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Cheaper By the Dozen

As you know, today is 12-12-2012.  Some people think it’s a great day to wed (they’ll never forget their anniversary) and others think there are some cosmic properties associated with such a day.

As I tried to decide on today's topic, I recalled a client who once boasted that his retirement plan was to live off the income from the 12 rental homes he owned. He had it all figured out:  how to manage, how to maintain, and how to repair all the homes as efficiently as possible. He chose only the most reliable of tenants, he bragged, and he cultivated good relationships, since he wanted them to stay as long as possible. No sir, there’d be no tension in his houses, and little turnover, so that his income wouldn’t drop off dramatically because too many homes sat empty.

 I was a bit envious of how far ahead of me he was in terms of preparing for a cushy retirement (he was in his mid-30s, and I was at least 10 years his senior, struggling to pay the orthodontist), and I told him so. “We can’t all be smart about everything,” he said, semi-consolingly.

His son contacted me about five years ago for help. It seems his father met a woman in Las Vegas and divorced his mother. Since he could no longer manage the LI properties from Nevada, Dad was only too willing to give Mom the houses in the divorce.  Good deal for Mom? Not once she learned (after settling) that Dad hadn’t been such an efficient property manager. He’d just been a cheap slumlord! Most of the houses were in disrepair, one was cited by the police as a crack house, and more than half of the tenants were withholding rent until their rodent or backed-up septic system problems were addressed.

There are plenty of conclusions to draw here, but heck, you’re smart enough to do that. I just wanted to tell you a story that somehow involved 12!

12 12 12

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