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Robber Barons are Virgin Property Managers
Confident and clueless at the same time
In case you missed it, here’s the first one.
We had zero experience being landlords.
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That gave us a dangerous mix of confidence and cluelessness at the same time.
Owning property was like stepping into uncharted territory. We had no idea how to handle rentals, especially the dealing with people part.
And guess what? Dealing with people is the most important aspect of being a landlord.
But we were pretty stoked about having an extra income stream.
We were Virgin Property Managers.
We were convinced we knew how to be awesome landlords. We’d both been tenants before, so how hard could it be? We forgot one big thing: to put ourselves in the landlord's shoes.
Our emotions totally messed with our heads.
Now that the reno’s were done, I really loved the house. It was full of character and history and it had a freaking dragon chilling in the backyard. I wanted tenants who would appreciate all that.
So, we held an open house, hoping to find some cool renters. There was so much interest that it was a bit of a gong show. It was almost impossible to have a decent conversation with anyone.
We interviewed people on the fly and checked references for the ones who seemed like they could be a good fit.
Then came the overthinking part.
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We analyzed every little detail way too much.
Should we go for a family (more stable) or a couple (potential party animals)? Did they absolutely need a job, or was it okay if they had a fixed income and could prove it? Was a single parent a good bet?
Our own opinions got in the way. It was a bit emotional too. Making a decision about someone’s home felt like playing God. Should we just pick the first qualified applicant? But that seemed too risky.
Seriously, we were way too caught up in this idea of being "fair."
Eventually, we went with our gut feeling. Our first tenants in the Dragon House were a young couple. She was a single mom with two kids, and she had a new boyfriend.
They ticked all the boxes. Clean, and polite, both had good jobs, and their references were solid. So, they moved in by the end of the month.
Looking back, the big red flag was the "New Boyfriend."
Once they settled in, we noticed they had a ton of stuff. The house was bursting at the seams. We were surprised that a young couple had so many belongings.
Then, a month later, the young man called me, IN TEARS. Turns out, she had moved back in with her ex-husband because he was threatening to take the kids.
Of course, he couldn't afford the house alone.
And here's the kicker: all that "stuff" belonged to her, and she took it with her. I’m not sure who was more surprised, him or us.
She broke his heart, and he was out of the picture. So, we were back to square one. That lesson kicked our butts. It also taught us a few valuable lessons.
Things aren't always what they seem.
Check the facts, don't let emotions cloud your judgment, and stop overthinking.
And forget about trying to be so "fair".
Next, we meet Downer Dianne and discover the perils of boyfriends.
This is a fictional series that explores the challenges of being a landlord. It also reveals the idiosyncrasies of various tenants. Scenes are based on true experiences.