Bay City, MI boots on the Ground? PM, Maintenance, HELP!

24 Replies

I am considering a duplex purchase in Bay City, MI.  

Does anyone have a good team (boots on the ground) there for:

Property Management - Need ala carte PM who can handle mostly the eviction process if necessary and regular maintenance (I have the lease up and monthly rent collection covered).

Light rehab - (patching walls, repairing subfloor in spots, installing flooring, painting, repairing siding, etc).  I could work with a skilled handyman, or current superintendant at another location.

I can fly out there to meet the team, and get things set up, but I need to have something in place before I touch down.  I only have limited time there, so I want to make good use of it.

Also, is NOW a good time to do rehab in Michigan?  Is there such a thing as TOO COLD to work?? :)

Hi Cara,

I hope everything goes well and you are able to close on your duplex in Bay City MI.

My name is Greg and I’m an investor, agent and builder here in MI. Yes, rehab is possible here during the colder months. Only project I would stress caution on would be with the vinyl siding.

Vinyl siding is extremely sensitive to temperature. Ideally you would want to install vinyl around 45-50 degrees F. However, it is possible to install at lower temperatures if proper measurements are considered for expansion and contraction.

Take care

Originally posted by @Gregory Rankel :

Hi Cara,

I hope everything goes well and you are able to close on your duplex in Bay City MI.

My name is Greg and I’m an investor, agent and builder here in MI. Yes, rehab is possible here during the colder months. Only project I would stress caution on would be with the vinyl siding.

Vinyl siding is extremely sensitive to temperature. Ideally you would want to install vinyl around 45-50 degrees F. However, it is possible to install at lower temperatures if proper measurements are considered for expansion and contraction.

Take care

 Thanks for the tip!  That's good to know.  I am in Scottsdale, AZ.  We don't deal with much snow or cold weather.  :)

Do you do small projects like this to make a unit rent ready?  Or as a builder, is this beyond your expertise?  Do you know of some good subs?

My wife and I question daily why we stay here and freeze when we love palm trees and a warmer climate! :)

I do take on jobs that are smaller, but that all depends on what I currently have going on. Any job size goes to help finance my re investments.

Bay City is just under 2 hours away from me. I will ask some of the local subs that I have experience with around here to see if they would be interested in the work. I will let you know if any are.

If you could keep me updated as to when you close on this duplex that would be great. Would love to hear how everything worked out being that your so far way.

If you are having trouble finding a contractor please let me know. I might entertain a weekend away!

Take care

Originally posted by @Gregory Rankel :

My wife and I question daily why we stay here and freeze when we love palm trees and a warmer climate! :)

I do take on jobs that are smaller, but that all depends on what I currently have going on. Any job size goes to help finance my re investments.

Bay City is just under 2 hours away from me. I will ask some of the local subs that I have experience with around here to see if they would be interested in the work. I will let you know if any are.

If you could keep me updated as to when you close on this duplex that would be great. Would love to hear how everything worked out being that your so far way.

If you are having trouble finding a contractor please let me know. I might entertain a weekend away!

Take care

 Thanks alot!  I appreciate the help.  This is the frustrating part about buying in other states.  I am hoping that it is worth the investment.

@Cara Lonsdale I believe there is a local REI group in Saginaw, which may help you in making some connections. Have you searched meetup.com? That would be a good place to start.

Btw, winter is the best time to be rehabbing since it's too cold to be doing anything else ;)  

Originally posted by @Emily B. :

@Cara Lonsdale I believe there is a local REI group in Saginaw, which may help you in making some connections. Have you searched meetup.com? That would be a good place to start.

Btw, winter is the best time to be rehabbing since it's too cold to be doing anything else ;)  

 I live in Scottsdale, AZ, so I don't have the ability to go to a meetup, but that is a great suggestion for a local.

Another item that you really shouldn't do in the winter is the roofing, especially asphalt tiles.  Theoretically,  winter should be a good time for rehab, as there should be more people looking for work.  The keywords are "theoretically" and "should" - LOL. 

Good luck.  Let me know if I can help any further than my diatribe on the difficulties there.   

@Cara Lonsdale I know you're in AZ, I meant as a resource for reaching out to investors specifically in that area. Doesn't mean you need to be there in person to make initial connections.

