Pennsylvania Landlords and Smoke Detectors

by Dave Miller

Do I really need to put smoke detectors in every room in the house that I’m renting out? That question came to me yesterday. I said boy I don’t think so. But I’ll look into it.

So I dug up my old real estate books. I didn’t find what I wanted there. I went back to good old Google. Not that Google is old. But it sure is useful. I found an article on landlord-tenant laws in Pennsylvania regarding smoke detectors.

Here’s what I found:

 § 3800.130. Smoke detectors and fire alarms.

(a) A facility shall have a minimum of one operable automatic smoke detector on each floor, including the basement and attic.

(b) There shall be an operable automatic smoke detector located within 15 feet of each bedroom door.

(c) The smoke detectors specified in subsections (a) and (b) shall be located in common areas or hallways.

(d) Smoke detectors and fire alarms shall be of a type approved by the Department of Labor and Industry or listed by Underwriters Laboratories.

(e) If the facility serves four or more children or if the facility has three or more stories including the basement and attic, there shall be at least one smoke detector on each floor interconnected and audible throughout the facility or an automatic fire alarm system that is audible throughout the facility.

(f) If one or more children or staff persons are not able to hear the smoke detector or fire alarm system, all smoke detectors and fire alarms shall be equipped so that each person with a hearing impairment will be alerted in the event of a fire.

(g) If a smoke detector or fire alarm becomes inoperative, repair shall be completed within 48 hours of the time the detector or alarm was found to be inoperative.

(h) There shall be a written procedure for fire safety monitoring if the smoke detector or fire alarm becomes inoperative.

So this is what Google told me. But what does that really mean? I don’t know. I found it on the Internet, that does not make it true. Well, it looked official. My stance is this: I make no representations that this statement is true and/or currently the law.

If this is the law, then it looks as if we need to have at least one smoke detector on every floor. That’s a minimum. Plus, we also need to have a smoke detector within 15 feet of every bedroom door. So if you have a hallway and you put the smoke detector in there and all the bedroom doors are within 15 feet, I guess that’s sufficient for that floor.

Now, I do say this, we are looking at the minimum requirements here. We look at the minimum to see what is required and not what we insist on doing, and no more. I hope not. I would rather see more than the minimum, and that your conscience is to provide safety for your tenant. So what do you need to clear your conscience? How many smoke detectors would you put in your own house? Consider these questions and those may be your answers.

Why be a minimalist when it comes to life safety?


Negotiating a Get Rich Slow Scheme

by Dave Miller

The easiest way to get rich quick is to accumulate wealth slowly. Well then, how does one accumulate wealth slowly?

First you need a plan. A solid, well thought-out, practically applicable plan.

This requires a solid plan, to preserve your precious capital, as you do not want to go backward. The retaining of capital is a key element of moving toward your goal. If you lose your initial capital you must not only gain it back but also recoup the lost time.

It must be well thought-out; you do not want to be jumping on some quick get rich band wagon that is ready to go bust.

The plan must be feasible. Over the ages three areas have proven successful; real estate, gold, and businesses. Most wealthy people own one of these three.

Don’t put all your eggs in one basket, just like your Daddy told you. But nevertheless get some baskets and fill them with eggs. Many people use that line to delay saving and investing.

The real estate basket is the topic of discussion today.

Enter John Schaub and his book Building Wealth One House at a Time.

Building Wealth One House at a Time – John Schaub

This book focuses on strategies for creating wealth through real estate by starting small – and making the right moves. Nationally known real estate expert and speaker, John Schaub, learned his craft in the best way possible–on the job, and through every kind of market. He published a great book titled Building your Wealth one House at a Time. In it he shows you how to buy homes with little money down using private or owner financing. By doing this he eliminates the whims of the banking world. The lender he says, is more concerned about getting his money back than earning high interest. In Chapter 6 he tells you to do what it takes to make the lender happy, over secure if you must.

Click this link to read an article I also wrote on keeping the your lender happy.

He recommends only single family dwellings, no fancy shmancy highfalutin projects. Just solid homes the typical family desires and can afford to live in.

