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Episode 055 – You Can’t Fix Noise & Other Things to Avoid (Part One)



What to do when the neighbor's dog won't stop barking...

First, knock on your neighbor's door and try to talk to them.

If they aren't home, leave a note. Give them time to fix it.

Check your HOA or city ordinances. Follow their guidelines, which usually asks you to contact the police or a local authority, make written notices, keep a (video) log, and follow up.

Reminder: Do your due diligence before signing on the line!

That airport didn't just go up overnight and that dog has most likely been there the entire time. Make certain you do your due diligence BEFORE you rent or buy a property. Know your neighbors. Knock on their door. Ask questions like, "is there anything you wish you were aware of before you bought your home? Is there anything you think I should know?

Michelle has an entire list of what type of house not to buy!

We split this episode into two parts because Michelle began going into the Types of Things She Avoids when Purchasing or Renting a Property. And, because the list was detailed and the episode was already going long, we decided to split it right here so that you wouldn't miss a thing.


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Show Transcript

[00:01] Over the last two centuries, nearly 90 percent of the world's millionaires have created their wealth through real estate. Here to tell you how you can ride this wave with less risk and less capital while creating greater income, is your host, best selling author and Speaker, Michelle Russell.

[00:21] Hi, this is Michelle, the Master of Money Mindset, and you are listening to the Short Term Rental Revenue Podcast...

and in today's episode,

Speaker 1: (00:28)
we're going to talk about dogs. They can be a real pain in the, you know what, depending on where you live. But first, really quick, I wanted to let you know and remind you that our show is brought to you today by audible. You can get your first audiobook free by going to audible forward slash s t r revenue. That's audible, forward slash s t r revenue. That's your first book, free and 30 days to try out audible the app and the membership on your phone or on your computer and check out audible and see all the cool things that are going on with it. For this week's podcast. We had had a bunch of bad reviews because one of our properties in a college town down in Tucson, Arizona had a lady next door who had four Yorkies, four little Yorkies and I don't know if you guys have ever had to like get in there for neighbors, but it was not fun.

Speaker 1: (01:35)
They had gotten a new dog and whenever they went to class they would put the dogs outside. Now the three dogs, the other three dogs were used to it and they didn't bark hardly at all, but the new little puppy was like going crazy. It was just so upset, peeing led outside. It just barked and barked and barked. I don't know if you know this, but afterwards we like, we had looked this up after we had had so many bad reviews about dogs. Do you know dogs can't lose their voice from barking? If you go to a rock concert and you just scream and scream and you get done all weekend, you are someplace, my throat hurts so bad. I've been, you know, screaming and yelling, not dogs, they can't get sore throats. We really wish we were like, when is this going to stop? Is this dog finally going to get a sore throat?

Speaker 1: (02:20)
Apparently not. It's not the same as a human, so they can just bark and bark and bark and bark and never end and that's what this little guy did and what he did to our reviews for that place were just incredible. I mean it was mad name. Now what we found out was the city of Tucson, Arizona has a city ordinance just for dogs barking because apparently it was a real problem and there were a lot of people who had neighbors who would just let the dogs bark and bark. But just because there's a city ordinance does not mean that the was an easy process first with these little dogs we noticed because one of, obviously one of the guests said, hey, I'm trying to study for the, because it's right next to ASU. There's a lot of people who come in just to take certain tests or certain testing that's done.

Speaker 1: (03:18)
People will come in for their continuing education and stay and then take a series of tests. And a lot of times they'll stay for a few days and you know, just want to get a lot of rest up so that they can study by themselves and then take these tests. So you need to have a quiet place. Well, we had a woman come in and she was not happy. She couldn't get any studying done. She was just like, this dog is making me crazy. So we had found out because she had sent us a message through platform, which was nice that she was having trouble with this dog that was next door. So we sent someone over to talk to the owner of the dog and no such luck. They pretty much didn't care. It was kind of told to us that it was basically none of our business where they left their dog and the porch for their outside.

