When The Maintenance "Gremlins" Hit, They Really Hit!

6 Replies

I have 5 rentals that I have owned for several years now, all 'cash cows' throwing off money, with few maintenance problems.

Since Christmas, I have had to replace the water heaters in 3 houses, had the blower motor and control unit in an HVAC unit go out, and have a pipe under the foundation of the fifth house start leaking requiring two holes in the foundation!

I would cry, but it wouldn't help, I just laugh and  know its just part of what happens!

I would love to hear stories from others that have hit similar stretches of heavy repairs... 

@Andy Collins

I feel your pain Andy! If we lived near each other, I'd suggest getting a beer and drowning our sorrows together :).  

In the last 12 months it's been a roof, a dishwasher, a tree removal, pest removal, and two partial AC/furnace unit replacements. We also had a small water leak that required a pipe repair and some sheet rock being replaced. That's in addition to the usual maintenance stuff. Lot's of money flowing out, but at least we're getting good cash flow and the property is paying for it. 

Let's see - $7K in damage done by a tenant in one unit, others had a roof repair, a floor replacement, a new shower/tub liner installation/spackle/paint job, insulation in the basement, 2 dryer repairs, a door replacement, a bathtub/shower refinishing, and a 3 month vacancy....I'm sure there was more, but I've chosen to block it out ;)

All properties except 1 were cash flowing, but so much outflow in one year was a disaster.

In the last 6 months or so: a new roof (I knew it was needed and put it off for about a year), 3 new A/C units, one water heater, and one house needing a new air handler (estimated cost $1200). Not a big big deal but....every dime does add up. I put all income into a segregated account and don't spend it on anything other than the properties so....the cash is there WHEN needed. I expect these issues...and am prepared for them.

My biggest repairs happen if I ever get ****** tenants. You will have that though. If it is just standard water heaters and hvac those aren't even that big.

My suggestion.

Network better with people and negotiate like a boss to get better deals on the installation of HVAC and hot water tanks. I have done so well that I don't even worry if that happens because I have great workers that give me basement bargain deals for hot water tanks.

Now if we are talking structural...... Well that sucks really bad and I feel your pain!

Originally posted by @Andy Collins :

I would cry, but it wouldn't help, I just laugh and know its just part of what happens!

I would love to hear stories from others that have hit similar stretches of heavy repairs...

Good grief, that stuff is normal!

Ok, in the last year, hmmm, AC bill for one property was $800, plumbing in one property $2600, sewer pipes replaced a couple of months ago $2500, new AC in one house $4000, I think we spent close to $2k on other AC units being repaired over last summer, hmmm, what else? And one tree brought down for $2500.

Why are you replacing water heaters? Most of the time they are repairable for a fraction of the cost (and hassle). A dead water heater is one that leaks. If it doesn't leak, then it gets repaired onsite.

If  having 3 hot water heats out of 5 rentals is "normal" to you,,then you have a problem,,.  The hot water heaters all started leaking,,

I have had more in maintenance cost in the past 3 months than in the previous 3 years,,but that's the way it goes,,they all make money and have a lot of equity

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