What do you wish you knew starting out?

4 Replies

I just won the bid on a duplex that I plan to househack as an owner occupied.  I'm working on the inspection and rest of the closing pieces at this time.

As I get closer to closing I need to start thinking about renting out either the top or bottom unit.  As this is my first rental property I would love to hear from more experienced people to hear about the errors you initially made, or just things you had wished you'd done differently, so I can learn from you and start off on my best foot.

@Warren West First of all congratulations! Second, I recommend hiring an electrician and a plumber to do an inspection in addition to a regular inspector. Also be very conservative with your numbers and always have reserves ready. Congrats!

There's a lot, but one thing is that it almost always costs more to do repairs than you originally think. So make sure to inspect carefully and add a contingency for overages, because there will always be something more than you originally thought.

Congrats! I started with a house hack duplex about 25 years ago...

Here's what I wish I knew:  The main thing is to receive the rent. I love the details of the lease and challenge of the tenants and even the hands on work that I still choose to do. Don't get caught up in worries or disputes or details. The main thing is to receive the rent. If the tenant is paying, you can work through any problem.

Best single piece of advice: have a reserve. Something will go wrong and you need to have money on hand to deal with it so you don't derail your investment plans or destroy your investment portfolio.