Wising up on maintenance

Wising up on maintenance
o many property investors I meet and talk to don’t grasp the concept that property investing is a business and first and foremost, should be run like one. Your revenue is your rental income and expenses are your mortgage, property management fees, rates and property maintenance.  This will leave you with either a profit or loss dependant on how you run your business. When buying a property, maintenance should always be factored into your costs on an annual basis. This figure may range from $500 for a new home with a builder’s guarantee where you may simply have gardens to maintain or trees to be trimmed: or simply an annual gutter clean and house wash. However, if your property is an older dwelling, there will most definitely be more maintenance on probably all aspects of the property, at some stage. So how do you prepare and plan for annual maintenance and budget for those cost accordingly? I recommend that you either carry out an annual maintenance check on your property yourself – Branz produce a fantastic publication called” Maintaining Your Home”. Those of you who are of a DIY nature will find everything you need to prepare and plan maintenance of your investment properties inside, with clear guidelines and which jobs you should and shouldn’t take on and why. For those of us who prefer to leave it to the experts, there are many companies such as ours who will provide a detailed report for as little as $169 which you can then tell us to plan your maintenance and budget based on professional advice in regard to timeframes...

Fix it before it breaks

Fix it before it breaks
It never ceases to amaze me how investors can spend hundreds of thousands even millions of dollars when they purchase a property, complete their due diligence, building inspection, LIM reports and do thorough tenant checks and then simply ignore basic maintenance issues thereafter. I see properties every week where a simple gutter clean or roof inspection would have saved the owner thousands of dollars.  If your gutters and downpipes are not clear of leaves and debris they become clogged and ineffective.  The damage to your property can be huge, including overflowing rainwater around the house whenever it rains, which leads to basement and foundation damage.  The risk of a water-soaked roof or fascia results in wood rot and rusting iron.  Eventually your gutters become so heavy that they will literally separate from the roof, requiring replacement. This winter’s atrocious weather conditions have proved very expensive for many investors who have failed to carry out basic maintenance causing damage to properties, sometimes major damage and many have also suffered the misfortune of having an inadequate insurance cover.  Or they find themselves embroiled in a battle with an insurance company that takes the high ground on negligence by the owner.   More often than not the excess on their claim is twice the amount needed to provide total annual maintenance for the property involved. The one claim that has stood out for me was a two bedroom block and weatherboard unit on the North Shore of Auckland where the owners had had water issues in the lower level floors prior to my involvement and had engaged a “builder friend” to make repairs...

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