Don’t make me move!

Imagine relocating to a new area for work. You do not know the area, have never lived there and are certainly not prepared for a highly competitive housing market. You may have put off finding a place to rent because, really, how bad could it be? Turns out it’s bad enough that you find yourself living out of your suitcase in a hotel room for months. You have a new job that requires all your attention, but you are pulled out of the office to look at place after place only to find that the landlord decided not to show up, that the place has already been rented, or that the place is dirty, dingy… or maybe you simply just couldn’t find that darn place at all.

You finally find a suitable place to live. It’s clean, it has just the right amount of space, it’s in a great location and the rent is doable. You’re comfortable. The boxes have been broken down and recycled. You’ve been in your place for about a year and you are thinking of sending that email requesting to renew your lease.

And then you get “the news”. The owner is going to put the place (your place!) on the market. You look over to that space in the garage where your boxes used to hang out and your stomach falls to your feet. You. Do. Not. Want. to. Move. Again!

The good news? You may not have to!

Many homeowners are taking advantage of the upswing in the resale market and are off loading homes that they could not sell for a profit in previous years. The market is saturated with cash buyers- investors looking to purchase homes to put on the rental market. As a tenant, it is advantageous to you to keep on top of the activity happening on the property where you live. Create a rapport with the listing agent, and check in with the owners when you hear of an offer coming in.

If an investor is making an offer, start working on your own offer. Outline the terms on which you would like to re-lease the property. What is the length of time you would like for the lease? No rent increase? No security deposit increase? Who pays the utilities? Write it up, and have the new owner review and sign it. If you are a good tenant, chances are keeping your lease would be worthwhile to the new owner as well.

Don’t give up the fight when you are already one step ahead in the game!


When graffiti is not art.

vw graffitiOne Sunday morning I had to drive to the office to meet a client. The front of my car was not facing me (I was not parked in my driveway), so as I got into my car and drove away everything seemed as usual. I arrived at my office and got out of my car, met with my clients and finished the paperwork. Then we were headed to meet at their new home to do a property “walk through”. They left the office first and I was to follow. As I left the office, now the front of my car was facing me and behold I was shocked! My car had been tagged! I still had to drive to the other side of town and meet my clients and I was so embarrassed. My yellow VW Beetle ruined! How was I going to get this off? Well the good news is that it all came off pretty quickly with the product – Goo Gone! Not a spot left and no harm to the paint on my car.

After this incident, I became more aware of issue of graffiti. What do you do if you spot graffiti?

Both  Santa Cruz and Watsonville have Graffiti Abatement Programs.

In Watsonville, property owners are required to remove graffiti within 48 hours. The city will no longer provide free unlimited removal for private property owners. The city will continue to remove graffiti from public property. If your property is part of a Home Owners’ Association, it is your responsibility to contact the HOA and have the graffiti removed within 48 hours. The ultimate responsibility for the removal rests on the property owner if the HOA fails to remove the graffiti.

If this happens to you, make sure you file a police report, I did.


Is it the pickles or the tomatoes that make a tuna sandwich soggy?

Why a blog referring to a soggy tuna sandwich? Isn’t it “the worst” when you expect to eat a tasty tuna sandwich made with sourdough bread; you take that first bite and you find out it tastes soggy! Well that was the case with my husband after he bit into the sandwich I made him and found it was soggy. He was very disappointed! Later at an opportune moment he made me aware the experience. To make his point, every disappointment or problem was later called a “soggy tuna sandwich”.

The truth was that I had made the sandwich the day before. On that day, he didn’t take it to work so I just put it in his lunch bag the following day. Lesson learned –  I should have just made a new sandwich and not repurposed the old one.

So the soggy tuna sandwich refers to the day-to-day challenges in business.

Property management has its daily challenges. Every day is a new experience.

The purpose of my blog is to tell a story of my interesting experiences and some of the lessons learned.

I will share the situations I encounter in my property management world and write about the personal interactions and conversations from the viewpoint of an experienced property manager. 

In demonstrating the lessons, I will make reference to the resource that help me identify, analyze, and work through each situation.

I hope my experience and insights will help you when interacting with Owners, Tenants, and other Service Providers in your property management business or real estate investment business.

If you would like to view my website, click here.