New landlord by inheritance, lost and frustrated
August 13, 2013 8:28 PM Subscribe
How shall I decide what to do with an inherited property I have neither inclination nor time to administer myself, but don't need to sell and recognize it could be good if it stayed good to maintain it as a rental?
posted by jet_silver to work & money (13 answers total) 1 user marked this as a favorite
I inherited a nice condo in Phoenix, free and clear, that has increased in value by 15% since it came into my hands earlier this year. It came with a short-term renter whom I'm inclined to allow to stay as she wishes, since she seems to be a neat-freak and takes care of things. The property has traditionally been rented to medical people who are at the nearby hospital for stints ranging from a few months to a year but she has been there for eighteen months. The place is well and completely furnished and goes for 15% above the long-term rental market because of the flexible rental terms and the nice furnishings. Renters show up with a suitcase and can get right to stocking the fridge, having TV, internet service or stereo, and going to sleep without having to unpack, kind of like a hotel except the tenant keeps it for a lot longer.
The work involved in administering a property remotely (from SF Bay area) seems too daunting to even consider. A close family member who knows how to do this stuff is doing it but it's a nit for him. He has a team doing stuff like screening tenants on an on-demand basis, going in and fixing things, like that. He wants to get out of that but is very kindly helping me while I vacillate about what to do.
If I sold the property I would have money I don't need and would allow to languish in the bank or something equally silly. If I keep it I will have a return of 9% of the property's value per year, but would have to have a soup-to-nuts person who could do the screening, accounting, arranging for prompt repairs and other things I can't imagine. Even I can tell that keeping the place is good when it's good, but stuff like this goes bad and there are all kinds of horror stories.
I read the five relevant AskMeFis that turn up with the search "inherited rental" and they have too much conflicting advice to help. It's not like an old house or a weekend get-away, it's a place for people who want to be comfortable but are too busy to get it that way themselves.
Please explain like I'm five: how do I figure this out?