I have a few properties and wanted to know if it's worth it to hire a part-time handyman to maintain the properties on a regular basis. Also, how much should I pay them in St. Louis?
There's nothing like knowing your own business by learning it from top to bottom. e.g., by throwing yourself into it to see every aspect of how it works, from handyman, to CEO.
Landlording is a business of evictions and damages. If you treat your home as your baby, and you walk into that house and it has a hole in the wall, the carpet dirty, doors busted, screens off the window, and filthy, among many other things, and can't live with that, or are shocked by it, then this business is not for you.
My husband and I would walk into our rentals after a tenant left, and while taking a video of the place, showing all the destruction and dirt, we'd shake our heads, complain to each other, say a few choice words, and then we GOT OVER IT before we left the building.
After taking the pictures, and video, we'd look at each other and say, Okay, let's stop at Home Depot before we go home, I'll (me) get the paint and you (husband) get the drywall, and things you need to fix up the place, and be here tomorrow at 7 am? He'd say yep, and then we would go back to the house at 7am the next day.
As I painted the rental it became bright and clean again, and my husband took care of those repairs it was like being an Artist. Watching the place once again go from awful to Wow what a nice place!
Then when we left the building, we left with great pride and satisfaction, that we, ourselves, took something rotten and made it wonderful again, just like we did when we first purchased the home so many years ago.
We had a work crew as well, but we had 40 rental units so we couldn't possibly take care of them all ourselves. But we still pitched in, because our homes were who we were, and who we are. So it is good if you also participate in the experience of emotions that come with being a landlord, From shock to great pride for a job well done.
Once you throw yourself into the life of being a landlord from A to Z, then hire that handyman to take care of your properties full time. But if you really have landlord in your blood, like my husband and I, you will never ever stop being a handyman. Not even when you grow old and the old bones just aren't what they use to be.
If you have neither the time nor inclination to do the work yourself, then you have little choice but to hire someone. But Nancy's point is very well taken: there is something to be said for and much to be gained by doing some or all of the work yourself. That's how you learn the business and become connected with the properties.
As for rates, it really depends on your region and market.
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