Purging Properties – Ditch the Non Performers
Real Estate Investors are generally optimistic, hardworking, entrepreneurial people. They have the belief that they can do anything, can overcome any challenge, and never give up. These are all great traits to have. Although, there’s one problem with this mindset… Sometimes you don’t realize when a deal has gone bad.
I recommend reviewing the profit and loss of your rental properties monthly or at least once per quarter. If you are in the flip business I hope you’re paying weekly (maybe even daily) attention to your project budget. Last year, after looking at our big picture, we sold our two worst performing rentals. It was a very freeing feeling to ditch the two worst performing properties as they were creating the most stress. It also helped us turn our focus back in the right direction.
The first rental was my former personal residence. It was never intended to be a rental. It just happened to turn into a rental after I met my wife. This property was slightly better than breaking even (the rent covered the mortgage, insurance, and taxes). Although, there wasn’t much left over after paying PITI (principle, interest, taxes, and insurance). This isn’t how I like properties to perform, though. This property was fairly high maintenance. In the long run after factoring in maintenance and rental turn over vacancy, it would have been negative cash flow. So, we sold it. You can read more about this property in our Better Than Renting post.
The second property was our Indianapolis rental house. By the numbers (rent vs payment) it should have been the best performing property we had. However, this one was a nightmare. You can read more about this one in our posts Lesson Learned – No More Long Distance Landlording and Why I Fired My Property Manager. Too make a long story short though… My property manager was horrible, my tenants were horrible. I couldn’t keep a good handle on the place from a distance, it was a daily stress, and I held on too long trying to make it work. So, that one went bye bye too.
My point is if you have properties that aren’t working out the way you would expect, analyze the situation, and seriously think about if they are worth keeping. Look at it from a sunk cost analysis perspective. Ask yourself, if I didn’t already own this property, would I buy it again for what it’s currently worth. If the answer is no, sell it. Consider that getting rid of the non-performers can free up resources, time, energy, and focus for other things that are more important. Sometimes you have to ditch that “I can do it” mentality, swallow your pride, and realize it didn’t work out the way you thought it would. You’ll feel the relief by doing so! You will also regain your focus.