Tips for newbie in Fresno?

4 Replies

I'm about to take the leap and invest in my first rental home. The motivation behind this is to generate some steady income for my mom's care (I'm trustee/POA). I'm searching with my RE agent now for a single family home in Fresno to rent out and hold for the long term. I've never managed/owned a rental before. I'm not particularly handy, although open to learn some basic skills as I go. Any tips for a newbie like me? Also, would you recommend a management company for the first year at least? If this goes well, I'm hoping to purchase another rental within the next year.

Thanks!  I'm learning a lot from the posts I've read so far.

Hi Christine - one piece of advice I would give you is to be sure that you have some reserve money put aside - not only for unexpected repairs - but for your mortgage payment. When you have a SFR that you are renting out - you take the chance that the tenant don't pay their rent - if that happens then you are on the hook for that payment so it's in your best interest to have enough put aside to cover 2 -3 months rent. That way - if you have to evict- you have something set aside to help get you through it -

As Chad said ... your agent should be able to connect you to  some trusted property managers - if not - I would be happy to help you out.  Managing a single property shouldn't be too difficult - but some people are just not cut out for property management - i.e  - they are too nice or don't like confrontation - you have to ask yourself if are able evict a pregnant woman who is 2 months behind on rent...are you willing to raise your tenants rents each year? Are you willing to take late night calls about emergency issues and do you have the contacts to handle it. These are the types of issues that can come up and some people have no problem making it work while others struggle with it. If you do decide to self mange - it's a good idea to brush up on the law concerning property management to avoid getting yourself into any trouble. It's not as difficult as people make it out to be ... it's also not as simple as it looks either... but with some education, the right paperwork , and a willingness to keep learning... you should be able to manage one property on your own. 

Best of luck!! - keep us up to date on your first investment... would love to hear more about your experience. 

@Christine Cogan-Mesa congrats on getting started!  yes, i highly recommend a reputable management company, even if you want to manage yourself one day to save the management fee, the best way to learn how is to work alongside them and learn from their experience.  if you need names of some good companies i'm happy to provide if you message me.  Good luck!!

@Chad Deihl @Jay Orlauski @Jeff Zimmerman

Well, it's been a bit of a whirlwind, but I wanted to thank the three of you for your valuable input. We just closed on a 4 bdrm SFH that was mistakenly listed as a 3 bdrm...and yes...all rooms have a closet. I'm pretty happy with our find :) I'm nervous and excited and relieved all at the same time.

I decided to go with a rental property management company, since my knowledge level is close to zero, but I'm a bit appalled at the online reviews of the local companies.  Some reviews I can dismiss (i.e. disgruntled renters who don't read their rental contract), but others are more concerning such as the company being neglectful of valid renter concerns or flat out mismanagement.  Which rental property management companies would you recommend as trustworthy and easy to work with/communicate with?  My real estate agent suggested one (Tyler), but made it clear he reviews all repair suggestions and often hires someone else to do the work.

Any thoughts?  Thanks again!

Christine