Is the lazy landlord getting too lazy???

41 Replies

Hi everyone 

It's time for another addition to the Lazy Landlord series.  I am currently doing three simultaneous renovations.  It probably would have been better to do one at a time .  But three simultaneous vacancies sort of pushed me to get them all done as soon as possible. 

The projects ranged from floor repairs, paint, fencing, exterior repairs, cabinet painting, deck construction, and trim work,

Being the lazy landlord that I am I decided to farm out 90% of this work . 

I settled on two contractors one who  was detailed neat but not too fast 

The other who was fast and reasonable but not detailed and left a little to be desired.

One of the first things that I learned about doing such large scale renovations is that it seems to be better to pay for the various jobs separately. Contractors seem to like to choose which jobs they tackle on their time line and according to how they feel.

By you segmenting the job you control which items get done first and you can monitor the craftsmanship and attention to detail of the work completed.

You learn which contractors to use where in the future. 

I really thought that I was going to tackle all of the painting but I have decided to farm the painting out as well.

Is this being too lazy? 

I can paint!!! 

But I am talking about the entire interior of two houses and one apartment. 

Including baseboards and doors 

Is it worth the expense?

Well we will see 

I will meet with the painter today to discuss terms pricing and time line 

Stay tuned for how this works out

Im about 50% done a conversion from a SFH to a duplex, i have done 90% of the work...

I'm now learning, if its going to take me 3 months to do it all my self, thats about $3500 lost from it being vacant.. so i may as well spend that amount to have it done in 1 month have it rented sooner, sooner money is in my pocket, and i didnt need to do anything and can spend time with my family. 

Only kicker is having the funds to do so.

My Lord! I'm surprised you spent the energy to write this update!

Lazy is as lazy does! Your laziness is bringing out the worst in your business expenses: in others words, you are paying for things that a) don't need to be done-like excessive painting, or b) could and should be done by a landlord having just a touch of gumption. 

Let me know if you need me to type your response for you! I'll send you a quote for the work!

@ Tim Sabo

ha you must not have ever read any of the previous lazy landlord posts

The series is mostly dedicated to the novice 

DIY person 

Strategizing how to tackle jobs that are do able but can seem daunting

The first where I painted one of the same houses that I am now considering farming out.

The lazy in lazy landlord is tongue in cheek.

Although I am prepared to do what I can in a property as I acquire more 

It becomes less efficient 

So the series evolves as my business model evolves

Perhaps I will paint some and not others

Another thing to consider 

A great painter can make a house look stellar where as a novice can make it look quite cheap

I have an extremely high standard

My apartments usually are the best in town for the money.

My profile pic is my latest apartment 

By the way I did the floors.

So don't take me too seriously 

In just doing my part to share my experiences in he forums 

well it looks like the lazy landlord will be rolling up his sleeves in these two houses 

The estimates came in at 1,800 for the 1,200 sqft prop

And 2,300 for the 1000 sqft house

The disparity was because the larger home has stained baseboards and therefore does not need the baseboards trim moulding and doors painted

Stay tuned as to how I manage to execute these two projects with a timeline of no more than 10 business days 

Originally posted by @Christine Swaidan :

I might hang a curtain rod. Everything else is hired.

So helpful...

Yeah, well some of us would rather do a little work and do it right rather than schedule, wait, correct , then stroke a huge check for the privilege. Armchair landlording lol. Your returns must be off the charts, Christine.

I hear ya with painting quotes, bud. I could have a room done by the time they finally come over and I'm done flopping on the floor from their 4-figure quotes when they so.

I have had good luck hiring a $12/hr guy to roll. I have a hand-trained guy that can do both for $15. I'd get a helper either way, especially with multiple units open. Time is $!

@Steven Maduro ,

I've never run into any other posts from this series, but I love the concept. I used to do a lot of the work myself, and now that I quit my W-2 job, I'm still doing some myself, but I'm becoming more and more cognizant of how expensive it is to do your own work. It takes twice as long, is half as good, and the material cost is about 20% higher.

I'll continue to do some of the work myself because I enjoy it and I think the education is helpful for future decision-making, but I'm aware that it's an expensive hobby to do my own work. Continue writing these, and I'll start reading them.

Just click my name and look at posts I've written 

I believe there are three lazy landlord posts 

One on painting 

One on flooring 

I like what you've written 

I believe it dkesent have to be that our work is less than professional quality 

I think that for many of us who are somewhat handy 

We can specialize on one or two things that we can do really well

For me I have chosen 

Tiling , painting, and landscaping

Now I haven't rally done anything landscape wise but my intention is to take some classes on landscape design 

It's one of those areas that pay huge dividends and save tons of money

Tiling mastery allows you to save tons of money and actually greatly improve the value of a home 

Painting of course is something we all can do and we can learn some tricks to help us get a professional job. 

Stay tuned i will start tomorrow and over the next two weeks I will share my experiences tips set backs etc 

Thanks for sharing 

Excuse me for wasting your time reading my post to you about wasting time! Won't happen again. I thought this was a blog for people who seriously wanted help from others; I didn't know it was The Comedy Store.