Originally posted by @Emily B. :

@Cara Lonsdale I know you're in AZ, I meant as a resource for reaching out to investors specifically in that area. Doesn't mean you need to be there in person to make initial connections.

 You're right.  Thanks for the tip!

Hello,

I am actually looking to make an offer on a 4plex in Bay City as SoCal investor. Looking to identify a few PMs to interview and work through my ‘out of state’ jitters.

I have done quite a bit research and would love any current or future outlook thoughts, from those of you who have experience in this area

Thanks
Norm...

Originally posted by @Norman Hopson :

Hello,

I am actually looking to make an offer on a 4plex in Bay City as SoCal investor. Looking to identify a few PMs to interview and work through my ‘out of state’ jitters.

I have done quite a bit research and would love any current or future outlook thoughts, from those of you who have experience in this area

Thanks
Norm...

 Hi Norm, Who are you considering for PM?  I have requested the PM agreement for Pinnacle Property Management out of Saginaw.  Have you heard of them?

Cara, I am still looking. The 4plex did not workout, but I am now looking at a couple of duplex units.  As for the PMs, I will be contacting one of these on the city site:

http://www.baycityarea.com/Property-Management

Let me know how Pinnacle works out.

Originally posted by @Norman Hopson :

Cara, I am still looking. The 4plex did not workout, but I am now looking at a couple of duplex units.  As for the PMs, I will be contacting one of these on the city site:

http://www.baycityarea.com/Property-Management

Let me know how Pinnacle works out.

I could be wrong, but from a first glance of the list on the Chamber site, these seem like commercial property managers for specific properties (Fashion Square Mall, Bay City Towne Center, etc). I wonder if any of the others take on single properties, or if they wouldn't want to bother with a single SFR or small multi....? I like the fact that they are tied to a chamber (accountability, references, etc).

I just received the PM agreement from Pinnacle.  Everything seems to appear okay.  10% on the monthly (only if they collect), 1/2 month's rent for the lease up (which is good.  Most I found want a full month's lease up fee.)  They want first right of refusal for selling your property if you decide to sell, etc.  A few tweaks and I think it could work.

This good. I will contact Pinnacle as well. 


I just spoke with Weiss company and they seem that have a good understanding of the area and provide management for a number of businesses and residential units. They have a few options for management that offers a 24/7 hotline, general repair, lawn and snow removal. 

I am waiting for a call back on how they handle the leasing side(Rent, evictions,etc..). More importantly, they understand the area very well and the person I spoke with was down to earth.

https://weisspm.com/building-services/

Norm....

Originally posted by @Norman Hopson :

This good. I will contact Pinnacle as well. 


I just spoke with Weiss company and they seem that have a good understanding of the area and provide management for a number of businesses and residential units. They have a few options for management that offers a 24/7 hotline, general repair, lawn and snow removal. 

I am waiting for a call back on how they handle the leasing side(Rent, evictions,etc..). More importantly, they understand the area very well and the person I spoke with was down to earth.

https://weisspm.com/building-services/

Norm....

 I am wondering if it's best to piece this out.  Pinnacle stated that they refer their evictions to an attorney, or defer to an attorney of my choosing.  I contacted a few in the area (that were also on the chamber site, and they seem pretty reasonable, and willing to take them on as they come.

If Weiss does the maintenance side of things, that would only leave the lease up and rent collection.  Rent collection is easy and can be done through cozy.co or Zelle.  And I imagine that any Realtor would be able to list the rental for lease and place a tenant.  

There might be savings there to divide the responsiblities.  On the one hand, I like the idea of a 1 stop shop.  However, I don't like all the nickel and dime fees for things that should be able to run smoothly on their own like rent collection. 

What I DIDN'T like about the contract was all the bindings for my options like giving them first right of refusal for selling the place if I decide I want to sell. What if I want to FSBO it myself? So, these types of things would have to be negotiated I think.

I fully agree that the nickel and dime these PMs charge can get out of control. I just got a contract that had a 10% monthly fee plus a service fee on top, to manage tenets and both a start-up and end of year fee, among others.

If you can efficiently separate the maintenance and tenet management and maintain your sanity, directly dealing with the tenets, you should be good. 

I will let reply when I hear from Weiss's tenet side of things. 

Hey guys, 

I live and invest in Bay City. I haven't used any property management companies yet. I haven't heard of any great ones yet either. I know a few local builders if you need referrals.

