FinancesGeneral

Will the Stimulus Help?

So that’s the question of the day.  Many of your who are here, like myself are Average Joe’s and are working on building our wealth.  My wife and I racked up quite a bit of debt with buying this rental property.  From the personal loan we had to take out to over $7,000 charged as a cash advance, we have a pretty good idea of where my check is going.  Or do we?

Buying this rental property before we even knew what COVID-19 presents a challenge.  One of the tenants gets assistance from Housing and Urban Development (HUD).  The good thing about that is we will at least get enough to cover the mortgage.  However, there are other expenses that come with a rental property… such as paying the property manager, taxes, repairs, and for some landlords, they pay utilities.  We sent a letter to my tenants so they understand that I do indeed care about them and their situation, however, my bills are not going away and rent will still be do.  But that doesn’t mean we cannot assist them in this time of need.  One of my tenants already reached out to me and said that both him and his girlfriend were laid off.  We are willing to work with them because we are all in this together.  We are allowing them to pay whatever they can in April and then start making an additional monthly payment to make up the difference over the next 10 months starting in June.

The letter we used will be posted below (it was authored by Brandon Turner from Bigger Pockets).  He made the letter open for public use and we think its great.  We made some minor changes to it, but we think it sends a heartfelt message that we will get through this.  The letter is below:

Dear Resident, 

We hope this letter finds you and your loved ones safe and healthy. The past few weeks have, undoubtedly, been some of the most life-changing weeks we’ve seen in modern times. The looming threat of the COVID-19 virus has taken this country, and our state, by storm. We are hoping that the extreme social distancing will prove effective to slow the spread of this illness and that we’ll all soon be back to normal. 

As your property manager, we wanted to reach out and address a few important issues regarding the pandemic as well as your tenancy. 

1) Social Distancing’s Purpose: 

Right now, no doubt you’ve heard about (and are engaged in) what we refer to as “social distancing.” The purpose of this world-wide action is not simply to stop you from getting sick; the larger purpose is to slow down the progression of this virus so hospitals will not be overwhelmed with those who are most likely to be affected. Without social distancing, hospitals will quickly be overrun with far too many patients and not enough equipment to handle it. As such, we just encourage you to stay home and follow the guidelines set forth by the CDC, which you can read more about by going to http://cdc.gov/coronavirus.

2) Maintenance and Repairs: 

Due to the restrictions on work and the need to keep government-mandated social distancing, we may be slower than normal to respond to non-emergency maintenance requests. Please don’t hesitate to call us with any requests, but please be patient as we work on what we can when we can. And if any maintenance workers are sent to your home, please be sure to keep at least six feet away from them, to maintain the social distancing. 

3) Rent Payments:  

As of now, the owners of rental properties in the United States are still responsible for making their mortgage payments to their banks, as well as paying for taxes, insurance, repairs, and other expenses needed to maintain your home. We still need to make sure we receive income to cover these bills. 

If you have lost all ability to pay rent, including losing your job, your other sources of income, your unemployment has run out, and no government assistance comes to fruition, then please contact us as soon as possible so we can help you go over your options. Communication is key and urgent. 

This is a rapidly changing time for everyone, tenants and landlords alike and we will continue to monitor the economic landscape in the coming weeks and months. Thank you for being a valued tenant and we look forward to getting through these tough times together. As always, don’t hesitate to reach out if you have any questions. 

Sincerely,

Management”

These are certainly difficult times, but it’s important to remain on the side of humanity while also making sure you do not get screwed over…

So, back to the stimulus check.  What should you do with it?  Well, that depends.  Are you consumer debt free (i.e. no credit card debt or loans?)  If not, take that money and put it into your snowballing debt payoff that we talked about in earlier posts.  If you are consumer debt free and have your emergency account full, consider investing that stimulas check into the stock market.  Not only will it help to stimulate the economy as it was designed to do, but you can get a pretty nice return when the market grows.  If you are new to investing, consider downloading Robinhood as a platform to start. 

Keep saving, and keep investing.  We will build our wealth together!

Mike Cavaggioni
Mike Cavaggioni

Mike Cavaggioni is an Active Duty Officer in the U.S. Navy, Real Estate Agent, and Real Estate Investor located in Honolulu, HI. He is the founder of Average Joe Finances and host of the Average Joe Finances Podcast. He is the CEO and founder of Compass REI Properties, LLC; a rental property company in Virginia. Mike owns real estate in Hawaii and Virginia and is building a community for people to come together to learn and build their wealth.

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