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Consumer-Focused Organizations Help Investors with their Bottom Line

By Michele Lerner

If you are considering becoming a real estate investor or simply buying your first home, an aspect of homeownership you may not have considered is the fact that you are now your own landlord.

When the washing machine pumps soapy water all over your basement or the furnace stops working on the coldest winter day, it’s now up to you to fix the problem or to find someone who can. Investors need to develop a landlord mindset as soon as they find a tenant and be prepared to provide decent service, too, in order to keep a stable rental income flow.

A couple of consumer-oriented companies can ease the way for homeowners and investors to finding better contractors and saving money, too.

  • Founded by Angie Hicks, Angie’s List has become a nationally recognized organization with more than 1 million members. For a nominal fee, members have access to consumer ratings and comments for a variety of businesses and services from contractors to doctors and dentists. For homeowners, the website and magazine offer a broad range of advice and recommendations on topics such as home warranties and homeowners insurance, as well as home inspections and working with contractors. Before spending time or money on unknown contractors, it makes sense to start with this site.
  • this link will take you to the Better Business Bureau in your zip code so you can check out local businesses before you hire them to work on your home.
  • White Fence is a consumer-oriented group which allows you to shop for services within your area. Simply enter an address, and this website will come up with the best prices for bundled services such as cable television, telephone and Internet services available in that neighborhood. The site also allows you to comparison shop and get free estimates on other services needed by property owners such as contractors, home warranty programs, security systems and lawn care.

Saving money and getting reliable service can save time and money for homeowners and investors.

Michele Lerner, a real estate expert and freelance writer with 20 years of experience, is the author of “HOMEBUYING: Tough Times, First Time, Any Time”.

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