Real Estate Investing: reducing costs
December 12, 2016
I can’t make a decision on my property manager just yet, I need to run some projections on the potential costs and benefits, so I moved along to do quick research on the other list items.
This turned out to be a great idea.
Refinancing! or not.
I ran some initial numbers with Quicken Loans, they wanted to give me a 30-year-fixed loan with $4899 in closing costs and 2 points for a rate of 3.625. I’d save $238 monthly, but with the closing costs, it’d take 21 months to break even.
My current company offered me a 15 year loan, 4.25 / 4.38 with 2 discount points, and the monthly payment goes up by $247. Not the goal.
They also offered a 20 year loan, 4.375 / 4.25 points with 2 discount points, and the monthly payment goes up by $250. Also not the goal. These loan costs are before we calculate the other costs of refinancing: an appraisal running somewhere between $575-625, and closing costs.
Overall, it seems like it’s just not the time for refinancing.
New home warranty
My old home warranty company was bought out by American Home Shield who tried to increase the premiums by 20% at the time of renewal. Even if my profit margins weren’t quite slim, that wouldn’t be acceptable.
My property manager found me a second policy with First American Home Buyers Protection Corporation, at a lower rate than I was paying before, for just about the same coverage and lower call-out costs. Savings: $200 for the annual policy, and $10 off each call-out.
New property insurance
I’m usually all about automating bill-paying so I went for holding the property taxes and hazard insurance in escrow. Pay three bills in one, what’s not to love?
Here’s what – I didn’t see the bill, therefore I didn’t think about it much, therefore I didn’t put it on the list of bills to attack. It did catch my attention briefly when the bill went up bit at renewal time, then it slipped back off my plate shortly after.
In a burst of productivity, I have …
- gotten a quote from a new insurance company,
- started a new policy
- submitted a request to remove the property taxes from escrow,
- had the new company send a cancellation notice to my old insurance company to avoid having to tell them that I’m dumping them, but we’ll see if they make me talk to them anyway.
The new insurance agent was very responsive by email, exactly how I like doing business, which meant I wrapped the whole process from quote to finish in 9 days.
With any luck, I’ll come to a decision about the property manager soon and then I’ll have shelved a year’s worth of administrative maintenance stuff – woo!
The unfortunate thing is that this stuff always occurs to me at the end of the year. Because what better time is there for sorting out all your paperwork and paying big lump sums like insurance policies then at the end of a long year? The only good thing is that, for the rental at least, I keep all the expenses and income in a separate account so it doesn’t impact our personal finances.
:: When’s the last time you evaluated your insurance, property, auto, renters, life, or otherwise? Do you carry any other than the required auto insurance?