Let your knowledge of how to repair investment properties grow like plants in a garden. Follow my tips and you will be prepared to respond to any problem.
Here is how I learn new skills:
Stick to Experts like Glue
Always be there to help when the handyman or contractors do work on the house. Ask questions. Make mental notes of how things work. For example, every time a technician works on my air conditioner, I am right there on the roof with them, I see how they analyze the problems, I asked them what the different components and parts are called, and I ask how to identify other types of A/C problems. Now I know what to look for, and I can do what he did, if the same problem arises.
Take Community College Classes
Community colleges offer a smorgasbord of useful classes for the fixer-upper investor. I have mostly taken classes in electrical wiring, but done some plumbing and woodwork too. The classes are at night to accommodate working persons schedules. No snoozing at the back of class during boring lectures because the classes are focused on hand-on learning.
Start a Library
Take to heart the old saying “A house without a library is like a body without a soul.” I own least 100 books related to real estate buying, selling, repair, taxes, and tenant management, as well as several how-to videos. Every time I am at a book sale, I always cruise the aisle with the real estate books and the aisle with the house repair books.
I have more house repair books than any other kind of book. Before I start a new project, I consult a book to show how the professionals demonstrate how to do it. During a project, when I get stuck, I refer to a book to find the answer to my problem.
Sometimes, when I'm not working on a project, I like to browse though my repair books to get ideas for the future.
Ask Help at Hardware Stores
I have always had better luck getting answers to my questions at smaller hardware stores, like ACE, rather than at the big box stores, like Home Depot. When I was learning to lay carpet, I got some good advise on how to secure the carpet to the floor from a sales person. The people who work there generally seem to have the hands-on experience to offer useful advice.
This is an area that I often overlook, yet it is potentially the most useful tool to find repair information.
To find out how answers to repair problems, I just type in what it is that I want to do on Google. For example, “I want to change a washer on a kitchen faucet”. Usually several good links pop up that offer solutions to my problem.
When you need help repairing your fixer-upper houses, don't get frustrated, get prepared!