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  1. OK, landlords.... part of this is learning stuff sometimes the hard and expensive way. What did you learn along the way that is advice you would pass along to a newbie getting their start? I'll get the conversation started. When I started working as a property manager I already owned eleven units. I thought I knew what I was doing. Fast forward six years and boy did I get schooled. The cool thing about being a property manager is that you get to see a wide variety of properties, people, and tactics. You get to see what people tried that didn't work, and what did. Here's a list I came up with the other day after I was asked the above question. Please chime in and tell everyone what you learned the hard way. Don't buy a place you wouldn't want your kids living in when they're that age You can fix a lot of stuff, but you can't fix the location. Neighborhood matters. Never take the sellers word for it when it comes to rent price. Rents go up AND down. The numbers should work if either happens. "Move in ready" almost always means zero or negative equity for YEARS Over-budget for repairs and you won't be disappointed Walking on a deal, even if it means losing your earnest money is way cheaper than buying a money pit Stick with middle income working class neighborhoods. Low income "C" properties almost always look better on a spreadsheet than they do in real life As a property manager, I would tell you to NOT hire a property manager until you have managed the property for at least one year yourself. You will value what they do if you've already done it yourself. Budget for one when you run the numbers but wait on hiring. (Plan on around 15% averaged out over time, not 10%) It's not always a great time to buy but it doesn't mean you can't. You just have to take your time and be careful. It took Kassandraand I eight months to find our first 4 plex Pick an agent that's willing to tell you things you won't want to hear. I've seen Matthew Miller try to talk his clients OUT of buying a 4 plex and showed them horrible eviction pictures just to see how committed they were. If the person who stands to make a commission check if you buy, tells you to walk on a property.....walk.
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