Relocating out of Denver to Chicago but want to keep my property.

3 Replies

Hi Everyone

I'm still new to REI, and only own my current residence, but in need of some help. I just purchased my condo last year, in the middle of some cosmetic rehab while living in it, and was looking to purchase another property in Denver in the next 6 - 8 months to start building my portfolio. I was just recently informed by the company I work for that they need me to relocate to Chicago again. I'm happy to make the move for the company, but don't want to lose my property here. I know I'll be back someday, but it could be a few years.

I currently own a 2 bed / 2 bath in the Cap Hill area of Denver and I'm trying to find a way to keep it. Does anyone have any recommendations for management companies that will take on one unit and work with someone from out of state?

My job would require me to be fairly hands off so I need someone whom can handle everything remotely. This means from finding renters, collecting payment, and handling repairs and any other needs. Clear and easy communication is very important to me. If it was necessary to come out for a weekend every so often that wouldn't be a problem. When I lived in Chicago before, I was often in Colorado once a month during snowboard season. I'm open to whether it's rented out to Airbnb type renters, or to long term renters.

Any recommendations, insight, and advice is greatly appreciated. Thank you.

Hi Conrad,

**Spoiler - we are taking the remote landlord path, so I can't recommend any property managers***  

But, my wife and I just did this exact same thing. We had been living in Fort Collins for the past 10 years, but due to job/family decisions, we moved back to the St. Louis area this past July. We knew we wanted to keep our FTC home because we would eventually move back and also we wanted to try our hand at being remote landlords. We spent quite a bit of time reading up on the subject and setting up our systems in order to make it an easy transition. Luckily, we were somewhat flexible with our move date and there is such a great demand for rentals in our area of Fort Collins, we were able to find some great tenants in just two days. It also helps to start telling your friends and co workers that you'll be renting your place out. Referrals are always great! 

Some questions to ask yourself - Do you want to see cashflow? Or are you OK with just breaking even until you move back? Are you sure you'd want to move back into that specific condo? Would you be comfortable being a distant landlord? Would you be comfortable paying that 8-10% management fee? What is your reason for wanting a property manager? Will time of year affect your rental pool?

I think a few of the things that we had going for us is that we know our neighbors well enough so if anything seemed "off", they'd let us know in a heartbeat. We also have great friends that live nearby, so we call them from time to time and ask them to do a simple "drive by". We also contacted our local utility companies and asked if they had any landlord programs. ie. They won't turn off the power if tenants stop paying rent in the middle of the winter, they'll just notify us and we can cover the costs and fix the problem with the tenants. We also took a TON of photos and videos after we had moved out and cleaned up (Just in case). Unfortunately, there is no such thing as 100% tenant proofing, but we certainly tried our best. 

Online bill pay is another tool that we really like. The program we use is free and it reminds the tenants to pay on time and is really just a very convenient way to collect rent. 

Pretty vague and I know you were looking for property manager referrals, but it may be worth your while to consider being an out of state landlord. We spent the time up front to get a solid system in place and so far, I have no complaints. But as the saying goes, "hope for the best, prepare for the worst".

Hope you are able to keep your home! CO is an extremely tough place to leave. I miss it every day.

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