If you’re new to real estate investing, one idea you could play around with, especially if you’re a local, is to take care of maintenance issues yourself. Is it a good idea? Often investment property owners can find themselves in over their heads if they try to take on too much maintenance. So unless you’re the ultimate handyman who also happens to be a licensed electrician, plumber, and general contractor with tons of free time, repairs are probably best left to the professionals. When making this decision, here are a few things to consider.

Are you proficient in general home maintenance?

Although many shows on HGTV give the impression that you can quickly learn how to remodel an entire house yourself, that’s usually not the case. Various repair needs can quickly arise in any home and this is of course true for your rental investment properties. And, while some repairs may seem simple at first glance, if you don’t know what you’re doing, you may end up causing more damage than was originally there.

While things like cleaning a drain in a bathtub are relatively easy, do you know how to properly fix a leaky faucet? Or do you know how to say when it must be replaced? What about properly patching holes in drywall? If things like this aren’t done right the first time, there’s a good chance the problem will reoccur or keep getting worse, and you’ll need to call a professional anyway.

Are the repairs expensive?

As we said, some repairs that seem simple at first glance are not really so. And, if you don’t know what you’re doing or don’t have the proper tools to complete the job, the repair cost will continue to increase, especially if you inadvertently create more damage. As with most things in life, it’s best to get it right the first time. So unless you’re a do-it-yourselfer extraordinaire, it’s probably best to have a professional come in to assess the problem and discuss what will be needed to fix it.

Does the problem require a licensed professional to fix it?

Although you have some basic DIY skills, there are still some problems that should be left to the professionals. Things that fall into this category are often things that require a license – think plumbers, HVAC technicians, or electricians. After all, do you really want to get inside the walls and start playing with the wires? Probably not.

If you undertake work that should be done by a trained professional, you run all sorts of risks beyond creating a bigger maintenance problem and spending more money. Unqualified electrical repairs, for example, can create fire hazards. Even things like pest control need to be handled by professionals who have sprays that have been tested to be safe for pets and not harmful to humans. Another big one that falls into this category is mold. If you suspect mold is present in your investment property, call a professional to assess the area. If mold is indeed detected, a professional will know how to properly mitigate the problem and prevent it from recurring. Yes, it may cost a little more to hire these professionals, but it will be worth it in the end by saving you unnecessary stress and wasted time.

Another thing to note is that major repairs sometimes require permits. Licensed professionals will be aware of this, know what types of permits are required and how to obtain them.

Do you have time to meet repair needs?

Rental properties, like any home, can need maintenance at any time or any day of the week. Are you ready and able to be available 24/7? If you have family responsibilities, a full-time job, travel often or do not live in the area, you are probably not equipped to respond quickly to your tenant’s repair needs. Even if you have time and are on site, do you want to answer a CVC call that dropped at 2:00 a.m.? Probably not, especially if it requires you to search YouTube for how-to videos while sitting outside in the hot July weather of southeastern North Carolina.

So you’ve decided not to deal with the maintenance issues of your rental investment property yourself. What do you do after? The best thing you can do is partner with a professional property management company. Not only do they maintain relationships with trusted vendors, but they take care to coordinate all maintenance needs from scheduling visits to managing invoices. Additionally, using a property management company’s trusted vendors will allow maintenance and turnaround work to be completed more quickly – typically in around 15 days compared to over 30 days if owners do these tasks themselves. . This, in turn, reduces your vacation time and puts more money in your pocket. Sounds good, right? The best part is that you basically don’t have to do anything other than be notified that there’s a maintenance issue at your property and approve larger repairs if they’re needed.

Do you have the right property management partner on your side? Alternatively, contact the experts at Sweyer Property Management for a free quote via our website or call us at 910.239.1338.

Sweyer Property Management is a professional, full-service property management company specializing in all aspects of rental management. If you are a real estate investor or owner who would like to learn more about our services and what a professional property manager can do for you, contact us today at 910.256.3031 or through our website.

Sweyer Property Management has shown continued growth in the Wilmington, Leland and Hampstead areas while maintaining excellent Google+ note for customer service. To learn about the company’s full-service management services or to view homes for rent in the area, visit them online at WilmingtonForRent.com.

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