Speaker 1: (04:12)
There wasn't a lot of outdoor room in the backyard of the house next door, but where the little porch was that they had this dog was literally right next to the window and the of the bedroom window for the little house that we had. So it was a nightmare happening. If you were to stand there and you took the gate down, it would be probably less than six feet or eight feet from the window to where the dog was barking. So I mean, you could literally throw something there if it weren't for this big six foot, seven foot fence. Right. So yeah, it wasn't a pleasant thing. It was actually kind of a nightmare. So, so the guests that we had had an idea of giving this dog some chilled treats. She said, do you have a nearby that? And we're like, oh, what an amazing idea because we have an Aussie, she's an Australian shepherd.

Speaker 1: (05:09)
And she had literally jumped out of the car once when my son was riding with her. And um, it's a long story, but she jumped out of the car, rolled in traffic and broke her little hip and she was on the mend for a long time. What is crazy about Australian shepherds is they have so much boundless energy. You've got to take them for a walk at least twice a day. I mean, they'd just go, go, go, go. This dog. Just wants to run. So we had to keep her chillaxed the whole time. She was healing, you know, for like, what was it, four or six weeks, whatever it was. Right. And how did we do that? Well, obviously drugs like, well obviously drugs. She had chill pills. The vet had given us these, I think they were made out of hemp. Maybe they had some kind of CBD oil, but they basically, they gave her pot and it helped her relax her enough where she was just like, yeah man, whatever.

Speaker 1: (06:08)
Right. The doc was just like the whole time she was healing, she was just walking around totally high as a Kai and going, whatever happens. I'm so super happy right now. So we thought, oh my gosh, this will be so great for this little puppy now. Well, there's a big difference because my dog, what is she? She's like 40 some pounds as a full grown Aussie. We have a, we have larger dogs too because we have golden retrievers, which are like 80 pounds and we also have our daughters, St Bernard, which has like 120 pounds. Big Difference. You can't just assume that the same amount of whatever's in, those are going to be good. So we just said, hey, look here doc. We've got this problem. Here's this little terrier. It's about this big Yay big. So we just took a picture of it over the wall while it was barking at us, cause we had lots of videos of it barking anyway just of the wall.

Speaker 1: (07:01)
And you could hear the dog. You can see it's a little cuteness on the other side. It was an adorable puppy, let me just say, but it just barked nonstop. So he took it and he said, well this is probably, you know what you want to give it, but you need to ask permission. We're like, wait, why? What? We've got to ask. And they're like, yeah, you can't just give your neighbor's dog some pot. And we're like, well gee, why not? I mean that we thought about it. We're like, yeah, that's Kinda true. You can't just give the neighbor's dog pot. There was just no talking to this neighbor. There was just no talking to the neighbor. The neighbor wasn't happy about us inquiring. We knew it was a rental and we were going through this whole process of just fine, you know, doing all the things, going through all the steps with the city to make sure that we had gone through and anytime we needed to, we're calling the police.

Speaker 1: (07:52)
We were logging it with the guests. We were making sure guests knew about it. We had these little treats just in case it got, you know, like crazy. We didn't know what to do with the treats. We just kept him in a drawer. We got dog barking boxes. Have you guys ever heard of those? Yes, they have them. You put these batteries or you can plug them in? There's certain kinds. We tried a couple of them. They don't work very well at all and that dog was super close to a wooden fence. You would've thought that it worked. It didn't. It didn't work. We put the boxes everywhere. No matter what. The dog didn't care about any sound was going on. I don't know. Maybe the dog where you're like, maybe this is like a deaf dog. Maybe it doesn't have any hearing because do you hear that the other dogs would be going crazy?

Speaker 1: (08:38)
Not the puppy. The puppy could have cared less or like great. We get the only nonstop barking deaf dog in the whole city of Tucson. We've got it right here living next door. So anyways, we just went through this whole entire process. But the meantime, we were letting people know beforehand because we didn't want them to get there and have to study for tests. We knew about the Times of day that she let the dog out, but because the dog was in the house with her during the night. But here's the deal guys, there are a lot of people out there, even in the state of Arizona. What is it today? It's about 104 outside or 106 it's hot here. Okay. I know you people in the Midwest are going, Yo, we've got a real feel of 102 even though it's 90 some degrees outside and we've got humidity.

