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Dear PoPville – Should I get a professional property manager?

by Prince Of Petworth June 13, 2011 at 2:30 pm 34 Comments

Dear PoPville,

I own a duplex in NW DC, I live in one and rent the other one. Since I live close to my tenants I have been pretty good at keeping the property up, calling contractors when needed, and doing little fixes here and there.

The problem:

I will be temporally moving out from DC for 1-3 years and will be renting both apartments, I am wondering what is the best way to manage my property…Is it possible to manage a property long distance by just calling contractors when needed and getting the bill sent to me or do I need to hire a professional property manager?

I have a limited budget, the rent equal the mortgage so hiring someone will be a stretch for me, it’s my last option.

1- please share you experience, have you managed a property while living out of state? or do you have an out of state landlord? How do you pay the monthly rent, how do you deal with issues/repairs?
2-For those who have used property manager, how much do they cost? are they pay by hour? per incident or monthly salary ? do you have anyone you could recommendation?
Any other suggestion is very welcome :)

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