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Lesson Learned: Be Careful What You Wish For

The beginning of February is always a time when winter starts to drag for me.  The days are still short, it is usually very cold (minus 'something unthinkable to people in Florida' WITHOUT windchill).  There is constant snow or slush on the ground.

My shoes and pants even get tired of all the salt stains they have had to endure by this point in the winter.

So I usually start counting down the days to March.  I know winter goes into March but it makes it seem closer to me and often there are some days where i can actually go outside without my nostrils sticking together.

This year has been a bit different in the Toronto area.  February really hasn't been that nasty to us.

In fact, my wishes of spring arriving were granted as we had a few days of gourgeous weather and warm temperatures at the beginning of the month.

YAY for us right!  uuummm, not entirely.

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You see, because of all the thawing and freezing a property we owned in Brantford had a little issue.

As you can tell from this picture.

It seems over the winter months a layer of ice built up around our gutters. This blocked any melting snow from running down the roof and into them. Which means the water would run down the roof, hit the ice, back up and refreeze again.

The problem is when water backs up that way, it actually goes underneath the shingles.

Then the February warmth came, very suddenly, and it all decided to melt. But because it was underneath the shingles the water thought it would much rather be in our nice warm home than run down the roof to the gutter.

I was on my way to Niagara Falls for a quick getaway with my wife when I got the call.

Our tenants had just gotten home to a flooded kitchen, and the ceiling was continuing to provide a special indoor waterfall……how nice!

I put my delegation skills into full effect and called Tom! 🙂

I was on my way to Niagara after all.

Tom managed to get in touch with a contractor who was in the area who went right by. He cleaned off the roof and any further crisis was averted.

BUT, he was charging us over $500 for an hours work!

He agreed to call and OK the final price was he arrived at the home, instead he went ahead and did the work and then footed us with that bill.

I don’t want to offend any one in the roofing industry but $500 for an hours work and you were in the area? That just didn’t feel right.

After a spirited conversation with Tom the final price was $350, which we felt was on the high end of the spectrum, but fair.

Now we are left with that beautiful crack in our ceiling.

The good news is that our roof is in good shape and no repairs are needed there. It seems that February thaw caused a lot of these situations in the area.

Isn’t real estate investing fun?

It can definitely keep you on your toes but small things like this can't let you lose focus on the big picture.

Plus would I rather have my money secured against as asset that produces me cash flow every month, even if some maintenance issues come up?  Or should I pull it and put it in someone else's control to investin a mutual fund?

I think you know the answer!

I am off to see the White House, stay tuned for a Washington update next week.

- Nick Karadza

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