Speaker 1: (09:32)
Let me just tell you when it's 106 in the desert, it feels like hell. It just feels hot. It's just hot. It's like, I'll give you a real feel. Here's a real feel on just picture Satan with a pitchfork. That's what it feels like. And people will leave their dogs out all year long here living in dog houses with, you know, sometimes you worry because if there's no water outside, even if you put a bowl of water outside, anything you put outside's going to get hot. You can't touch your door knobs in Arizona or you're steering wheels without oven mitts sometimes depending on the color of it. And if it's metal, heck no. It's like hot to the touch. You can literally burn yourself and people will leave their dogs out. So before you rent a space, before you buy a house, before you do anything, look at the neighbors, look at their yard, look at what's going on.

Speaker 1: (10:31)
If you hear a dog stop, drop and roll away from the house because honestly it is going to be a nightmare. They don't care if they're the kind of people who leave a dog outside in the Arizona Sun all day long. They don't care about you, they don't care about your feelings, and they certainly don't care about your little airbnb business. They don't care. They don't care about an animal, a live animal being stuck outside in the Arizona Sun. Now, this lady was a little different, like I said, because that puppy was probably the new guy on the block. It was probably dropping little weed bombs all over the house and whenever she went to work or whenever she went to class, wherever she was going, she just didn't want the dog to chew on something or make a mess because it was a puppy and she didn't probably feel that it was, you know, if I just stick this one dog outside, it's going to be lonely.

Speaker 1: (11:28)
I'm going to just stick the other dogs out with it and they will at least have some company or something. But she didn't leave him out all the time. So she at least loved her pets enough to keep them inside the house. Most of the time or whenever she was there, there's hardly ever any barking and so I have to say Kudos to her because there are so many people in this state that leave their dogs outside. I have been to really love my dogs, not that I'm one of those people who get my Christmas card made with my dog, but I really love my dog and I know that I'm the human and I have to take care of them. I'm not going to leave them outside. It drives me crazy when I see people leave their pets outside in the Arizona Sun. It's just so nuts.

Speaker 1: (12:12)
I take my dog everywhere with me. If I know I have to run in some place, unless it's into Starbucks. Chino grabbed my drink that I pre-ordered or something, but most of the time if I know I'm going in somewhere, I won't take my dog in the car. I can't leave a pet in the car for even 10 minutes in the Arizona Sun. It gets incredibly hot here really fast. Now in the wintertime, no problem. It's like 60 degrees outside or whatever. It's, they're not going to be in the car for five minutes. I can run into sprouts and grab some whatever and they're going to be okay for five minutes. But I'm very aware at time and I'm very aware at the heat levels for my pets because I know I'm responsible for them. You can't forget your animals and your kids, man. I always look at these stories and I think to myself, in a car, in a car, how can you, I can't even imagine leaving the a baby or an animal in a car.

Speaker 1: (13:10)
I'm super aware that I'm responsible and that the heat of Arizona can kill any living thing inside left inside a car. But what I to reiterate here is the fact that you really need to know and understand what's going on in an entire neighborhood before you jump in with both feet. Look around, look around what's going on. Right? And remember what I said too, before you buy a property or rental property, look and see what's on the books for the city ordinances. Are they going to have short term rental rules? If you're not doing your due diligence in all these specific areas, there's no one to blame but yourself. There really isn't. If you buy a property and you knew that there was a junk yard next door with a big old junk yard dog and then you start having challenges and then you're like, well shoot, that doesn't seem fair.

Speaker 1: (14:05)
Honestly, you're just like, you're like those people who buy. Honestly, you're just like those people who buy a house right under the airport and they go, well, I mean, I can't believe they just land these planes any time of night, all night and day, and you're like, you bought a house right next to an airport really, and now you're going to sit and complain. That's pretty much what you do when you have a dog like that and then you look over the fence, you're like, man, their dogs are outside all the time. You didn't know that. You didn't ever notice or hear that dog before just now. That's when you started like, what were you doing? You always do your due diligence. Always. One of the first things I notice is noise and of every property I walk into and you can ask my husband that dog barking is among the same thing.

