Comment history

Gov. Kasich says taxpayers got bad deal with casinos

He got elected because everyone is sick of Unions and their B.S.

April 14, 2011 at 11:43 p.m. suggest removal

Obama set to launch re-election bid

I'm not worried... oil will continue and gas prices will go up. Lybia will fester and we'll be in a third war. Not to mention we are now staring a double-dip recession in the face. As long as the Republicans run someone worth half a damn, he won't be reelected.

April 2, 2011 at 11:01 p.m. suggest removal

OHIO’S FISCAL FALLOUT: 10 things to know about SB 5

Aside from soaking us regular folks with higher costs on everything from automobiles, to groceries, to utilities, and to taxes, what do unions do for the common consumer? NOTHING!

Most union members get paid very high wages considering a trained monkey could do their job just as well and when they don't get their way they result to intimidation and common thuggery. Why on Earth anyone would support these spoiled people who could careless about anyone else is beyond me.

April 1, 2011 at 8:32 p.m. suggest removal

Rep. Frank says Dems improved economy

Well said Silence_Dogood! I marvel at the fact people like him can say these things with a straight face. Do they actually not see their role in this or do they really believe what they say? I have no issue with Dems, but I'm really tired of the liberals that hijacked their party. Throw the bums out!

August 13, 2010 at 12:47 a.m. suggest removal

A bad time to pick on landlords

I'm a landlord (not in Youngstown) and this is a bad idea. I agree slumlords need to be dealt with, but this isn't the way to do it.

Getting good tenants is tough. The Fair Housing Act severely limits a landlords ability to pick and choose tenants. Property taxes on rental property in Mahoning County are already high than they would be otherwise, and now new fees?

Agree or disagree with the proposal, consider this... it will force rents up because landlords will try to recover these expenses. I'm guessing a lot of people in Youngstown are hurting and can't afford higher rent.

Dealing with slumlords is good, but this isn't the way to do it.

June 18, 2010 at 7:36 a.m. suggest removal

Landlords are gaming the system

Leo, I respect your comments. I am a landlord and my family has been in the real estate investment business since 1959. We bought our first properties in the Youngstown area back in 2005. First of all, let me assure you that I only rent to reputable people that meet our credit requirements. Secondly, let me shed some light on things from the landlords point of view.

You are correct, there are landlords that play the section 8 game. However, contrary to popular belief, most landlords (honest ones anyway) are not laughing all the way to the bank. This business has become much harder since my Grandfather's, and even my Father's day.

On a residential property, in normal market conditions, in a typical real estate market, a 4% - 7% return on investment is average. That's a respectable return, but certainly not something we are laughing all the way to the bank with.

Here's how it breaks down... Let's say I bought a $50,000 condo in Boardman as a rental property. Good deal right? Maybe. I could resonably expect to rent it for $550 a month. ($6,600 a year) Wow, that's a 13.2% return on investment, right? Wrong! At least two months of rental income is going to property taxes. Also, Mahoning County is nice enough to tax rental properties at a higher rate for some reason. HOA fees are $185 a month. ($2,220 a year) and since most landlords pay for water and sewer that's going to be about another $350 - $500 a year. So, $6,600 in net income, but subtract $1,100 for property taxes, subtract $2,200 for HOA fees, subtract say $400 for water / sewer... and what's left? Only $2,280! That is still about a 4.5% return on investment (more than any savings account will pay) but in this scenario I am not laughing all the way to the bank. Also keep in mind, this scenario assumes the condo was rented for all 12 months and that there were no leaky sinks or busted water heaters to fix. Also keep in mind $2,280 is before paying Ohio income tax.

Now, expenses, taxes, etc are all just part of the business and we accept that. What is tough on landlords is that fair housing act. Never mind my gut feeling about someone... never mind their criminal history or anything else... I HAVE TO RENT TO THEM, or I am guilty of discrimination and could wind up in court. (Legal bills also cut into profits!) Some landlords avoid this by demanding incredibly high security deposits, but in Ohio if the deposit is more than the monthly rent, the landlord must pay the tenant interest on it! The only legal out I have to renting to certain people is demanding a high credit score as a requirement of getting a lease, which of course severely limits my pool of potential renters.

On top of all of this, don't forget we are still at the mercy of the ups and downs of the real estate market.

I'm not singing the blues and I am not defending slumlords. I'm just pointing out the the business is not nearly as easy, profitable, or black and white as people think.


June 18, 2010 at 7:26 a.m. suggest removal