic that does not fix his own car.. or the carpenters house that is always torn up.

Having west coast perspective  remember living large not a conservative mid west mindset. We always have strived to have a very nice home base first and foremost.

Although one of my offices had 300k of TI's it was for an architect who built his man architect cave its pretty cool...

Our home is in a way nicer neighborhood and schools but it's a large 1961 builder modern that we purchased from the original owners estate.  It needs a ton of work and had allot of original unfinished space.  Original appliances layout ect.  Our rentals are finished much nicer but much smaller.  So you could say it's a mixed bag.  But I definitely hop to tenant repairs fast as they are my customer(s).  Whereas around here the customer is fairly forgiving and things get done when they get done.  Ultimately every time I think about a new counter or something like that I first weigh how much increased rent I could receive if I upgraded the counters in my rental(s) first.  value of the upgrade = increased annual rent/discount rate

new counters could bring a yearly rent increase of $1200/.1 discount rate=$12,000 value =  DO IT!  even if counters cost you $6000  you've doubled your money (don't run out and spend $6000 on counters please).

My house is much nicer than my rentals. I do fix rental issues quicker than something that comes up in my house though.

@Sam Leon I live in one of the units of one of my 4 plexes. Of course my unit is probably nicer than every other unit, but not because I spent more money, because I take good care of it as the owner. 

My house and neighborhood are much better then the rentals.  Now the kitchen and bath cabinets and counters... Different story.  

I live in a duplex where my side is larger than the tenant side.  So, I guess it is nicer in that respect.  Of course, if it was switched around and I was renting out my side, I would charge $200-$250/month more than for my tenant side.  Though the kitchen on the tenant side is nicer and bigger than mine.  Their side also has a better, though smaller, layout.

With that said, when I bought the house, it had a lot of deferred maintenance.  My tenant side got new siding and new windows before mine did...by over one year!

Though the houses I have been looking at for purchasing my second rental are not as nice or in as nice neighborhoods as my current duplex.  But then the rents will reflect that also.

my first property was a duplex in which I lived in the lower. It was a smaller 1 bedroom but I also had the basement which added a bathroom, bar and family room. It was pretty nice for being small and I tackled a lot of projects there as I had more time. I just moved to 1920 single family home in april of 2013 and currently all my properties really nicer mainly because I have the walls down to the studs with new electrical sticking out (not live or even in the panel yet) in what will on be our new kitchen. In the last 20 months I have built a new bigger and better 24' x 26' x 9' garage, blown in insulation, new windows (same company I see for my rentals the upgraded model), new siding and paint, wrap around deck, new driveway, drain tile and sump pump,  added a basement bathroom and finished the basement. Once completed it will be much nicer than all my rentals. I still did roughly $40,000 worth of improvements to my properties during that time as well. Lots of paint, flooring, a kitchen, plaster work, a massive roof, sewer drain work, plumbing updates, windows, cement work, new entry steps, new bathtub/shower. I like having my home nice or else I never get a break because if o me thing needs work I can't just relax when I could be working on what is next. Same with updates on the rentals. If I have a day of I usually tackle a decent project at one of the properties and that pays dividends :)

In my own house the upstairs heat has gone out this year and we must "jiggle" the master toilet to get it to fill and flush.

Also my faithful washer finally died after 34 years....and I replaced it with another washer a tenant had left behind when they got evicted (tenants who move into our properties with appliances get NEW washers and dryers).


gail