Speaker 1: (14:59)
I mean it's among the houses that you do not buy so it's going to be among the rules that you do not rent. So what I wanted to do is give to you those same rules because they apply with your short term rental. You do not rent a house with dogs outside and you will know, you will know because you're going to go there at night and during the day. That's another thing that people do. They will go to look at a property at know one in the afternoon and they'll say, well it was really nice. It was super quiet. There wasn't a lot of cars around in this area, blah blah blah. And it was super quiet. We didn't hear a lot of noise or a lot of traffic and you're like, you're there at one o'clock try in the morning, you know, rush hour, trying the evening rush hour, try later in the evening and see what you get because there are certain areas of Phoenix, especially when you are driving around and you're not going to hear a lot of traffic during the day.

Speaker 1: (16:02)
But holy cow in the morning and in the evening during rush hour, it's crazy. And I'm talking roads with one lane on each side, so it's just single lanes on each side and the noise can be incredibly maddening and the traffic starts early in the morning like 5:00 AM five 30 and that's all the people here is traffic, traffic, traffic. But you can ask my husband, he'll say, oh, Michelle's not even gonna look at this as backed up to a main street and you bet your sweet ass. I will not even look at it. I don't want to see it. I don't care what the price is. Why? Because I know that if I'm renting it out, it's going to be noisy and nobody's going to want to stay there more than a year for a whole year. Right. And if I'm renting it out as a short term rental, same thing. Even worse scenario because now I'm going to get shitty reviews because of it and I don't want the bad reviews.

Speaker 1: (17:01)
My properties are inside properties. They are never on a main street ever. They are never backed up to parking lots. Even in the buildings that we buy in Florida, we make sure that the properties don't face parking lots. The thing is you have got to think about these things ahead of time. You've got to think about it because if you don't, you're making a huge mistake. You can't fix noise. So we make sure that when we buy in certain buildings and certain units, I always say, look, my unit has to be facing the lagoon. My Unit, you know, has to be away. And when I have agents looking for properties for me, one of the first things I say to them is, I will not look at property. If it's backed up to a main street. You cannot do that. You don't want to compete for last place.

Speaker 1: (17:57)
You never ever compete for last place. You don't want to be the Walmart because here's the deal. You will just play catch up all the time. You will be working hard answering questions and answers. I mean, you'll be back and forth with these people all the time. And if you're not, than the people you hire, your virtual assistants will, and that is costing you time and money because they can be doing something else. If it was a quiet unit, it wouldn't be having any sort of trouble. It wouldn't be causing you any problems. Correct. So if you have a dog barking problem and your city doesn't have an ordinance, what are you to do? It's a constant calling the police and you know, going in and what can you do? There's not a lot you can do. You can ask them, you can write them letters.

Speaker 1: (18:52)
You can talk to them, you can bribe them, but if you do have a city ordinance, just know just because you have a city ordinance, it's not going to be a walk in the park. It's still going to be a lot of work and man, I can't tell you how many discounted rooms we gave away, how many discounted nights. We even got to a point where we sent people letters beforehand and we said, look, we have lowered our rates because of this, so please don't come in and then tell us it was a challenge with you and then expect us to give you your money back. It's not going to happen. But we got so many lousy reviews. It took us down, it dropped us way below and even with the bark box and everything else, the only thing that saved us was one renter who came in and offered to stay for an entire two months because it was a snowbird and when he was there he helped us monitor and call the police when he was happy to do it.

Speaker 1: (19:54)
And literally that's what saved us because by the time we got done with the whole thing, they've just moved out and left because they had gotten so many calls and the police had come over and the owner got to a point where with the city of Tucson they were getting fined. I think it was $50 a day for every violation against a certain time, but there were quarter appearances. There was all kinds of stuff that was required before all this happened and so it was a nightmare. Just because there's a city ordinance does not mean it's not going to be a nightmare. It's a nightmare. It's a nightmare. So it's best left avoided. So that's going to bring me to something the houses not to buy. This goes for houses not to rent and I've already mentioned one and that is houses with noise, noise of traffic.

