Jefferson Street, Lewiston – A Few More Photos

Yesterday I posted a Property Profile for a fabulous 2,400 sf first floor apartment in Lewiston.

Here are a few more pictures of this wonderful apartment!

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OTS Jefferson Street Lewiston

For full info on the apartment, click on the Property Profile above.

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If Any of Your Landlord Clients Are Giving You That Uneasy Feeling….

… there may be a good reason.  The scenario below describes a situation my husband was recently involved with.
OTS Logo - Rentals & Inspections - Square

Dear Accountant, Lawyer, Banker, Mortgage Professional…
 

I hope you’ll take time to scan the scenario below that my husband, John Snyder, was involved in, as the court appointed property manager.  Had he been brought in years – or even months – before he actually was, the whole thing might have turned out differently.As an accountant (lawyer, banker, mortgage professional), you likely have one or two clients who give you that uneasy feeling, especially if there’s a divorce or partnership breakdown involved.Bringing in a professional like John could save a lot of heartache and financial problems.

Linda Snyder
Back Office Operations
On the Spot Property Management & Building Inspections
207 740 2247


The Situation:

In October 2011, On the Spot Property Management was appointed by the Court to manage a boarding home complex of several dozen units.  It was a divorce case that had dragged on for years, with the judge eventually realizing that the spouse who had been managing the real estate couldn’t account for either the income or the expenses of the buildings, which were joint marital property.

That spouse also insisted that the buildings had been barely breaking even for years, and that the significant credit card bills and “shareholder loans” totaling nearly $40,000 attached to the LLC were the only way to keep those buildings running.

The Court appointment was supposed to be for just three months, but the case continued for more than a year beyond that, until spring of this year.

During that year and a half, On the Spot Property Management was reimbursed for 10% of the collected rents, as well as $45 per hour for such tasks as handling bed bug issues, water and furnace failures, lockouts, public safety calls, evictions, and so forth.  On the Spot’s monthly fee varied from around $1,100 per month to over $2,000 at times, averaging about $1,500 monthly.

Yet even with the additional expense of On the Spot’s fees, the buildings were still breaking even during those 18 months, even with the initial problems of little money in reserve, bills that had gone unpaid, and a heating season having just started…. and even though the managing spouse insisted that the properties were losing money (although he had no records to prove his contentions).

The managing spouse didn’t even provide receipts to his tenants for rents paid nor did he keep other income records, so it was impossible to determine how much money had in fact been collected over the previous decade.

Over the next 18 months, On the Spot Property Management found that the entire infrastructure of the three buildings was shot.  The furnaces had been illegally patched, the plumbing and wiring didn’t meet code, and other neglected issues continued to rear their ugly little heads.

Eventually it was determined that the mechanical systems of one building were in such disrepair that they would cost at least $25,000 to fix – and there was no money to do so.  The building had to be closed, and the tenants relocated.

So where had the money gone?

Of course, everyone involved knew, but by the time On the Spot was appointed to manage the properties, it was too late.  The money was gone, the needed repairs had not been made, and the properties were deep in debt.  What was supposed to have been the children’s college fund was now less than worthless.

Had On the Spot Property Management gotten involved years before, the buildings almost certainly would have been salvaged, credit ratings wouldn’t be in the toilet, and there would have been savings for the kids.

If you suspect that a landlord client of yours is losing money in a way that doesn’t quite make sense, please give John Snyder of On the Spot Property Management a call at 207 712 0674.  He will be glad to speak with you (and your client), and help determine if something is amiss.

Surely it’s worth it to find out now, rather than wait and hope… and have your client lose the buildings entirely, as happened in this instance. 

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To Follow Our Blog:  Real Estate, Housing & Land Use Blog

To Join Our Group on LinkedIn:  Maine Real Estate Investors Group

To Join our Group on Facebook:   Topics in Real Estate, Housing & Land Use.

