The Bungalow is ours!

Nothing but good news this week!

As of today, we are all moved into the Riverside Retreat—and now the real work begins! I’ve been scheduling projects for us to tackle over the next month, so between those and unpacking and wedding planning (10 more weeks!) and Lucas working full time and traveling, our schedules are jam packed.

Oh, did I mention we FINALLY closed on our 5-unit Bungalow? It only took six months!

I’ve posted updates on this blog sporadically, but this saga has been so many months in the making, I don’t even remember all the details.

Long story short: we went under contract in late January, and the original escrow period was set for 45 days (typical for a commercial loan). There was some confusion/miscommunication from the seller’s broker and property management company, which caused the first extension. Then our bank dragged their feet, resulting in another extension. Days before we were set to close, our bank unexpectedly denied our financing and left us scrambling to line up a hard money lender. In our second attempt to close, the seller discovered he had a lien against his name and couldn’t sell any property until it was cleared. This delay turned out to be a blessing because we were able to find a small local bank to secure a commercial loan with great terms, but we ended up signing 2 more extensions and waiting over 2 more months for the seller to finally clear his lien.

And after all that, we have earned the title of landlords!

There were times where we didn’t think we’d ever make it to the closing table, but we are proof that patience and persistence pay off!

The Bungalow property is two buildings built in 1925 (one main house and one carriage house) split into 5 units (you can see the back unit peeking out from the right side of the photo below).

Don’t let the cute facade fool you, it needs some work.

At only 3400 square feet total, the units are quite small.

They’re a mix of 1, 2 and 3 bedrooms, and as basic as they come.

There have been updates like vinyl flooring, paint and a new roof over the years, but there’s some deferred maintenance we have to address right away.

Each has their own private yard, which is a nice bonus.

The biggest selling point for us was the location. The property is in the most desirable neighborhood of Tampa, in the best school district, with nearby development only increasing. There will never be a shortage of renters here.

We’ve had a lot of time to consider our strategy for this property, and have gone back and forth on what makes the most sense. Ultimately, we decided to keep the tenants in place (it’s fully rented with long term leases) and let it cash flow.

We’re going to focus our renovation efforts on the Riverside Retreat and our new construction home, so you won’t be hearing much about this Bungalow going forward.

It’ll be doing its thing in the background, generating some income, and slowly building equity over time.

I’ve rented out 3 of my 4 homes in the past, but have always used a property management company and was very hands off. This will be our first time as both landlords and property managers, so we’re hoping it goes as smoothly as it can! Either way, it’ll be a learning curve.

Let us know if you’d like us to talk about any specific part of being landlords or investing. We’re here to share our experiences!

Speaking of overdue updates… remember this house?

In just 48 hours, it’ll be gone. Our demolition permit was finally issued on Monday, and Demo Day is this Friday. I’ll be there watching and recording it live on Instagram, so make sure to tune then to see it go down! Another end to a story 6 months in the making—but the beginning of something much greater.

Things are finally starting to get exciting around here!


9 thoughts on “The Bungalow is ours!

  1. I cannot stop looking at that toilet / laundry room combo with the dryer door that doesn’t open all the way. *Faceplam* 🙂 I have a rental and there’s an occasional need for replacing something broken, but mostly it’s been relatively easy. We’ve gotten great tenants but we are also very picky, which means maybe the unit sits for an extra two weeks empty, but in the long run we end up saving money and anguish by having respectful tenants who don’t trash the place. Another thing we do is provide a monthly cleaning service for them. It’s not a huge investment but it ensures the place is somewhat maintained and it’s a huge perk for the renters. The hard part is all the projects we try to get done between renters. This last time we only had a week and it was challenging to do the upgrades we wanted to and also get it move in ready, but totally worth it!

    1. Oh I know, there were some seriously strange decisions made for this property! It’s anything but turnkey and we definitely have our hands full for the next several years. Good for you finding ways to get quality tenants and keep them happy! Hopefully we have the same luck 🙂

  2. Small is better, more affordable for people. Congrats to you. I hope it goes smoothly.
    “Good Things come to those who wait” Violet Fane

  3. I don’t plan on renting and own my own home but I’m excited to hear about this. Something different for me! Renea

  4. Maybe someone mentioned this already, but just in case, I’d like to know more about using property management companies. I have heard of horrible experiences, I’m sure there must be good ones too.
    They will all look so beautiful eventually I know. How fun. Congrats!

    1. We plan on being our own property manager for as long as possible! But I’ll definitely talk about our experiences handling it on our own, and the process of hiring it out if/when we go that route 🙂

  5. For anyone planning on more than a few rentals, I would highly recommend David Tilney’s hassel-free property management class. We took it a few years ago and proceeded to change our entire management system to follow his.

    Our moving tenants now show the properties for us, we no longer take a “deposit” and use a rent-lock instead, our tenants manage all minor repairs including contacting repair people, we use a performance bonus on moveout (it includes return of the rent lock plus extra), etc.

    We have never used property managers and self manage 30+ properties scattered all over our state. Tilney’s system has solved many of our running around problems. Plus using a rent lock eliminates the seperate checking account for deposits. It took some practice to put his polices in place but we’ve never had a tenant balk at our terms. Plus they seem feel more responsible for our properties…..they like the idea of a performance bonus and clean well.

    Tilney lives south of Tampa ….his properties are in Colorado so his own techniques allow him to remote manage. Usually he teaches this course once a year in Tampa. ( and listen to any interviews he’s got on real estate investment shows).

    Added on….he has a good list of resources on this page. Check it out. I’ve attended many of the workshops by people he suggests …sometimes more than once. It’s a good list.

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