Speaker 1: (20:46)
They are awful. What else is out there that drives you? Absolutely batty and so we have to think of ourselves as being a good neighbor to our future guests, right? We have to take those precautions for them. So noise is a big, huge thing. If I see people with cars up on, you know, bricks or blocks, nope. Nope, nope. Doesn't look good and people don't want to be in that type of area. I am very persnickety about the locations I choose. If it looks bad when I drive through the neighborhood, I'm not buying in, I'm not renting it. Why would I, if I was staying there, I wouldn't want to stay in neighborhood like that. It would be too iffy. And we rent to a lot of single women and I want my daughters to be safe and if it doesn't look safe, I'm not gonna, I'm not gonna rent it out.

Speaker 1: (21:40)
I'm not going to buy that property either. So look around, take notice of everything in the area. What does it look like? So let's talk about some of the properties that we had purchased in Texas. In the Midwest and in Gilbert, there are a lot of agricultural places. What does it smell like guys? And a lot of times it doesn't smell bad during the day, but at night when the sun goes down, something happens and you can smell the agriculture in the area. You have to be really careful when you're buying in certain parts of places where it's going to be negative like there was a dairy two miles down the road, tons of flies, things like that. You have to know and be aware of them. A really good thing to do is talk to neighbors. You're going to tell a lot by the neighbor when you knock on the door, we knock on doors all the time.

Speaker 1: (22:33)
I don't know why people don't do this, but if you're buying properties, when you are a real estate professional and a real estate investor, you're going to have to knock on doors and you're going to have to get used to and very comfortable with knocking on doors and talking to other owners of properties, right? When somebody answers the door, you're going to be able to know a lot about them. Is this somebody that you want to be neighbors with and you'll be able to tell? There are also neighbors that will drive you crazy. Nosy neighbors. Oh, the Herald Sun's just left. You know, they were there for 15 years. Their daughter had this problem and this and this went on and you know he was up at 5:00 AM and if they know way too much it's like, yeah, that's TMI. They knew way too much, they're going to be in my people's business all the time.

Speaker 1: (23:21)
And that could be challenging for you because nosy neighbors sometimes are worse than neighbors with with the dogs that they just locked outside and they just don't want anybody around them. These guys will be constantly, you know, do you know that your guests didn't get home until this time? And then they did this and then they did that. You don't want that. So talk to the neighbors when you're going around places because you want to know what type of neighbor you get and the type of neighbor that you have and if they're selling the property and why and why the other people sold the property. Do you know why they sold? Oh yeah. They'll tell you they, if they know, they'll tell you. It's kind of wild. But you know, maybe if their friends will say, well, those are friends of ours, they have the property up for sale, but they'll tell you they're friends of theirs.

Speaker 1: (24:06)
Great. This is what we were thinking and we were thinking of using it for this. Let them know. And they'll tell you right away to how they feel about that. Unless you're afraid they're going to buy it. I mean, if you've got, if you're afraid they're going to buy it themselves and don't do it if you're in that kind of neighborhood. But otherwise just, just put it out there and let people know and let people give you their feedback because they'll tell you this actually isn't a good area for that, or I wouldn't think it was. Or they'll be really interested in it and they'll tell you a lot about it. The thing is you need to, there's some things you're not gonna know and you're gonna know too late. But then that's why you do a short lease first. Be Leery of signing long leases because I like short leases.

Speaker 1: (24:52)
I literally love six month leases to start off with because you're going to hit the majority of your problems within that first six months to see what is going on. Ben, if you've got two you can get out of there in a six month lease. I just want to try it out, so almost always I give somebody the deal where I'm going to pay six months upfront and we'll just try it out for six months and see how it works. If it's in some place, an area that I don't know very well. Now if it's in an area I know then I don't have to do that, but if it's not a place I know real well or a neighborhood I know real well, that is a double benefit for me. So do a trial period. Trial periods are really great. Also watch the stairs if the stairs are too narrow or don't have a long enough landing, so that means you want to make sure that your foot fits across the whole part of the floor.

