Maintenance is something most investors don’t love to discuss. But, it’s an important topic. If you own a rental property in Reno, you need to know what’s likely to break. Preparing for the maintenance costs that come with owning real estate investments can help you budget for repairs better.
Reno Climate Creates Maintenance Issues
Reno has unique weather which means it has unique maintenance requirements. In the summer, we are often in triple digits; sustained temperatures of 110 are not uncommon. Then, in the winter, we’re often below zero.
These major extremes in weather bring hot summers and snow in the winter. You need to think about the long term effects this has on your rental property. It’s going to create a lot of wear and tear, especially over the course of 20 or 30 years.
The biggest problem we see with Reno homes is during the fall and spring seasons when we have to work with irrigation boxes. They are particular and difficult. In Nevada, it’s common to have our irrigation boxes buried underground. It’s warmer there, and the idea is that they’re safer. There’s no water shut on and off valve; you simply have some PBC piping under the ground, and the irrigation boxes can be easily forgotten.
They need your attention, though, because if there’s any water in there or a leak develops that you didn’t know about, you might find yourself in January when it’s 15 degrees outside, and that water will freeze and you’ll find you’re spending a thousand dollars on a new irrigation box.
It’s much better to spend the money to have your irrigation system winterized. Hire a professional who can come out and inspect those boxes and make sure there aren’t any leaks or signs of damage. This will save you so many headaches and a lot of big expenses. You don’t want to have spring arrive and find that nothing is turning on. You’re never saving money when you think you’re cutting corners, so have those irrigation boxes inspected and serviced.
Before you buy a Reno rental property, we recommend that you have the builder or one of your own contractors show you where the irrigation boxes are buried. We often work with owners who can’t find them or aren’t sure whether they’re attached or detached. It’s important that you figure out what you’re working with.
Reno Rental Property Maintenance: HVAC Systems
Another maintenance expense you can expect in Reno is your HVAC system. This is again weather related. We always tell owners that these HVAC systems are put to test more here in Reno than in any other market. Heaters are going to run all winter long. Air conditioning units are going to be put through the ringer all summer long.
It’s important that you service this system on a regular basis.
Catch whatever problems may be lurking in your heating and cooling systems before they break. When it’s 115 degrees outside and you get a call from a resident that the air conditioning isn’t working and it’s 4:30 on a Friday, you’re going to have a miserable weekend trying to fix that problem.
There are lots of programs available through local vendors where you can get an annual HVAC inspection. They will change all your filters and do a duct clean and provide a complete inspection. This can provide a lot of peace of mind to Reno rental property owners. Give yourself this peace of mind, and then if it still breaks and you have to spend $5,000 on a new unit, at least you know you did everything you could to preserve and extend the life of your system.
Your HVAC system is the most valuable appliance in your Reno rental property.
Reno Rental Property Repairs: Check Your Fences
Many developers put in faux wood fences on Reno properties. They’re put together pretty well when they’re standing, but when the Sierra Nevada winds flow through, you might find those fences are useless against the 70 mph sustained gusts that come into the valley from the 200 mph winds at the summit.
We get crazy winds in Reno, and the fence is not going to win a fight with those gusts.
Make sure your fences are in good shape and continually check your posts. Rebuild them and replace them when you can. This will help your property to look better aesthetically and you’ll build a better buffer against the weather. Wind isn’t a factor all the time in Reno, but it does have some pretty intense periods. You don’t want to call your contractor out to build a fence post in January when the ground is frozen. Take care of fences in the summer while the ground is thawed.
Vendor Relationships and Reno Rental Repairs
When you own a rental property, vendor relationships are critical. You want to be preventative and proactive instead of reactive. You don’t want to be searching for a contractor on a Friday night. It’s better to have the relationships in place ahead of time.
This is one of the keys to having leverage and using a Reno property management company. Know your vendors and contractors.
If you have any questions about maintaining your Reno rental property, please contact us at Mynd Property Management. We’d be happy to refer you to some contractors or help you with all your rental property and Reno real estate needs.
You can also visit our Facebook group of investors, which is called Master Mynd. It’s a real estate investors’ club, where you can exchange ideas with other owners. Check out our weekly podcast as well, called The Myndful Investor. We invite leaders in real estate and property management to talk about their success and, more importantly, their failures. There’s a lot to learn from this relatable content.