As any rental property owner can tell those thinking about investing in this market, it requires a continuing financial investment for as long as you own the property. Routine maintenance, occasional upgrades, full remodels, previous tenant damage, they all put a toll on your finances over time. While certain expenses are unavoidable, smart investors know how to maintain the perfect balance between maintaining the upkeep on their properties and bleeding money continuously. Consider these tips to help keep your rental property maintenance costs down.
Respond to Maintenance Calls Promptly
It’s easy to put off simple repairs, but this is by far the wrong thing to do. First, it irritates your tenants, leading to potential vacancies. Second, the longer you let a problem go, the bigger and more expensive to repair it may become. Fast response to every call, no matter how small the problem may be, is an excellent way to help keep your costs low and your tenants happy.
Be Proactive in Your Spending
It might seem counterintuitive to spend money on upgrades and repairs when you are trying to find ways to save money. But it is, in fact, an excellent way for you to save. Consider this: A new stove will cost you $500 (just a number) up front, but throughout the next five years you must pay for four after-hours maintenance calls @ $200.00 each (or more). In five years, you will have spent $800.00 or more on service calls, after hours fees, and parts. During this same time, your tenants have been subjected to a stove that never really seems to stay working. Suddenly, that $500.00 stove isn’t so expensive.
Updating the fixtures is an excellent short-term investment with a long term-payback. Installing simple things like WiFi thermostats, voice-activated outlets, and light switches is a good example.These items may require a moderate investment, but when you add them to your rental property along with upgraded appliances, you could increase the rent. Not only will this help cover the cost of your short-term investment, but the return on your investment continues.
Plan for Future Expenses
Anytime one of your rental properties has a maintenance issue; you need to have the money available to pay for the repairs on hand. From a simple appliance repair to a water heater that decides to explode in the middle of the night, issues like these and more are something you will deal with at some time. Routine maintenance can help reduce the number of occurrences; there isn’t a way to eliminate them entirely.
You need to create a savings account that is strictly for maintenance, repair, and upgrade costs. This will help keep you from being stuck with a hefty repair bill and no idea how you are going to pay for it. Along with this, it is vital that you find and keep excellent tenants. To do this, you need to stay on top of maintenance and repairs. It is much easier to invest a little to keepa great tenant than it is to deal with a long-term vacancy.