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Why Expecting General Contractors To Be Ontime and On Budget Is Crazy

As a Brandon Property Management company, I just recently hired two general contractors for two different projects.  Both had done work for our companies over the years and had good reputations, but it was the first time I hired them for some personal construction projects.

One of them, I hired to add some windows and move a sliding glass door.  It required some block work and some advanced carpentry work.  The 2nd GC I hired to renovate a house I bought as a Brandon Property Manager which he agreed to do for $35,000.

The quality of the work for both projects were excellent.  The time frames were delayed.  This is where normal folks start getting upset, and I must admit it does bother me a bit.   In this case, I didn’t give either one of them a hard time, because I could clearly see the quality and attention to detail was superb. 

I also have a partner who is a general contractor and he has told me renovations always take longer and cost more, because once you open-up the walls, you always find more stuff wrong.

However, when I got the bills from both, I was annoyed because the change orders were higher then expressed to me during the projects.  So, I did what I usually do when I’m thinking of engaging in an aggressive argument, I talk to my very calm, Buddha-like patient, partner, Chris.

He explained that I can’t have the same standard for a general contractor that I have for myself.  They are working in hot, dirty environments all day and dealing with surly sub-contractors that don’t show up and give them hassles all the time.  When they get home after a working 12-hour day, they attempt to do their paperwork and billing.  This is why they are so often disorganized and change orders can come in higher than originally expressed.

Granted the GCs’ must have integrity, but it is easy to see how change orders

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Quick & Easy Way to Fight Deal Fever in Real Estate Investing

Written by David Lowrey, Owner of Stress Free Property Management

Most new investors get what I call “Deal Fever.”  What is it?  Well it is the overwhelming desire to just do a deal and buy a property.  This is especially strong when you’ve been looking for awhile and lost out on some previous deals, or when you start counting the money you are going to make before you have it under contract.  I always think about this as a St. Petersburg Property Management Company looking for deals.

I know you are saying it, because I said it too when I first started out, “that won’t happen to me!”  As a St. Petersburg Property Managerwith all these years under my belt, I still catch myself sliding into this condition.

To ignore this Fever takes lots of practice and experience.  Even experience investors, still fall into this condition all the time.  It is perhaps the most dangerous tendency then anything else, when searching for deals.

What are the symptoms?  Let me share them from my own personal experience.

  • You feel excitement because you think you found a deal and are determined to get this one.
  • You start calculating how much you can make. The only challenge is this tends to be overly optimistic, especially when you are competing against others in a Seller’s market
  • The price goes above what you think is a good deal, and you rework the numbers to still make it work.
  • The price keeps going up and you start sacrificing your profit margin. Surely appreciation will catch up to me, right?
  • You feel emotionally invested and it hurts to think of walking away from the deal at a higher price.
  • You tell your family and friends what you found, and they start asking you how the negotiations are going.
  • You go looking for comps (comparable properties) to justify a higher purchase price.
  • You think prices or rents are going to continue to rise and so a higher purchase price is justified.
  • You visit the property multiple times trying to figure out what you can cut in order to pay more.
  • You started lining up vendors to do the work even though you don’t have it under contract.

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Let Me Whisper An Insider Secret To Buying In A Seller's Market

Written by David Lowrey, Owner of Stress Free Property Management

Over the last year, the Florida real estate market has gone red hot.  Deals are flying off the Multiple Listing Service in a day or two.  As a Wesley Chapel Property Management company, it can be frustrating because you submit a full price offer, and the deal gets sold to someone else.

After a while, as a Wesley Chapel Property Manager, I started to get discourage about finding a good investment property.  The competition is so fierce.  Eventually, I figured out what was going on, and I’d like to let you in on an insider’s secret.

When a market becomes a strong seller’s market, the listing agent realizes she is in the catbird seat.  There are literally a dozen people the listing agent could sell the property to at full price or near full price.  Suddenly the listing agent is the prettiest girl in school and everyone is vying for her attention.

The listing agent starts thinking, “Why should I sell this property to someone represented by another real estate agent?  I would have to split the commission.”  So

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Are You Trapped In The "Savings Ceiling"?

Written by David Lowrey - Owner of Stress Free Property Management

One of the biggest roadblocks to financial success is what I call the “Savings Ceiling.”  It is in my opinion as an Apollo Beach Property Manager, one of the number one reasons, why everyday people struggle making progress toward financial freedom.   What is it, you say?

Well it took me until I reached my forties as the owner of an Apollo Beach Property Management company to notice this phenomenon, and the insidious way it keeps people broke.  Have you ever noticed that most people have a certain number they need in savings to feel secure? 

It could be $2000, $5000, $9000, or more in a savings account.  The number really doesn’t matter.  It is just the psychological number people have that makes them feel secure.   Once they reach this number then a strange thing happens...

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You Need To Fight For The Right Section 8 Tenants

Written by David Lowrey, Owner of Stress Free Property Management

As a Saint Petersburg property management company, we work with a great deal of Section 8 rentals.  The challenge we always have is some portion of this tenant base is filthy, and they cause a tremendous amount of damage while living in our homes. 

We’ve noticed over the years as a St Petersburg property manager, the worst of the worst Section 8 tenant are newer tenants on the program.  We no longer accept anyone who just got on the program, because there is no proof they will be clean and decent tenants.

The second thing we discovered is the worst Section 8 tenants tend to be

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