The accounting function I do in Quicken and have for a number of years. I
have it set up so that I can get a combined report or a single property
report. No partners or LLCs so all the rental income goes into the same bank
The escrow account is for the deposits and expenses are charged to the
property to which they belong.
Willing to share the details of how I set that up with you.
| I'm looking for suggestions for landlord software. Or do you just
| records in a simple spreadsheet? We'll have probably 15 to 20 single
| houses by the end.
by the end of what?
just what we need, another slum lord who doesn't pay his taxes or repair
stick to owning a few rentals so you can maintain them for your paying
are all your properties near the train tracks?
Instead of chasing trains you should be lying on the tracks like you lie
the sagacious dolt
Don't take it personally, Steve; it's that there are so many people out
there looking to make a quick buck by purchasing real estate, making
the bare minimum of repairs, and rent 'em out for top dollar. And some
of 'em come in here looking for free advice on complicated issues
rather than spending a few coins to hire a professional to take care of
the problem properly.
I get some of the same looks simply for owning an investment home which
my wife and I have fixed up and rent out. Of course, the critics would
be/are silent as soon as they see the before and after photos of what
we did to the house. (http://www.chillweb.net/KathyAndKyle/KirkwallCt /)
Heck, we would have moved into the house and rented out our current
home (to get off a noisy main street) were it not for the fact the
investment home doesn't have a fireplace, that's the kind of work we do.
Thanks for the reasonable reply. My wife and I live near a town chock full
of 80-100 year old house in need of much TLC. Our plan is to add one rental
to our collection per year, and try to flip 2 or 3 per year for cash flow.
We have no intention of being "slum lords" and have every intention of
improving these homes and the area they sit in. In fact, I've already
purchased electrical components to upgrade one we haven't closed on yet.
<G>. I'll check out your website, it looks like we have similar interests
"Kyle" < firstname.lastname@example.org> wrote in message
| > Don't take it personally, Steve; it's that there are so many people
| > there looking to make a quick buck by purchasing real estate, making
| > the bare minimum of repairs, and rent 'em out for top dollar. And
| > of 'em come in here looking for free advice on complicated issues
| > rather than spending a few coins to hire a professional to take care
| > the problem properly.
| > I get some of the same looks simply for owning an investment home
| > my wife and I have fixed up and rent out. Of course, the critics
| > be/are silent as soon as they see the before and after photos of
| > we did to the house.
| > Heck, we would have moved into the house and rented out our current
| > home (to get off a noisy main street) were it not for the fact the
| > investment home doesn't have a fireplace, that's the kind of work we
Not necessarily. There are financial situations where it is better for
someone(s) to rent instead of buy a house, and take the difference
between what they'd pay on a mortgage and what they're paying in rent
and plow it into an investment with a higher return than real estate.
Yes, you miss out on the tax deductions you receive as a homeowner, but
apparently there is a way to ameliorate that loss in other ways.
I'm not entirely sure how it works, but I do know a financial adviser I
knew (and trusted) 15 years ago wanted me to go this route, but I moved
so it became a moot point.
This situation applies in places like the Bay Area where you have over
priced houses and low rent relative to the value of the houses. Assume the
landlord just purchased a rental and if you look at his cash outflow he is
actually paying you to rent out his property! In other words, its better to
be a renter rather than a landlord until the next real estate cycle where at
some point you need to buy.
There is renters' credit in California and if you have a home business that
portion used in the rental could be written off in the tax return.
I would strongly advise against any so-called "simple" route like
trying to keep it all in Excel or a paper accounting ledger. One
property, maybe, but if you're talking about acquiring a number of
properties in short order, you'll want a comprehensive package that
includes both forms (legal, contractual, tracking forms and the like)
as well as some sort of financial aspect that will enable you to
monitor expenses, income, manage escrow for purchases of new properties
and security deposits, stuff like that.
Apparently Quicken has something they've offered (I saw a Google ad)
that might be of interest.
