Monday, June 24, 2019

My Tenant Won't Leave, What Can I Do?

There are a few things you can do to get your tenant out of your rental property.   Assuming you have followed the advice of my previous blog, and filed the eviction now what?

Recently I had a tenant who threatened me (verbally) with gun violence.   Michael was his name, and he said something like "just try to come back to your house, we'll be waiting for you and we may have guns.". 


Dang.  What now?    I thought about going in there anyway - but really my life is worth more than whatever that house is worth.  I thought about buying a bulletproof vest, but what in the world?  I'm not law enforcement.    I thought about boarding up the house and securing the property, but that wouldn't solve my problem and ultimately I wanted to get the thing re-rented or sold.    I knew if I just changed the locks, they would damage the property getting inside.   That wouldn't solve my problem either. 

Thankfully I was able to find out what he needed.  I spoke to him like a human being and determined what his needs were.   They just needed time to move out some of their things.  Unfortunately, as is usually the case, they left a whole bunch of personal property including a piano.  So I get to move the things they don't want.  Great.   That's just part of the business. 

My advice is talk to them.  Find out what they need.  It was obvious they had moved out, but had some of their items there still with which they wanted to retrieve.   Just think, he was going to shoot me over some stuff, worth less than $1000.    What would you do?

Thank you, next. 

Monday, June 17, 2019

What is my Pine City home really worth?

No matter where your home is located, the process of valuation is always the same.  Appraisers, Buyers, Realtors, and Investors all use the same approach when it comes to determining value.  The value of the home is determined by what someone is willing to pay for it. 

In order to come up with that number, a few different approaches are used by appraisers.  Typically then an average of these methods are then used to come up with the value. 

COST APPROACH:   This takes building costs into account.  On average right now building costs are $120-150 depending on the finish work of the build out.   A higher end home costs more to build.  So the cost approach is sometimes used and factored in for resale value.  For instance 1000 sq foot home at $120/ft to build would be valued at $120,000

INCOME APPROACH:  This method takes the properties potential income for determining the value of the asset.  If it can rent for $1 a foot, for example a 1000 sq foot home can rent for $1000 a month, then you can take this gross income, subtract out the expenses to get NOI (net operating income) and divide this by the CAP rate for rental properties in that particular market.  CAP rates (also known as capitalization rate) are usually in the 6-7% range depending on the market, the property and the demand for that asset.    So assume in our 1000 sq ft example, gross income would be $12,000, and you can discount 30% for expenses (an estimate) to get to 70% of the gross for NOI = $8,400 then divide this by 7% for the CAP rate (assuming that's an accurate CAP), for a value of $120,000.

COMPARISON APPROACH:  This is pretty common to look at other comparable properties or comps to determine the value.   Of course one of the unique things about real estate is every property is slightly different, so the value of having a pond, or 2 acres vs. being on a busy road is all subjective.  Once you've looked at enough homes (over 100) and watched what they're selling for and tried to determine why, it gets easier.

So what is your Pine City Home Worth?  It's worth whatever a buyer will give you for it - that still holds true.   If you want a free home evaluation of value, call a realtor.   They may give you one.  We will give you an offer.  You can base our offer then and say 115% above that offer is the value.  Typically our offers are about 15% below what the value is for the market.  We're using 22 years of experience, to come up with that number.

Monday, June 10, 2019

How to Estimate Home Repairs in Zimmerman, MN

How Much Will My Bathroom Remodel Cost?

Today's contractors are busy, busy, busy.  Why?  Because there is a demand for skilled carpenters and good-reliable contractors.  Therefore, that drives the price up!  It's supply vs. demand. 

So before you invite your contractor out to your house, let's talk about the best way to get your remodel estimated.   The simplest way is go to and punch in the remodel that you need done.   It will help you.

A bathroom is going to be either $5000, $10,000 or $15,000 depending on the level of finish work.  I'm not sure if I've ever seen a $15,000 bathroom, but that may include some really high end finish work including maybe 2 showerheads and heated floors and all the fancy Italian marble for the vanity.   Most bathrooms are in the $5000 - $10,000 range. gives some good ideas and I've used that resource created by my friend Josh Cantwell to get ideas beyond the bathroom remodel.

Monday, June 3, 2019

How to find a House for Rent in Mora, MN

With the rental market so tight, and good rentals becoming harder and harder to find, renters are needing to look hard for their next place to live.   Here are 5 great ways to find your next rental property.

#1, look in the newspaper under the classifieds section.    Yes, there still are newspapers and they still have classified ads.  There are some real gems in the newspaper, and you can still find rentals in the paper.  If you need help, ask a retiree to show you where to look.   

#2, look on and .   These are the digital classified ads of the future, and most landlords list their homes for rent on these two venues. 

#3, look on and and   Some property management companies and realtors utilize these sites to book places for rent.   They have good traffic and oftentimes you can find what you're looking for on these sites.

#4, Go right to the source and contact a property management company.  Don't know any of them?   Talk to realtors, b/c in most states you need to be licensed to run a property management company.  Connected realtors know who the property management companies are in town, and if your agent doesn't know, don't give up.  Swing a dead cat and find another realtor and ask them.    Most larger investment companies who are doing rentals don't management them themselves, they hire an agent to take care of the hassle. 

#5, Last but not least, contact an investment company like mine,  Lakes Area Home Investments, who has rentals.    Our company has managed 1000s of properties over the past 21 years and will probably have some in the future as well.

Saturday, June 1, 2019

Buying a House without Bank Qualifying

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