Let A Duplex Save Your Energy

duplex cash flow in handOne of the most important pieces of information any Minnepolis duplex buyer or seller should have is a good, basic idea of how much utilities either do or should run.

Sellers, of course, may be asked to produce this information when a prospective buyer has requested it. More importantly,  having a basic knowledge of the average cost helps duplex owners notice when a monthly charge is unusually high, allowing them to immediately investigate.

Buyers, or the Realtors representing them, on the other hand, should at least have a basic understanding of howmuch it costs to provide tenants with water and trash service, heat, and electricity (if the landlord is responsible for these services).

Not only will this help duplex buyer determine whether or not a property is a good investment, but also, possibly recognize when there’s a hidden opportunity with a property that’s for sale.

For example, last week I found a duplex on the MLS that’s been listed for a long time. It’s appears to be a nice property, in a sought-after location, at a very good price.

So why hasn’t it sold?

As I looked closely at the expenses for the building, it suddenly became apparent that either it has a massive plumbing leak, or, the MLS information was horribly wrong.

A quick call to the city of Minneapolis established the water bill reported on the listing was, in fact, high by $1700. When I plugged the accurate amount into my investment property analysis worksheet, the building immediately went from generating an OK cash flow to a great one.

If you’re new to investing or your Realtor isn’t familiar with duplex expenses, the utility companies like Xcel and CenterPoint Energy are happy to provide that information.

While they can’t disclose the exact amount of a heat bill, for example, they can provide you with a high amount, a low, and a monthly average. In the end, a simple phone call may make or even save you a fortune.