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How to Take Vacations When You Own Investment Property

Mar 31, 2008
Landlords: When you are on vacation, who do your tenants call when the furnace stops working? Do you take your phone with you, hoping you will have cell phone coverage? Who would get the call if you had a fire?

With some simply planning, you can easily get out of town and relax knowing your investment property is taken care of.

Prep prior to vacation:
1. Find a vacation buddy that will take emergency calls when you are out of cell phone coverage. This may be your caretaker, a friend, or relative. Make sure they are familiar with your properties and have access to your keys and contractors phone list.

2. Have all your calls routed through one number. Set it up to forward during your vacation or change your outgoing voicemail message giving your vacation buddy's cell phone number for emergencies only.

3. Build a list of contractors and handymen that you use on a regular basis. Leave that list with your vacation buddy and also bring a copy with you on your vacation.

4. Mount a lock box on every property or leave all the keys in a locked store room to make it easier for workman to access the property if you have to make arrangements when out of town.

5. Even if you don't have a caretaker at the building, at least identify a trustworthy tenant that you can call to get an honest assessment of any situation.

When on vacation:
1. Be firm with your tenants that non-emergency requests must wait until you return.

2. Give your vacation buddy your travel schedule and emergency contact numbers in case he must absolutely get in touch with you.

3. Leave a copy of your contractor and tenant phone lists with your vacation buddy so he can make calls if necessary.

4. Leave your keys with your vacation buddy and/or make sure he has the combinations to the lockboxes at the properties.

5. Leave your vacation buddy funds or a credit card to purchase materials in an emergency to repair almost anything.

6. If you can't completely ignore your investment property for too long, set up a pre-arranged date and time to call your vacation buddy to check in.

Whether you are headed out of the country for a week or just to your parent's house for the weekend, it is important to have thought out how you are going to manage your investment property when you are gone. This will make your tenants happier and your vacation more pleasant.
About the Author
Scott Ficek owns and manages almost 30 investment property units from single family to multi-family. Find his website at www.minnesotainvestmentrealestate.com. He is also a Minnesota Real Estate Agent with RE/MAX Advantage Plus in Minneapolis and helps new and seasoned investors buy and own Investment Property.
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