From 9-5 i work in the field of Energy Efficiency and Renewable Technology. I specialize in business development and market penetration.
However, I also have a passion for redeveloping neighborhoods and property investments. Me and my business partner began acquiring residential rental properties in 2017. We focused on a local ‘up and coming’ urban neighborhood in Columbus, OH. We wanted to find a location with low property values and high community potential. Further, we wanted an area where we can make a difference in the surrounding neighborhood.
I am a strong believer in a theory called ‘best house on the block’. Most neighboring housing units are owned by slumlords and many others are left vacant. This dereliction of housing has left a neighborhood which has frankly given up on its appearance. This type of accepted degradation is much like a cancer. It grows within the community and causes a general lack of respect for the surroundings. However, this is not the fault of the local residents but rather the property owners who are profiting off their tenants.
Further, i would like to address property owners who purchase low price homes with the plan to hold them for a future increase in neighborhood value. YOU ARE THE PROBLEM! Purchasing a property can be an excellent form of investment. Targeting neighborhoods that might increase exponentially is a way to insure quality returns with little work. However, I must stress that homes are not stocks. They are NOT an investment which should be left to ‘sit’ for your own personal gain. Their are stakeholders when you purchase a home. These include the neighborhood residents, city of location, and surrounding property owners. Investing in a home should not be a passive investment. Urban renewal and redevelopment is lead by local advocates who support the communities growth. Leaving a home vacant for the purpose of future profit is completely immoral unless you actively participate in the factors leading to your profit.
When I choose to fix up a property — I am committing myself to the neighborhood. I am offering the surrounding community an example of beautification. Further, I’ve noticed that neighboring landlords and derelict property investors often choose to sell after we complete a renovation project. Owning an investment property next to ‘the best house on the block’ can instantly boost your property value. However, why should these owners profit off my hard work and revitalization effort? They have done nothing to assist the neighborhood and they have left a dangerous eyesore that has contributed to this community cancer over years of wasted potential.
This is the reason that I am sometimes disliked by surrounding investment property owners. I will report ANY code violation I see and make the city aware of potential issues with the derelict units. Further, I am always happy to advise any local tenants in the rights that they have. If your slumlord refuses to provide a working hot water system; don’t refuse to pay rent! Put the rent in escrow and have the court mediate the owners response!
This is not to say that all property investors act in this manner. I have met some fellow homeowners who are proud of their properties and generally treat their tenants with courteous respect. These are the investors who deserve to profit most from a neighborhood revitalization!
I will now digress back to our company strategy.
We find properties based on several criteria and always in this order.
1. Would new ownership of the house benefit the tenant and/or neighborhood?
2. Can the home’s appearance be upgraded to benefit property value?
3. Can the home be upgraded to become more energy efficient or incorporate renewable energy in the future?
4. Can the investment offer a profitable level of rent with a quality payback
Overall, our investment strategy is not revolutionary. We want to benefit community revitalization, show steady profit over time, and incorporate sustainable features wherever possible.