How to make money by renting out an apartment

The desire to live on unearned income and not go to work for me, a writer, was an old dream. And finally it began to come true. My husband and I bought a second apartment and rented it out.

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The exploited asset was a “odnushka” in the North-Western District (North Tushino district), in a rather nice new building of the P3M series, small, about 35 m2, but well planned (spacious kitchen, dressing room, a niche for a refrigerator in the corridor, and alcove).

Since the apartment was bought exactly as a targeted investment of money, “for rent”, we decided that the main criterion would be transport accessibility in general and distance from the metro in particular.

In our case, it turned out that it takes five minutes to get from the metro by transport, and fifteen minutes on foot, that is, a little more than a kilometer. “It’s a limit, but you can take it,” we thought and bought it. Moreover, I was very happy with the price: 53.5 thousand dollars. (This was in November last year, even before the house was accepted by the state commission. If I had decided to sell this apartment today, I would have advertised for 95 thousand rubles.) The house was safely handed over, and in September the keys were given out. Yes, I forgot to say, the apartment was unfinished, a concrete “box”.

I set the budget for repairs and equipping as $ 3000 – realizing that in fact the amount is scanty and I would have to show miracles of ingenuity to squeeze in – and began to look for a brigade.

“Firmachi”, the calmest, most reliable, but expensive option disappeared immediately. There were three alternative solutions: 1) dumping guest workers with all the ensuing consequences such as a semi-criminal situation in the apartment; 2) a lonely elderly “handy” man, who can do everything in the world himself between drinking bouts, will do it in a month, but for the money he is fine, since he doesn’t have to share; 3) putty, paint, wallpaper, floor, etc. on their own, and call the plumbing master.
Obviously, the most reasonable option is the second one, but this time we didn’t get such a wonderful man. And we hired … four Uzbeks who were renovating a nearby cinema. For ease of management of the team, which also speaks poorly in Russian, my husband and I were divided into good and bad police officers: I come every day to inspect the construction site (“Gulom, Sanzhar, but you can somehow make this wall a little more even ? “), and the husband gives money to the workers.

As a result, the apartment was landscaped in three weeks, as a bonus, I learned how to cook Uzbek pilaf, and our costs were as follows:

– $ 900 – to the brigade (we agreed on 800 + 100 “for quality”);
– $ 1200 – building materials;
– $ 250 – steel door;
– $ 500 – household items (refrigerator, Ikeev furniture … Something, of course, was brought from the old apartment).

Let’s add here transportation costs, a bribe to the police (2,000 rubles, we got caught with the Uzbeks when the car was unloading – “otherwise we’ll go write a protocol for the illegal use of foreign labor”), payment of a permit to install an iron door and other approval papers – and they will come out just the same 3000 USD.

What we saved on:

1. Windows (not a fountain, but still double-glazed windows) and glazing on the balcony were left as is.
2. Did not change the electrical project, except that a couple of sockets were added.
3. In the room they did not glue the wallpaper, but painted it with soft blue matte latex paint (washable) and glued the “stucco”, ie. ceiling plinth.
4. Instead of doors, curtains were hung in the room and dressing room, and at the entrance to the kitchen they simply made a small ledge in the wall, that is, they were visually delimited.

What did not save on:

1. All the walls and shelves were well aligned (we need the “euro”! No matter how trivial it may sound – but an inevitable advertising move).
2. They put laminate on the floor.

When the workers left, I looked around the apartment and decided that we needed little things: tablecloths, bedspreads, lamps, a couple of pictures to match the walls, a couple of dry bouquets from Ikea and other rubbish. It was all worth a penny, but it became much more comfortable.
And in general, while I was busy with the arrangement, I had a hidden thought: to make the apartment so that I wanted to live in it myself. This intuitive feeling was equal to.

So, the most important thing remains for us – in fact, to hand over the newly acquired apartments. It was possible to populate acquaintances at least overnight, losing 20% ​​of the market value, and end it. But we decided to squeeze the maximum out of the situation..
I bought a new SIM card and called the five largest agencies, where I left an application in the rental departments, that is, I dictated to the operator information about the apartment and my mobile phone number. He rang about thirty seconds later and did not stop talking until everything was over and I threw out the SIM card, from which I conclude that demand significantly exceeds supply.

I indicated the price in the application for 550 dollars. At random, because you can always adjust. Some bargained, some offered more.

As a result, the trading range was from 300 to 800 USD. Let me remind you, for a “odnushka” on the outskirts of Moscow and, moreover, without a telephone (alas, a new building after all). I’ll run ahead right away and say that the apartment went for $ 600, and it took a little less than a week to complete everything..

So the phone goes off and I start showing. Many agents make an appointment, but they do not arrive – that is, they make an appointment just in case, but the client actually needs something completely different. According to my calculations, out of ten “zealously willing” came one, but that was enough for us – there were just a lot of calls.
Of course, I could have avoided all of this. For money. By ordering the so-called exclusive service in any agency (the cost of the service is equal to a monthly rent, payment upon arrival) and delegate all this running around – calls, screenings – to an unfamiliar aunt-agent, whose qualifications, of course, I cannot be 100% sure of … But I made a strong-willed decision to act independently and keep my finger on the pulse.

Clients started arriving that evening. I want to say right away that the whole audience is very decent.

I have heard a lot about “castings”, about how the owners carefully choose their tenant – but in our case there was no such need.

These were mainly young managers of serious companies with a network of regional branches – these people came from large cities of Russia to work under contract in the Moscow branch of the firm. Once we got caught in love who had just met. Once foreigners from “Ikea” came. But we have not seen boors, madmen, bandits and any other dubious personalities..

Clients differed from each other only in that some still hoped to reduce the price and bargained, others asked to buy something in addition (for example, a TV and a washing machine), others asked to remove something from the furniture from the apartment, and the fourth was satisfied with how there is.

However, the basic requirements for all were similar:

1. Necessarily a refrigerator!
2. Kitchen (in the sense of cabinets, stove, sink).
3. Bed, table, chairs, shelving (only one of the clients wanted a completely empty apartment).
4. Term – one year.
5. As for the phone, which was not there, this circumstance did not bother anyone.

After weighing all the pros and cons, we chose the simplest situation and signed an agreement.

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