And using a search engine will be helpful, but don't use "landlord" or
"landlording" as a search term, but use words like "property
management" or "investment properties" and the like.
Let us know what you find and what you choose, as well - there are a
few of us in this newsgroup who don't want to be slumlords but want to
do a good job, and would appreciate knowing how you do.
If you are just interested in financial records, then think of it as a
business. Use business accounting software. Best to have a CPA set up your
record keeping for you so it is right from the get go.
Then get a file cabinet and have a file for each property. Might also want
to have a separate file for each renter by their name on the tab. I assume
you will be running background checks on each renter, using rental
agreements, keeping records of deposits, etc. You could make your own forms
for this and keep them in each renters file.
Since all this stuff starts with paperwork, it would be a lot more work to
enter all the information into a computer. Less work to use a file/paperwork
record system for each renter.
With Microsoft word, you can make a "table" with columns. 1st column renters
name, 2nd column property address, 3rd column renter's phone number(s). Then
you can sort this list by name, or by property address. (Highlight
everything in one column and then sort it.) So you could then have a
handy-dandy list of the names of renters for each property and their contact
info. Just keep the list updated as renters change.
My want to find a local landlord association. Here is a national
association... (search google.com for landlord association [your state])
"Steve Barker" wrote in message
Imagine Rod Serling's voice .............
A small town. Rental houses with a history, each one a study in Americana
We have vacation rentals in Las Vegas and Southern Utah. Right now, we have
four. We advertise them through vrbo.com and get tons of exposure. IIRC,
about $150 per year each.
Our occupancy percentages are 21 days a month.
The difference is ............ mortgage payments on each house is about $600
per month, and we charge that for a three day minimum stay. $1500 per week,
or $3500 per month. Lots less wear and tear than regular renters, and way
Were we to rent the same houses, we could get maybe $1300 a month, but that
is eaten up by a lot of upkeep. On most rentals, all the landlord is
looking for is a way to break even and make equity. But it is a slow
process. We take the overage from the rentals and buy first deeds of trust
in $10,000 multiples, and get from 14% to 28% on them, and they mature in
six to eighteen months.
The downside is that they have to be located in good areas of town, that
they have to be attractive furnished houses, but that is offset by the
income. You need to be the cleaning/turn around team to get them ready for
the next tenant, or have a good team of maids, gardeners, pool guys, spa
guys, etc. But, as I say, the benefits far exceed the costs. So far in
three years we have had no theft or broken items, save a dishwasher, coffee
pot and garbage disposal that died natural deaths. A couple of service
calls for the AC.
We get paid $400 to hold the dates. We get paid in full before arrival. We
do it all on credit cards over the phone, or CASH ON ARRIVAL. We love that.
;-) If all is well upon departing, the guest gets back their refund within
a week by electronic means. We have traded weeks with other vacation
rentals owners all over the world. An even swap.
I am not saying that you should do all your properties this way, or any of
them. It depends on where you are, the market, and lots of things. But
consider the idea, maybe if even for a few of them. One company here in
Vegas has about 500 of them. I can't imagine how much he makes off these.
You will net out a lot more money on vacation rental vs. normal rentals.
Better tenants, less headaches, less drama.
Oh, yeah. To answer your question, we just use Quick Books Pro. NObody
uses spread sheets any more. Even Excel would do it.
I don't use "can" retail programs because its set up one way and I couldn't
change it to do things my way. At first I use a compiler to write my own
simple routines then switched to a database software but I found the
spreadsheet is easier and more flexible. The rental info in my spreadsheets
is linked to my tax return program which is also in spreadsheet format.
Why so many houses Steve? If you don't use property management those rentals
will drive you nuts not to mention Schedule E, deprecation and the ever
changing tenant/landlord laws. Have you looked into REITs or TICs?
Thanks for the reply Fred. It's probably an unrealistic goal. We're just
getting started, and will do it one at a time. The only thing we know for
sure is that neither of us wants to go back to 9 to 5.
"# Fred #" < email@example.com> wrote in message
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