Bay City is a great city to invest in. Extremely low purchase prices with national average rent rates. It's a beautiful thing! 

Nick

Originally posted by @Nick Thompson :

Hey guys, 

I live and invest in Bay City. I haven't used any property management companies yet. I haven't heard of any great ones yet either. I know a few local builders if you need referrals.

Bay City is a great city to invest in. Extremely low purchase prices with national average rent rates. It's a beautiful thing! 

Nick

 Hey Nick!  Thanks for joining the discussion.

Can you give us any run down on the different areas....like does it make a difference if you are on the West side or East side of the water divide that runs through Bay City?  

Are there bad pockets?  If so, where would you consider those to be?

Do rentals get filled relatively quickly, or tend to sit on the market for a while?

Anything you can add would be a great help!

@Norman Hopson you picked a winner!  I spoke with Jeff at Weiss, and managing the maintenance on the property WITHOUT leasing it up or collecting rent is EXACTLY what they do.  This is GREAT!

They set up a $500 annual threshhold, and once they go over that, they contact you.  Before that, they don't bother you with small repairs.  Additionally, they will do any light rehab or remodel to get it rent ready.  They understand the bare minimum that it takes to invest in rehab, so they get it in a condition just right for renting.  It sounds great.

Good find.

Great Cara!  I spoke with them a few times since and will be using them once/if my project closes. 

How do you manage rent, collect/provide keys, evict etc.  efficiently from out of state. If I can do this, this would be perfect for me as well. 

Thanks!

Originally posted by @Norman Hopson :

Great Cara!  I spoke with them a few times since and will be using them once/if my project closes. 

How do you manage rent, collect/provide keys, evict etc.  efficiently from out of state. If I can do this, this would be perfect for me as well. 

Thanks!

For rent collection, I am going to give them choice of either Zelle (which is free and immediate payment) or Cozy.co, which is also free, but has a 3-5 day delay for posting to your bank account, but it is good for tracking.

I am going to let Weiss be in charge of changing locks and furnishing a key to the Tenant.  They just won't do the lease up because they are not RE agents.

 I found an attorney (William Allsopp) that will do standard evictions for a flat fee.  Here is the arrangement:

You can do the Notice to Quit with Proof of Service. (it is on the Bay City Court site for free download).

They will do Complaint, the Summons, and the initial hearing including preparing the Judgment for $175 plus the court filing fee. They will try to get you reimbursed $75 by putting that in judgment. If you need them to do the Writ/Final Eviction that will be an additional $75 plus the court filing fee for the Writ ($15). 

These are for standard non pay evictions. If there are adjournments then there will be an additional $75 or if there is jury demand it will be at their usual hourly fee ($225 per hour). Also copies and postage fees are also in addition to any services listed above.

Hi Cara,

Around your questions on the various areas of the city, I generally find the west side of the river to be a bit more favorable.  Also, the various townships seem to be easier and friendlier to deal with than the City of Bay City.  

In the City of Bay City, the utilities (water/sewer/trash and electric) are managed by and paid to the City.  Natural gas is thru Consumers.   The base rate for the utilities thru the City is about $75/month with no usage at all.   Also, the building and permit department for the City is difficult to deal with.   The townships have much more liberal policies.

Rentals seem to get filled pretty quickly in my limited experience.  

I have a great home inspector to recommend to anyone who might need one.  I also found a great electrician.  Those are the only 2 providers that I can really recommend as the others I've dealt with have not been worthy of recommends!

My history is that my family comes from Bay City, and I was born there.  I spent part of my childhood there, and I have pretty much my full extended family there.  Two years ago, I bought two houses on one property from my grandmother's estate that my grandfather built in the 40's and 50's.  The property is in Bangor Township.  Both houses had a lot of deferred maintenance that I have taken care of.  Then last year, I bought a bank foreclosure on the East side (in the City of Bay City).  It was a great price, but needed quite a bit of work.  That work is finally finishing up, and I will sell the house in a month or so.  It's been a long road.

Please let me know if I can help any more.  

@Cara Lonsdale. Wanted to update you on the PM. I have been unable to get them to callback and needed to find another company.

I found All Star Asset Management (ASAM) that is in the area. I spoke with Brittney who did a walkthrough on the property that I am closing on. She did a very thorough job and will be working with a few contractors to get quotes for my rehab.

Let me know if things worked out with Weiss.

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