Author Topic: Put in an offer - have some questions  (Read 1446 times)

Travelling Biologist

  • Pencil Stache
  • ****
  • Posts: 937
  • Location: Canada
Put in an offer - have some questions
« on: July 17, 2015, 07:09:20 AM »
We put in an offer on a small duplex with two bedrooms in each unit. I am crunching numbers like crazy to see if it makes sense or not. It all seems to depend on how much I can get for rent, and whether or not the tenants pay for utilities. It is near a university so I am hoping for grad/law/medical students or mature undergrads. But, the fall semester is almost upon us (September 8) which leaves me very little time to find good tenants! The inside is completely renovated with new stainless steel appliances in one of the units, and used but good appliances in the other. My questions:

1. Do you include utilities or not? Pros/cons? I would prefer for the tenants to pay for utilities as I believe tenants can sometimes be wasteful if the landlord is paying. I have no idea what they will cost since the house has been completely renovated. And the higher rent I can get if I include utilities (about $100 per month per unit) does not cover utilities.

2. What about phone/cable/internet?

3. Furnished or unfurnished? I think for students, having a partly furnished placed might be attractive if they are moving away from home for the first time, but I bet the furniture would take a beating. On the other hand, I think I could get a higher rent by adding a few key pieces to make the place look even nicer.




ShoulderThingThatGoesUp

  • Magnum Stache
  • ******
  • Posts: 2745
  • Location: Emmaus, PA
Re: Put in an offer - have some questions
« Reply #1 on: July 17, 2015, 07:31:05 AM »
My college landlord's property manager told me he always included utilities, because he had a tenant turn off the heat over winter break and ruin the place. I think it's a necessity with student tenants in a cold climate like Canada (or western New York state where I went to college). We paid for our own internet, and all the college rentals I had were furnished.

Travelling Biologist

  • Pencil Stache
  • ****
  • Posts: 937
  • Location: Canada
Re: Put in an offer - have some questions
« Reply #2 on: July 17, 2015, 08:11:57 AM »
Hmmm. Hadn't thought about that. Maybe I could offer to pay their winter break utilities if they go away.

CashFlowDiaries

  • Stubble
  • **
  • Posts: 178
  • Location: Indianapolis, IN
  • Follow me on my journey to Financial Freedom!
    • Cash Flow Diaries
Re: Put in an offer - have some questions
« Reply #3 on: July 17, 2015, 11:20:41 AM »
What I would do if I were you is look at other rentals in the same exact area that you purchasing that duplex from and do what they are doing.   If the majority are furnished, then furnish it.  It everyone is making the tenants pay utils then do the same.   Look at craigslist, zillow, trulia and you can see other rentals by map and just go to your address and see what is around it.
Passive Income earner.  Creator of  www.cashflowdiaries.com

justchristine

  • Bristles
  • ***
  • Posts: 289
Re: Put in an offer - have some questions
« Reply #4 on: July 17, 2015, 11:45:26 AM »
Hmmm. Hadn't thought about that. Maybe I could offer to pay their winter break utilities if they go away.

Check with your utility company about making you listed in their records as the owner.  I had my rental listed that way so the service was never turned off, it just switched back to me when a tenant called to disconnect.

KCM5

  • Pencil Stache
  • ****
  • Posts: 802
Re: Put in an offer - have some questions
« Reply #5 on: July 17, 2015, 12:00:05 PM »
Are you living in half? Or will they both be rented? If you're up for the liability, you could offer internet access off of your wifi.

Second the recommendation regarding furnished/unfurnished - do what others do.

You could write into the lease that the tenent is required to notify you if they will be gone for more than a week or something if you're worried about the heat being shut off.

frugally

  • Stubble
  • **
  • Posts: 135
    • Welcome to the Woods
Re: Put in an offer - have some questions
« Reply #6 on: July 18, 2015, 01:55:55 PM »
As a college student, I rented a place that included all utilities.  The landlord had some sort of thermometer that I was not able to change without them - I would definitely recommend this for a student rental if you're having them pay utilities.  I was able to have the landlord change the temperature down to 66 - he was fine with that, just didn't want me changing it to 50 or something ridiculous.  Not sure if there are any legalities around controlling that.

As a current landlord, I have my tenants pay for all utilities I can make them pay for (our city makes the owner take care of water/sewer/trash).  I much prefer it this way as there is less headache and less chance for a surprise utility bill in my opinion.

ShoulderThingThatGoesUp

  • Magnum Stache
  • ******
  • Posts: 2745
  • Location: Emmaus, PA
Re: Put in an offer - have some questions
« Reply #7 on: July 18, 2015, 01:57:39 PM »
You could write into the lease that the tenent is required to notify you if they will be gone for more than a week or something if you're worried about the heat being shut off.

Yeah, college students are totally going to follow through with that.