Section 8 housing - Posted by Dan

Posted by michaela-CA on March 12, 2009 at 13:01:04:


Even if the priesthood may seem far removed from the reason that most people have for going into real estate, I think for most people there comes a time when they start looking at their life with different eyes and see what’s really important. For some it comes sooner than for others. And for some it never happens.

I believe that ultimately we all search for happiness or bliss. But most people think that it’s money that allows us to buy things that make us happy. If we allow ourselves to look closely, then we may realize that money is just a middle man that stands in for satisfying other things that we think we need (like security, being able to buy…, independence, freedom, power). But even those things are just stand ins for what we think we need to find happiness.

So, what we really need to do is find a way to cut out those ‘middle men’ and find something that makes us happy without all the b.s. in the middle.

You have obviously found it for yourself in whatever form it presented itself to you. That puts you ahead of most people, who are not ready to let go of what society tells us to do.

Hope everything works out for you

Michaela (and not ‘Michael’ :wink: )

Section 8 housing - Posted by Dan

Posted by Dan on March 09, 2009 at 11:21:00:

I have a house for rent and got a response from a person who said she is on section 8. I’m not sure how section 8 works. What are their limits? Could they afford to pay a $1175/month rent? Can I just turn her down on the fact that I don’t want to deal with government sponsored programs?

Section 8 rents… - Posted by David Krulac

Posted by David Krulac on March 10, 2009 at 19:34:19:

the amount that HUD will pay is on their website for the entire country:

They will not pay more than fair market rent for the area.

Whatever Happened to Hal Roark?? - Posted by Joe

Posted by Joe on March 10, 2009 at 14:08:26:

I remember he had a Section 8 course but lost alot of his portfolio in Katrina.

Anyone know where he is and what he’s doing??

Re: Section 8 housing - Posted by DJ-nyc

Posted by DJ-nyc on March 10, 2009 at 07:27:37:

Section 8 can be resourceful if you:
-have a well-maintained unit
-thoroughly screen and have a “no-nonsense” talk with the tenant
I had problems at first, but now its a well-oiled machine. The check comes automatically in my checking account every month. Sweet. Start making friends at the local section 8 office. Take them to lunch.

Re: Section 8 housing - Posted by Jack-E

Posted by Jack-E on March 09, 2009 at 14:39:06:

Section 8 can be a pain. I quit them one time over a dispute over an ant hill. However in todays economic and political market they can be quite useful. I since have two on Sec 8. In my area they pay a set maximum amount according to the number of bed rooms and bath rooms. You need to ask the prospective tenant whether they have a full or partial voucher. Full sec 8 pays it all, partial the tenant must pay part. Obviously you are better off if the sec 8 pays it all. If you apply you need to know who the prospective tennant’s case worker at sec 8 is. Then talk to him/her. If you ask they should be able to tell you what the max they will pay for the prospective tenant and the max they pay for a 4 or 3 or 2 bedroom. They may not like to and may jerk you around, but be persistant and you can find out. If you accept, then comes the inspection, which is usually done by a contracted inspection agency. They can be easy or another pain. However, you will not know until you try. Is it worth it? I think so if you have a full voucher tenant and they will pay what or more than you think the rent should be.

Re: Section 8 housing - Posted by Edwin

Posted by Edwin on March 09, 2009 at 12:31:09:

most of the time, Sec.8 will only pay what is “reasonable” for the area, based on similar rentals. However, I have seen instances where they will pay more than the market, and other times, less. If you want $1175, I would just ask if they can do it. They’ll tell you if it’s too high. You can refuse to rent to a Sec. 8 tenant without a problem, but I would not be so quick to do so. I like that Sec. 8 check each month.

Re: Whatever Happened to Hal Roark?? - Posted by David Krulac

Posted by David Krulac on March 10, 2009 at 19:31:09:

Hal Roark is busy working rebuilding New Orleans, helping his city get back on its feet.

Re: Section 8 housing - Posted by Dan

Posted by Dan on March 09, 2009 at 12:55:08:

Thanks! Is it a hassle to get into?

Re: Whatever Happened to Hal Roark?? - Posted by phil fernandez

Posted by phil fernandez on March 11, 2009 at 13:27:19:

I miss Hal. All of those early CREOnline Conventions. He’s a good man.

Re: Section 8 housing - Posted by Kristine-CA

Posted by Kristine-CA on March 09, 2009 at 22:47:48:

Check your county’s housing authority website, if they have one. Both my
home county and my farm county have good sites with info for landlords.
Mine gives all the details: fair market rents, maximum voucher amounts
per unit etc. It also posts a very comprehensive list of items/issues that
will cause an inspection failure.