To Follow Our Fan Page on Facebook:  Maine Real Estate Investors Group

To Follow On the Spot Property Management & Building Inspections on Facebook:  On the Spot Property Management

To Follow What a Great Event! on Facebook: What a Great Event!

To Find Linda on LinkedIn:  Linda Snyder

To Find John on LinkedIn:  John Snyder

To Visit Our Website:  ReGroup! Business Solutions and What a Great Event!

Want to Learn About Bedbugs or Renters Insurance or Sprinkler Systems – Without Having to Sit Through a Formal Class?

Come talk to our exhibitors for FREE!

The Greater Androscoggin Real Estate, Housing and Land Use Conference is tomorrow – Friday, November 8 – at the Ramada Inn and Conference Center in Lewiston.

Along with the conference, which offers CEUs for real estate agents and land use engineers, as well as workshops for landlords, will be a small vendor fair with some very cool exhibitors.

To get into the conference  – which includes a hot buffet lunch with keynote speaker speaker Jim Bennett, sponsored by Bathfitter, and a presentation by our Designated Non-Profit, John F Murphy Homes, Inc – there’s an $89 fee.

However, we’ve just decided to open the mini vendor fair up to the public – for free – because we want to give our exhibitors the opportunity to talk to as many interested people as we can bring in for them.

So come on over to the Ramada between 9:30-12:00, or 1:15-3:30, and pick the brains of these great businesses. We’ll also give you a copy of the Conference Program to take home with you.  (And of course, if you decide you want to take the workshops, we’ll gladly accommodate you, for that $89 fee – or even a pro-rated portion.)

Bathfitters Logo Our Keynote Speaker Sponsor.  Jeff will be glad to talk to you about your bathroom renovations.

JFM Homes  John F Murphy Homes, Inc is our Designated Non Profit.  They offer comprehensive supports for people with intellectual disabilities.  Leslie would love to tell you about them.

A_H_Logo_Resized A & H Properties’ owner Teague is prepared to tell you about the kinds of things you should inspect for when buying a foreclosed home.

AHI Logo Dan, the owner of Accurate Home Inspections, is also teaching a class for real estate agents (and other interested people) on the HUD 203k loan program… which allows for construction costs to be wrapped in as part of your mortgage.  There are rules, but it’s very do-able.

Advance Fire Protection Services Want to learn more about sprinkler systems, wet or dry?  Dean is ready to tell you what you need to know!

BuggyLogo12  Bedbugs… gaack!!   Dale deals with bedbugs in every manner possible; and there are several ways to do it.  Come pick his brain!

healthy androLead paint is a major issue in Maine buildings and remediation can be very expensive.  However, Dana is ready to offer some less expensive solutions to the problem.

liberty-mutual-insurance-logo-287x73  George can come up with a great price for your insurance needs if you bundle them all together… I know, he gave me a very competitive bid.  Ask him for information!

Maine Housing Search Want another resource for advertising your rentals or finding a quality apartment?  Ask Scott from Maine Housing Search dot org.

Mardens Years ago I bought carpeting from Marden’s for a conference room that was going to see a lot of traffic… man did that rug last!  Talk to Ken; he’ll give you good advice on inexpensive but quality flooring.

MastrogiacomoHow often do you get to pick a lawyer’s brain for free?  Well, you won’t be able to here, either, but Attorney Matthew will be offering a workshop for anyone who signs up for the conference… at $89 for the entire day, including picking his brain, you’ll spend less money than you ordinarily would for half an hour of most attorney’s time.

Michals Insurance LogoMedical marijuana…. marijuana for personal use (in Portland, anyway).  Dangerous dog breeds.  Insurance companies are struggling with these issues and the answers aren’t easy.  Matt will fill you in.

OTS Logo - Rentals & Inspections - Square In the morning, John will be busy teaching his “So You Want to Be a Landlord” class, but after that, he’ll be available to talk about property management, engineering issues, or even two of his passions: fostering dogs through local rescues, and playing keyboards.