Speaker 1: (25:47)
You don't want people having to use their tippy toes to go upstairs because the stairs are short. They'll fall easier when they're coming down. They need to be able to plant their feet correctly as they're coming down the steps with their bags and stuff. And that's gonna be your fault. You've got to make sure that your stairs are wide enough and that the landings and risers are a good size so that it, it has the perfect, wonderful flow of a correct staircase. But there's nothing worse than having little short, tiny steps where people can just trip over each other, fall and hurt themselves on your property. Not Good. Another thing I look for is low ceilings. I don't look for them. I actually avoid them. So I should have said them in a different way. Another thing I avoid like the plague, besides the loudness, is low ceilings can't stand low ceilings.

Speaker 1: (26:44)
Now remember, whenever you buy a property, especially you may have to someday flip that property and sell it. So hopefully you're going to be able to hold it for a long time, but people are going to want to be there. And if you buy correctly in the beginning you're going to avoid all these challenges and if you rent correctly in the beginning, again, you're avoiding a lot of challenges and so I'm very, very picky. If I can't stand this ceiling hype myself, then I don't go there. It's like, nope, nope, not going there. If there's weirdness about it, if I think something's weird, somebody else is definitely going to think it's weird and I want things to sell quickly. I like the flow to be right. I like the ceiling height to be right. I like when I walk in for everything to feel good about the house and if it doesn't right away I just say no.

Speaker 1: (27:38)
I say no about a lot more houses and then I say yes to and that's okay. When you start investing in real estate and you start to buy these properties, be picky, you will go through more properties and say no to them. Then you will say yes, you will get more nos to the offers that you make. Then you will get yeses. If you get yeses to all your offers, your offers are way too high. Yes they are. Because you should initially always get a no. That means you came in low enough. Ask Maria. She'll tell you we had Maria Giordano on before and she knows if I think my price is low, I go in and offer a little bit lower. It's like, I'm like, that's a low offer until I'm almost embarrassed to give it. That's when I know my offer is low enough.

Speaker 1: (28:28)
It's like my, my cash offer anyways, like here's how I know it's low enough. It's pretty embarrassing. Oh, it'd be almost embarrassed to do it, but that's why. That's why we can do that. We have actually a bunch of other offers that we do and we'll teach you that later, but make sure you're looking for these things and make sure that you're not, here's the feeling you want to avoid when you're purchasing and renting properties. This is the only one. If I don't get this, ah, that's, you don't want that feeling guys. Because there are a million properties out there and you've got the chances and the opportunities to pick the right ones. Pick the right ones. Not every property is for you. And if you lose out on a property, there will be more. Always know that you will get the right properties, that the right properties will come to you.

Speaker 1: (29:20)
Make that one of your affirmations. I only rent the properties that are right for me. I only buy the properties that are right for me and my guests. That's a great affirmation to have. So I hope that helped you with a dogs. I mean you can get those barkboxes you can do all those things too, but just know nip that in the bud. Just don't do it. Just don't rent a place with dogs next door. And if you mess that up, that's your fault. No one else's fault. You should have checked it out. And if somebody moves in later and brings a dog, then you make sure you nip that shit in the bud as fast as you can because as soon as that dog starts barking, just knock on the door. Say, Hey, I don't know if you realize this, but you had your dog out yesterday.

Speaker 1: (30:10)
I know you guys just moved in. You're probably getting settled. You didn't want to leave him in to chew things up. But here in this neighborhood we do have a noise ordinance and you know, we wouldn't want to have to do anything about that. We, we use this property for whatever and you just want them to know, nip that shit in the bud fast, let them know you're going to have problems with this neighbor if you don't fix it because the longer you let something go, the more of a problem it becomes. And you've got to be proactive with a lot of stuff. So, so I'm going to end this week's episode right here because it got too long again, and I'm going to continue it next week with all the things I have on my list of things I don't buy or things I avoid buying or renting when I'm looking at a property. So stay tuned, have a great day. God bless you. Go and grow.


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