Book on Section 8 - Posted by Rich-CA

Posted by Rich-CA on March 09, 2009 at 15:58:38:

I purchased a book called the Section 8 Bible that outlines the things a sec 8 inspection looks for in Philadelphia. Its very clear on what kinds of things that are not usual in a rental yet required by Sec. 8. It also talks about those thing they eliminated from their units because sec 8 does not require them and they cost money.

Re: Section 8 housing - Posted by Edwin

Posted by Edwin on March 09, 2009 at 13:14:06:

Yes and no. My main problem with sec. 8 is they often take a long time to inspect the property. Once you turn in the papers, it can take up to three weeks to get an inspection. Depends where you are, though. Some offices are smaller and can get inspections done in a week or less. You also have to have a property in good enough condition to pass the inspection. If you have some minor issues that you can’t afford to fix or don’t have time for, but the place is still substantially inhabitable, don’t go with Sec. 8. However, ideally your property should be in good enough condition that passing an inspection is easy. Generally, I don’t rent to Sec.8 if I can find a good, qualified tenant otherwise. I only use Sec. 8 if I’m having problems getting a good tenant, and in those cases, they can be a lifesaver. A Sec. 8 tenant is not necessarily better or worse than any other, except they are usually on limited income. Another advantage is Sec. 8 tenants usually stay longer. At least a year, since it’s not always easy to find a place that accepts their vouchers.

Hello, old friends! - Posted by Hal Roark

Posted by Hal Roark on March 12, 2009 at 12:36:32:

Hello, old friends. Hello from Mars!

At least, it feels like I’m from Mars since I’ve come a long, long way
since August 29, 2005. So far. So strange.

In a nutshell, the levee failure devastated 80% of New Orleans and (not
surprisingly) 80% of my rental portfolio. That was traumatic enough,
but, in the aftermath, one of the planning processes done by a bunch
of genius, out-of-state urban planners decided the city should
(literally) bulldoze my neighborhood (Broadmoor) to become a
drainage park for a wealthier, adjoining neighborhood. That was the
final straw. We rebelled, created our own urban plan (downloadable at, started a new non-profit to implement the
plan (the Broadmoor Development Corporation, which I helped found
and now run as the executive director) and we are now off to the races.
Katrina was basically a real estate disaster, and given my background
in construction and (former) social work stuff, this was a great way to
help. And I’m glad to help. It’s been a great way to get over my own
trauma (or at least pretend that I may be getting over it).

I’m currently in discernment for the priesthood for the Episcopal
Church, and I’ll learn by the end of the year whether I’ve priestly
material or not. Making a LONG story short, I’ve had some profound
existential experiences since the storm, I lost a close friend as a result
of the storm, I’ve had some unbelievably painful experiences and I’ve
decided I’m just not going to spend the rest of my life on anything
that’s not ultimate. Life is too short. That sounds trite, but when
you’ve lost your businesses, homes, friends, city, faith in
city/state/federal government, insurance companies, etc… it
reprioritizes your life. Man is that an understatement! And I’m just not
going to spend the rest of my life on anything that isn’t getting at
ultimate meaning and value.

My hope is to work with people, like me, who have been traumatized
and want to use their Christian beliefs and practice to help get them
through the death experience into new life. I know the priesthood
thing sounds totally weird, and the Christian therapy thing sounds
weird, too – trust me, I didn’t see that coming pre-Katrina either! I
wasn’t even an Episcopalian at that time or a practicing Christian – I
realize how bizarre this sounds, but, like I said, profound stuff has
happened, my priorities are totally different now, and I’m spending
whatever time I have left to help folks recover from trauma, take
responsibility for their life, and move into a recovered place in their

I apologize for sounding preachy; not meaning to preach here. Just
catch you up on where I’m at these days…

So: I could care less about my courses at this point, my website (is it
even up? I haven’t checked or made a real estate post like this in
YEARS), or any of that stuff. I have had to regroup, lick my wounds
and respond to the ongoing, local madness. I have VERY fond
memories and friendships with lots of my real estate buddies (like Phil)
who are out there. My apologies for not being in better touch. You are
my friends and you deserve better. You just can’t imagine how
maddening life still is here. I still don’t have my own house done…
and I’m a contractor!

Anyway, my Google Alerts spider updates me daily on various issues, it
found my name in use, I went to investigate, found it was cre and Phil,
and knew I had to respond (I promise I haven’t been privately lurking
on the site. Google Alerts strikes again!).

If you want to see a cool, little YouTube video on us, check it out on
our internship website,

Our paths will cross again, friends. My apologies for the silence. I just
am still so overwhelmed. But we will meet again. And man will I have
some stories to tell!