Perfect BasketCeleste makes the most beautiful housewarming and other gift baskets in town.  No time to shop? She’ll take care of it for you.

SafeAirBruce teaches our 8 CEU courses for real estate agents and engineers – and keeps people entertained while he’s doing them.  If you’re just stopping by, you may not be able to meet him as he’ll be off in class, but one of his guys will be on hand to answer questions about radon, weatherization, lead paint and asbestos.

US Mortgage  Bob wants to get the word out about Reverse Mortgages as a vehicle for buying 2-4 unit properties as well as single family homes.  Let him tell you about it!

The Business of Landlording: Bedbugs, City Vouchers, Insurance Issues, and More!

“The Business of Landlording: Issues Facing New & Experienced Landlords” will be the theme of the Landlords Track at the Greater Bangor Real Estate, Housing and Land Use Conference on October 31 & November 01 at the Cross Insurance Center in Bangor.

Opening day workshops on October 31st are:

8:00-11:00.  So You Want to Be a Landlord, presented by John Snyder, A.S., President, On the Spot Property Rentals & Building Inspections.  Topics include: Pitfalls & landmines both before & after a tenant signs a lease. Elements of a Good Lease.  Protecting yourself & your tenants. Rules & Regulations Landlords Must Be Aware Of.  Lead paint, CO, Sect 8, GA, non-discrimination/civil rights, evictions, bedbugs & other code issues. Getting the Best from Your Management Company.

OTS Logo - Rentals & Inspections - Square

11:00-12:00. How to Think Like a Bedbug, presented by Dale Carlson, President of HeatOnWheels.com and MaineBedbugsandPestControl.com.

BuggyLogo12

1:00-2:00. Case History & New Legislation that Impacts Your Landlording Business. Speakers pending confirmation.

2:00-3:00. General Assistance & City Vouchers, BRAP & Shelter + Care.  A discussion led by Orinda Fogler, City of Bangor and Sandra Kimball, Rental Services Supervisor, CH&CS.

Bangor logoCHCS

3:00-4:00. Best Practices in Background & Reference Checks.  Speaker pending confirmation.

4:00-5:00. MaineHousingSearch.org – a free online rental housing service for landlords and tenants, and MaineHousing’s Section 8 Housing Choice Voucher Program.  Presented by Maine State Housing Authority Staff Joe Locke, Program Officer, Homeless Initiatives and other staff

Maine Housing Search

Workshops scheduled for Friday, November 01 are:

8:00-9:00. Maine Business Advocate: Functions & Supports for Your Small Business. Peggy Schaffer, Maine Business Advocate, Secretary of State’s Office.

Secretary of State

9:00-10:00. What Every Landlord Should Know About Insurance, presented by Dale Bartlett of Allen Freeman McDonnell Agency.  Topics include: Property & casualty insurance for landlords; common misconceptions, carrier expectations, how to get the most cost effective coverage.

Allen Freeman McDonnell

10:00-11:00.  Floor Buying 101 – Ideas to Reduce Your Total Cost of Apartment Ownership.  Presented by Ken Clark, Mardens with professionals from Shaw Carpetry and Metroflor Engage.

Mardens

11:00-12:00. Small Business Fraud – It Can Happen to You. Pending final confirmation from the speaker.

12:00-1:00.  Resources for Help in Addressing Lead Paint Issues. Presented by Andrea LaFlamme, Lead Prevention Educator, City of Bangor.

Bangor logo

Fill in presenters for the workshops listed above “pending confirmation” are being actively sought.  Please contact Linda Snyder at 207 740 2247 to pinch hit.

The Greater Bangor Real Estate, Housing & Land Use Conference offers 4 conference tracks: one each for REALTORs®, landlords, housing professionals, and land use engineers.  OHI is the designated non profit, and Maine Traditional Karate will offer a self-defense demonstration.