Painting yourself is only worth it if:

You can't afford to pay someone or

You have lots of free time and are not pressed to have the job finished quickly or

You are or run a professional painting crew.

Otherwise it's more practical to hire out. The pros are a lot faster and better quality than the amateur. Save a few hundred on painting only to lose an extra month for vacancy? Nah

As a "Land Lord' I guess you have the option to do what you want it's your money.

Lazy is not paying attention to your investment in my opinion.

Personally I'm not  lazy I don't understand the concept.

I do understand how to maximize time, money, and effort to turn a unit, get the best possible market, income and keep my investment profitable, and my head above water so I can relax..sure I do some things myself and other things I hire out and it's seemed to work for the past 40 years so I guess I'm doing something right. Just because I personally don't cut the grass, plow the parking lots, put the shingles on, doesn't make me lazy, I've decided it's in my best "pocket book" interest to have it done by someone else. My talents also are having a good pool of people to choose from to call for work that needs to be done, knowing they will complete the job at a fair price. They appreciate me as owner, Land Lord because I pay them promptly.

I pick the battles I can win, do some of the work myself and hire the rest.

I do understand how to enjoy my money.


you just captured lazy landlord concept in a very serious no nonsense refuse to laugh at myself way.

Yes that is exactly what the lazy landlord series is about 

Learning how to tackle the big doable

Jobs that seem daunting 

Doing these jobs safely and to a high standard of craftsmanship 

The lazy part is that many of us procrastinate and really do not want to tackle these jobs 

This series is for those who may be on the fence or are about to embark on a similar renovAtion 

It's a place to share tips and tricks 

And read as I go through one of these renovStions I will share whatever I gleaned from the process

So Deanna I am not calling you lazy

I'm calling myself lazy because 

I have the ability to do and I usually end up dragging myself kicking and screaming to the job site

Originally posted by @Steven Maduro :

I'm calling myself lazy because 

I have the ability to do and I usually end up dragging myself kicking and screaming to the job site

 @ Steven Maduro, I told you long time ago: you should have bought a stick-shift wagon! 

That should have cured you of the "drive to the property to be renovated" aspect since you would have smiled ear-to-ear all the way to....:=P

Good to have you back!!!

did the competition managed to match your level of renovation/design?

P.S. i think your "mother/sister" grumpy mentor K.Marie Poe managed to step the wrong toe-fingers....she is Account unknown now....Pitty, i liked her posts/advices as a novice investor

hey old friend

Glad to hear from you

Grrrrr @stick shift

So far I have to say I am glad that I did the extras

But to answer your question

Every time I fill a vacancy i ask mirror mirror on the wall who has the fairest apartment of them all 

Usually the answer is 

"You do you do by far it is the fairest in all the land"

But lately others are quickly catching up

And now that my renovations are four years old 

I am getting answers 

There is an abode over yonder that has a nicer bathroom than you 

It seems my saving grace is my washer dryer 

But I'm

Still in the top ranks for the price point 

In fact I just recently remodeled an apartment and it had lots of bells and whistles.

Have I had perfect tenants? No

But the good really overwhelmingly outweighed the bad.

I miss mother Poe too

She certainly kept me on my toes.

Again glad to hear from you friend

@Steven Maduro

Laugh at myself Ya I did that last week, I had a water main leak,

The big boy company said 5 grand if it's outside the foundation line, after the leak tester guy came and listened to the line.  They said try and pin point the leak and suggested we start to hand dig as it was right next to edge of foundation slab. If leak wasn't on outside we were told we'd have to tear slab up on inside to get to pipe.

So I hired a couple of guys to start digging.

They decided to take a break, so they left and went into the house for some coffee.

 I felt like digging,it's simple, I could do it, I had been wheelbarrow person up to this point.. and directing them.

Well I fell in the hole,, yup up to my shoulders after the shovel slipped out from under me when I hit a rock. I was covered with mud and I scrapped my face and was embarrassed to say the least. I was stuck and couldn't get out, I was so embarrassed I didn't want to scream for help and have them find me like a pretzel in this hole. Well, I wriggled myself out and  learned a lesson, I realized It wasn't my type of work to do. I knew this from the beginning and why I doubted myself, it was just plain stupid. 

I couldn't cry all I could do was laugh and be thankful I wasn't hurt worse.

So Ya I can laugh at myself and along with others, they sure laughed at me covered with muck when they found me. 

They found the leak at the coupling, big boy company finished the job.

And I hired someone to fill it in.

(Photo is my guy finishing up after I fell in)

Originally posted by @Deanna McCormick:

@Steven Maduro

So Ya I can laugh at myself and along with others, they sure laughed at me covered with muck when they found me.

 I like you already: "When life trows you lemons, make lemonade"

When the scrapes come off may i recommend a good nice-smelly long hot bath?

and a banner on the wall/fridge: "DO NOT TOUCH A SHOVEL!"

also there are people in the world paying big money for mud baths...:-P

glad too hear you're OK

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