My Landlord Experience: An Anti-Horror Story in DFW, Part One

Real Estate Broker/Owner with Kristen Correa Real Estate & Reedy Creek Realty Services 0514644

My tenants are perfect. Well, not exactly.

Investing in Real Estate in Dallas Fort Worth Keller

There are a ton of horror stories out there about landlording, and I have experienced some whoppers, that's for sure! As many have said it, property management, investing in real estate and landlording is not for the faint of heart. It's true. It's not. Even at best, it takes a lot of courageous conversations.

But I can promise, I have far more good guy stories than bad. Far more insurance than claims. Far more income and equity than expenses. And far more fun than freakouts. I just want to provide an anti-horror story especially for landlords to-be.

For those who are teeter-tottering with buying and holding and are intimidated by the media-flashy-entertaining-horror-story side of the business, here are some things to chew on. It's just not as bad as often as people think. But a few notes first as to why my experience may be better than the rest...

First, it's a business. Remember that, but also remember while it's the investor's house, it's someone else's -- the tenant's -- home. And there is a difference. Respect is really important. No matter what goes on or goes wrong...

R E S P E C T  O N E  A N O T H E R

I may never know how much respect has bought me (saved me $) over the years. There is a way to be firm, direct, stick to the contract and still be respectful.

Next, (again) it's a business. Pay attention to the price you pay (initial purchase price + closing cost + the cost of all initial repairs or remodeling) vs. the rent you will receive. Study that first and most thoroughly, and you are on the right track on the initial purchase. Leave a margin for error!

And, (again) it's a business. Pay attention to the tenant applications thoroughly. I am ok taking on some amount of risk. But someone will pay for that risk! And it won't be me. Low credit due to history of late pays? Ok, simply consider a Letter of Explanation, evaluate the circumstances and then approve or require a double deposit for the higher risk applicant or no approval. Tenant screening and lease agreements, as related, are factors.



I caught onto this my first year in RE. Pretty people buy pretty houses. And I am not talking about the outside. I am talking about the heart.

I thoroughly believe the quality of the product attracts the quality of the tenant.

If the landlord is slumlording, choosing areas in decline, cutting corners all the time, not fixing issues, then it's highly likely they will attract tenants who behave the same -- who don't mind holes or mold and declining conditions and even who contribute to the decline of the property the way the landlord is.

But if a landlord chooses nice properties, putting out a nice, well-maintained, relevant, modern product, they will attract tenants who are attracted to that and who maintain or better that property. 

Remember the key above is selection of property, the right price, the right rent and... tenant selection or a lease agreement that matches the tenant risk level. That combo has been my key to success. No horror stories. Even when things went wrong they never went way wrong.

PART TWO TOMORROW... Some good stories...

Posted by

Kristen Correa Real Estate

Comments (6)

CA COASTAL ESTATES Lauren Selinsky Perez CRS
California Coastal Estates - Aliso Viejo, CA
"Your Real Estate Broker" #oclauren

I personally invest in all types of properties. It's all about the return and I have helped communities increase their value with what I have brought to some areas.

Yes, respect goes a long way.

Jun 20, 2016 06:11 AM
Kristen Correa, Broker
Kristen Correa Real Estate & Reedy Creek Realty Services - Keller, TX
I love coffee & real estate. I am out of coffee!

Lauren Selinsky CRS ePro I love that you just said you enjoy helping your community increase in value. It's all about the return, like you said, but you are also saying you enjoy the betterment of your community. Someone who is investing solely about the money would spend less, short cut, spend no money on maintenance or as little as possible, NOT better their community. I agree with your philosophy. Appreciate it very much.

Jun 20, 2016 06:48 AM
Will Hamm
Hamm Homes - Aurora, CO
"Where There's a Will, There's a Way!"

Happy Monday Kristen Correa, Broker, great blog from you as always.  Love the picture of the tenant, right, your normal tenant.  Have a great day!

Jun 20, 2016 07:17 AM
Kristen Correa, Broker
Kristen Correa Real Estate & Reedy Creek Realty Services - Keller, TX
I love coffee & real estate. I am out of coffee!

Will Hamm Thanks! It's a good day when you knock on a tenant's door and they are in the middle of paint touch up or cleaning or something that tells you, "I care, too."

Jun 20, 2016 08:01 AM
Joe Petrowsky
Mortgage Consultant, Right Trac Financial Group, Inc. NMLS # 2709 - Manchester, CT
Your Mortgage Consultant for Life

Good morning Kristen. I have been an investor for a long time, but not any one type of property and you are right, it is all business for for me.

Jun 20, 2016 08:53 PM
Kristen Correa, Broker
Kristen Correa Real Estate & Reedy Creek Realty Services - Keller, TX
I love coffee & real estate. I am out of coffee!

Joe Petrowsky it just amazes me how many people want to, but all the negativity. 13+ years of it and it's been a very nice experience, but it's just a LOT of common sense, study and good selection - properties and people. Continued success to you, Joe.

Jun 21, 2016 10:56 AM