I do a lot of the work on my rental properties, but there are certain things I don’t know how to do, or just don’t want to do on my own. So, how does a homeowner find good, honest contractors?
- Networking — I’ve found some wonderful people through other investors. I’d much rather use someone my friends have been happy with than take a chance on a complete stranger.
- Angie’s List — I used to think this website included mostly higher-priced contractors, but I’ve actually found a couple of high quality people through Angie’s List, and their prices were reasonable.
I’ve had a few bad experiences after hiring workers who approached me, offering a good deal. For example: Someone offered to paint the trim on my big four-plex several years ago, and the price was fantastic. He gave me references and of course, I checked those references. He got glowing reviews so I went with him. He asked for 1/2 the money up front, which is fairly common, and began work the next day. And after that first day, I never saw him again! Another hard lesson learned … His “references” were most likely friends or family members.
So over the years, I learned to rely on friends and other investors/landlords when looking for new contractors. That system usually works well every time. And if an unknown offers you a deal that seems too good to be true, don’t be tempted to grab it … you’re probably being scammed!