OHI  Maine Traditional Karate

For more information, contact Linda Snyder at 207 740 2247.  Registration can be done on-line at http://bangorhousingshowattendees.eventbrite.com.

_________________________________________

For info on sponsorships, exhibiting or advertising at any of our conferences, call Linda at 207 740 2247 or email LSnyder@regroupbiz.com.

To present a seminar, workshop or activity at any of our conferences, call John at 207 713 0674 or email JSnyder@regroupbiz.com.

For your social media marketing and information in the Conference Program, email Jessamyn at JHopkins@regroupbiz.com.

For the Greater Bangor Real Estate, Housing & Land Use Conference, October 31-November 01:

To Register to Attend:    http://bangorhousingshowattendees.eventbrite.com

To Sponsor or Exhibit:  http://bangorhousingshowexhibitors.eventbrite.com

To Place an Ad in the Conference Program:  http://bangorhousingshowprogram.eventbrite.com

For the Greater Androscoggin Real Estate, Housing & Land Use Conference:

To Register to Attend:    http://androhousingconferenceattendees.eventbrite.com

To Sponsor or Exhibit:  http://androhousingconferencesponsors.eventbrite.com

To Place an Ad in the Conference Program:  http://androhousingconferenceprogram.eventbrite.com

Other Sources of Information:

To Follow Our Blog:  Real Estate, Housing & Land Use Blog

To Join Our Group on LinkedIn:  Maine Real Estate Investors Group

To Join our Group on Facebook:   Topics in Real Estate, Housing & Land Use.

To Follow Our Fan Page on Facebook:  Maine Real Estate Investors Group

To Follow On the Spot Property Management & Building Inspections on Facebook:  On the Spot Property Management

To Follow What a Great Event! on Facebook: What a Great Event!

To Find Linda on LinkedIn:  Linda Snyder

To Find John on LinkedIn:  John Snyder

To Visit Our Website:  ReGroup! Business Solutions and What a Great Event!

Getting a Divorce? Consider a Neutral Interim Third Party to Manage that Real Estate…

Guest Post from On the Spot Rental Management – http://onthespotrentals.wordpress.com.
Published February 19, 2013.

Divorces stink.  No way around it, and no matter how cordial everyone’s trying to be.  The easiest divorces are usually those where there are no kids, no wealth and no real estate involved.

Add any – or all – of those three into the mix, and it suddenly gets very complicated.  No matter how well you used to communicate, or how much you once trusted the other person, questions can start popping up….

A divorce when real estate is involved can get nasty really fast.  Who’s in charge of the day to day management?  Who collects the rents?  Who pays the bills?  Who’s pocketing money or squandering it on personal – not business – expenses?  Is the property for sale – and if so, who’s hiring the broker, and who’s agreeing to the listing price?  Are the lawns being mowed?  Are the furnaces being maintained?  Are the units being filled?  Are those bills really being paid?

We know of several situations in which a divorce dragged on and on not because of arguments over the kids or someone’s affair or who gets the house… but because of the real estate.  Even when it’s in one partner’s name, fights over real estate can get very messy, and keep a divorce in the courts for far longer than is good for anyone (except the lawyers).
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If you own real estate and are thinking of getting a divorce – or are already in the midst of one – you might want to consider hiring an interim property manager to handle the finances and day to day management of the property.  (Or you could ask the court to appoint someone, in which case both you and your spouse will be asked to provide the names of 2-3 property management companies along with their fee structures.)

Yes, you’ll pay around 10-11% of the rental income to the property manager (some of which might have ended up going to the legal guys anyway), but you’ll rest easier knowing exactly what’s going on with that real estate.

One quick tip… Make sure the property management firm you choose is impartial.  This doesn’t necessarily mean that you should choose someone you don’t know, but it definitely does mean you should choose someone who knows that his job is to manage the real estate to the best of his (or her) ability – and not to get involved with taking sides in the divorce.

As I said, divorce stinks.  Take a bit of the pain away by letting someone else manage the headaches of the real estate for a while.

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