"Hands-off real estate investing" = absentee landlords

Increasing the number of owner-occupants in Polish Hill is one of the PHCA’s primary goals.  A big contributing factor in the growth of Polish Hill, and a sign of a healthy neighborhood, is that many people have purchased homes and become engaged in the community.  It’s been well documented that owners will take better care of property they live in.  Owner-occupants will also care more about the community beyond their property line.

Some of the property management companies or individuals with properties in Polish Hill, like Blue Dog,  do a great job and also contribute to the community.  But the PHCA has seen too many instances in which properties belonging to absentee landlords are in severe disrepair or have problem tenants who make life miserable for everyone living nearby.

So many people were not thrilled to see the recent targeted mailing to Polish Hill property owners.  We were curious about what sort of company was trolling our neighborhood for properties to buy to turn over to people whose only interest in our community is to be “headache free with nothing to worry about except collecting rent checks every month.”

When you look up Certified Sold, what you find is a typo-ridden website offering “Landlording and Real Estate Investing for the Hands Off Investor”.  Certified Sold buys buildings, resells them to “investors”, then does the property management for the buildings, including finding tenants and doing any repairs.  The “investor” pays a fee to have the management, of course, and pockets the rest.

And of course, there’s nothing illegal or shady about this; the arrangement is probably quite profitable for both Certified Sold and the ‘investors’.  But how does this sort of ownership help Polish Hill as a community?  We believe it doesn’t.  Polish Hill needs property owners who are hands-on and care about the neighborhood; the sort of arrangement that Certified Sold is promoting does just the opposite.

2 thoughts on “"Hands-off real estate investing" = absentee landlords

  1. I too got the same card in the mail & am curious as to who this group is & exactly what they want. I agree, it certainly doesn’t sound like they mean to jump into community projects or help on cleanup days. Some of the elderly &/or long-term residents looking to sell may find this a tempting means of a quick sale without realizing what will be done with their property. I hope the word gets to those who don’t “blog”.

  2. Hello Lynn,

    Yes…it’s always hard to reach residents who are not online, and not all of them get the print newsletter.

    What this company wants is to make money, and clearly they feel that Polish Hill is a good place to do that. This is a growth neighborhood with rising property values and many lower-income property owners (who just might be shellshocked by recent reassessments).

    We are aware that this company isn’t doing anything illegal. But the PHCA, and the many residents who have reported receiving this postcard, are uneasy at the implications. We don’t want ‘hand-off’ investors swarming Polish Hill. But we can’t say “don’t sell your house to this company”.

    All we can do start, and participate in, a discussion of whether this sort of ‘investing’ is to the benefit of Polish Hill. Elderly or low-income property owners might not know that there are other options if they decide to sell. Perhaps this is one of those cases where word of mouth is the best way to reach those residents.


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