Hello, Mr. Investor! - A letter that I won't actually send
The following is a letter that I wrote more for myself and to entertain you as readers. I may communicate with this owner, but I will tone it down substantially if I move down this path. This is in reference to the house next door to me.
Hey Mr. Investor - I just wanted to drop you a quick note about the listing of mine that you bought next door to my home. When I sold it last year, I have to admit that my stomach dropped a little bit when I realized that you were planning to rent it out. My neighbors immediately began to question me about this:
"Won't that hurt our property values if we have renters there?"
"Couldn't you have found someone to buy it who was actually going to live in the house?"
Unfortunately, you brought the best offer last summer, despite my hopes that someone else would come along. I addressed my neighbors' concerns by explaining that because of the price point, the rent would be high enough to attract a better quality tenant than average.
Apparently, I was wrong.
The first tenants seemed nice enough at first, with a couple of kids, maybe a little more blue collar than the rest of us, but who cares?
Then, the in-laws came. They were a rough crowd, and I truly wondered if they weren't setting up a homeless camp in the driveway at one point. The loud cussing from Grandpa directed at his 14-year old granddaughter was bad enough, but the capper was the conversation when Ms. Tenant openly admitted that they had chosen this house because the racial demographics were more suited to her husband's racist nature. Actually, the verbatim quote was, "I'm not racist, but _____ is, so we had to research the different areas." Yikes! I can only imagine how racist he must truly be for his own WIFE to admit this.
Later, they actually approached me about buying a home, and I sent them some properties to peruse, then heard nothing, then realized that they had moved under cover of darkness one night. Good riddance, frankly. They apparently complained to another neighbor of ours that you had never fixed ANYTHING that was wrong with the house, and they were unable to use the master bathroom shower because it was leaking badly.
If you want to be a real investor, budget some money for repairs.
You managed to attract another tenant after a month or so, and I was informed by my neighbor across the street that these tenants possessed an "arsenal" of guns (his actual choice of words). Great! With my three small children, this inspires much confidence. At least they don't have a dog that looks like it could consume two of my children without blinking an eye like the last folks.
These people are nice and they keep to themselves, only it's more in the way that people refer to serial killers after the fact - "He was a quiet guy, pretty much kept to himself." I have NEVER been able to get them to make eye contact with me in four months, much less speak to me. Creepy? Indeed.
Don't be surprised if you get a notice from our homeowners association about the yard. I think they are going for the "abandoned" look, with weeds growing in every conceivable place in the driveway and flower beds (can you call them flower beds if the weeds have choked and killed the desirable plant life?), and ZERO water, despite the hottest summer in Austin since 1925. I have never been the kind of guy to interfere with others with our HOA, but I might email them about this, since it looks so badly maintained.
Do you actually HAVE a property manager?
For your sake, I hope that you aren't paying anyone to manage this place in this fashion, but that might have been something to consider when you bought the property. Since you put about $80,000 down on this house, and since you are cash flowing about $500/month at this point (I know what you are charging), please consider paying someone 10% per month to help. Heck, I have a good guy that will do it for 8% for you. I would even consider helping if you like.
Most people around Austin that know me will tell you that I am pretty easy to get along with, and my agents would tell you that I am about as calm as they come, but everyone has limits.
Please quit "playing" investor and be a big boy. Clean up the house and yard and do a background check next time, if you don't mind. I will even pay for the check if you like. You have never even seen this property in person, since you live out-of-state, and it shows.