MAINTAINING A RENTAL PROPERTY

3 Replies

I've owned a 4plex for 13 years, one of my first rental properties. Three years ago I sold my primary home and moved into a unit in the 4plex; I absolutely love it, by the way! As an on-site landlord, I am much more involved in the upkeep and day-to-day business of landlording. My question; currently the tenants pay for PITI and water/garbage. I pay myself $500/month to cover any maintenance emergencies. My question is... I am considering having the front yard professionally landscaped; right now the yard looks like crap...no curb appeal at all. The job is out of my DIY skill level, so DIY is not an option. I have a landscaper that has the plans and is working up a bid as we speak. I don't have much in the savings for this big of a job so I'm considering a HELOC and I will be paying for it from my slush funds. My son, the Dave Ramsey guru is screaming NO MOM, do a little work, pay for it, then do a little more, then pay for it.... but, I don't believe this is an option when working with a landscaper. Other landlords I've talked to say, let the front yard go, let it look like crap - just keep mowing the weeds down; landscaping isn't going to make you any money. I'm having a really hard time with this. For all of you smart Bigger Pockets out there, what are your thoughts? Oh, PS, I'm working with the Home Depot kitchen designer to redo the kitchen in my apartment...I'm considering their 24-month no interest financing... comments?

Assuming this 4plex is always rented and you never have any extended vacancies ...

If this is your investment, DO NOT GO INTO DEBT FOR LANDSCAPING

If this is your forever home and your investment, DO NOT GO INTO DEBT FOR LANDSCAPING

If this is first and foremost your forever home and only in small measure your investment, if your tenants are more like your friends than your tenants, and you really really really want a nice lawn, PAY FOR LANDSCAPING BUT DO NOT GO INTO DEBT FOR LANDSCAPING.

Put simply, going into debt for landscaping is like taking out a HELOC to get your nails done.