3 Kinds of Tenants: A Gross Generalization

Hi all,

Sometimes gross generalizations can be helpful I think. They may be inaccurate, but at least they get us thinking.

I was driving home from the Zen Center this morning and I started thinking about my tenants, and decided they fall into two categories. I’m going to call these two categories the pleasing tenant and the neutral tenant. These are both good categories.

The pleasing tenant is the most fun. They send you Christmas cards and notes with their rent check, and you become friends, or at least friendly with them. These people offer you coffee when you go to fix their faucet !

The second gross category of tenant is the neutral tenant. They don’t care to have a relationship with their landlord. They already have busy lives, and don’t care that much about their landlord unless something breaks. These kinds of tenants are great too.

I intentionally said that my tenants fall into two categories. That’s because I avoid the 3rd category of tenant. The category of tenant you truly want to avoid is the “stickin it to the man” tenant. These are the people who fill out an application and they don’t have a bank account because they don’t want to deal with “the man.” They don’t believe in credit cards, or the government, and sometimes they want to share these beliefs with you when they apply. I don’t have anything against people who are thinking about America this way. In a lot of ways I admire them and support them, and believe the same things. But guess what – as soon as you become their landlord, you become THE MAN – and – they are gonna stick it to ya !

As always, your comments are welcome.

Appraisal Hell

I wake up at 3 am in Appraisal Hell.

A little background is probably in order. Wife is ready to retire in a few years. Income will drop when she stops working. Refinancing our home at a lower rate would reduce our payments and thereby increase our income. Submit a Refinance application. Have the property appraised to determine what it’s worth for the lender. Enter Hell.

I’ve only been to Appraisal Hell once before, when, during the housing collapse, we tried to take cash out of a property to pay for our son’s college. The appraisal was so low that we had almost no equity. This may or may not have been correct, but times were crazy and I couldn’t really dispute it. This time around though, I know the appraiser is saying that our house is worth about $75,000 less than it is really worth. Hey, I’m a property manager and real estate investor. I’m ALWAYS watching how much houses sell for, just to stay informed.

At this point in time we can still get the loan, but I am really mad that I have paid $450 for someone to write up an inaccurate appraisal. And, since it changes our loan to value ratio, our fees have raised by a couple hundred dollars. Now, I’m happy to say that the appraiser is being really good about addressing my concerns, it seems like he could just blow me off. So, he may be the victim of circumstances, which involve a dearth of comparable properties in the area. Or, he may be incompetent, I don’t know.

Practice-wise I feel like I am caught in a quandary. I don’t like the physical feeling of being angry, but if I let this go, will I stop fighting ? Maybe, maybe not. I guess I’ll talk to the Zen teacher tomorrow. I need some clarity to get me out of HELL !