The part that hit home for me was that he says buy one home a year. No more. He warns of the dangers of diving headfirst. By waiting a year to purchase your second investment property you will learn innumerable lessons before plunging in.

John uses two people to accumulate wealth; his renters and his lender or investor. His lenders allow him to buy the home and the renters pay for it. In the meantime he is accumulating wealth. Renting to long-term tenants, with financial incentives to pay on time.

By using leverage, i.e. owner financing, investors or the bank, he can purchase a home that otherwise he would have needed to walk away from. This then allows him to have a renter paying down on the mortgage. But remember, leverage is a two-edged sword. It can help you accumulate faster and it can take you down even faster. You must carefully consider the amount of leverage you are comfortable with and what makes sense in your situation.

Building Your Wealth One House at a Time is very concise yet an easy to read book. It lays out a blueprint that is easy to follow using graphs and figures.

Unique is his approach to focusing on buying houses in good-quality neighborhoods while simultaneously creating positive cash flow properties. John uses the Goldilocks theory when choosing a neighborhood: not too expensive and not too cheap. Go with a neighborhood where prices are just right.

Buy his book today. Read it. Implement a plan. Take the first (I know this is the hardest one but do it anyway) step. You will not get rich quickly but you will most definitely be headed in the right direction.

Now for the good news! John Schaub is coming to town. Well, rather to a town in New Jersey. Iselin.

John is presenting a one day class called “negotiating secrets of a Professional Buyer”. Saturday June 23 2012 from 9:00 to 4:00pm. You can register here: I plan on being there so I hope see a few of you there. If anyone is interested in carpooling from Lancaster County just call me. Cell number 717-656-0749. Currently four of us are heading there. Join us.

A quote from John’s site:

John has survived, prospered, and helped his students to make money in every market since 1975. Come learn how to recognize which opportunities are right for you today and for the next five years at this most interesting time in our history. Get ready for an exciting and profitable future!

You can subscribe to my blog on the right side bar for farther updates. If you do so, you will receive a copy of my blog as soon as I post it thus saving you time by not needing to check back.

I Dont Want To Fix Anything I Just Want To Sell!

Home staging tips for realtors and homeowners.

via I Dont Want To Fix Anything I Just Want To Sell!.

I’m waiting to see one of these in action.

Published in: on May 19, 2012 at 9:06 am  Leave a Comment  
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Two Computer Time Tips

by Dave Miller

Today I am offering two tips to save you time everyday as you surf the web or check emails.

Search Tip:

F3 That’s it F3. It’s the top line on your keyboard you pay little attention to. F3 allows you to search the webpage you are on. So often I get to a page and want to search the page for a keyword. I’ll search for something on google and it directs me to a page but I have no idea where on the massive page the information is hidden. Now that I discovered F3 the search is over.

When I get to the page I hit F3 and a search box pops up allowing me to type in a word or two. It then highlights the words.

Try it right now. Hit F3 and in the search box type in the word “hit”. If it is working as it should you will see all the words “hit” on this page.

Email unsubscribe:

Emails are important but they can make life cluttered and consume too much time. Take a bit of time now and pick a couple emails you get daily, look on the bottom of the page and click the unsubscribe button. It take a minute but stops that company from blasting you again the next day. Do this on a few emails today and again tomorrow. After a few days you will have less emails and never miss those annoying emails. Plus your life will be less distracting.

I hope these tips help you.

If you have your own tips please post them in the comments

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Published in: on April 12, 2012 at 9:18 pm  Comments (1)  

Walk and Talk – How to Give Salesmen Your Time

by Dave Miller

A salesman called me and said he wants to stop by and present some new products. I was available and agreed to meet with him. The salesman was one I enjoyed and I did want to hear about his products yet I wasn’t sure I wanted to take an hour out of my day. How would I handle my precious time?

So I decided to make a proposal. If he wanted my time he could walk as he presented. If he presented something I didn’t have interest in, at least I’d get some exercise out of the deal.

I called the salesman and asked him if he was interested in walking as we talked. He agreed willingly.

He arrived dressed appropriately as it was a blustery day. We strolled up the road talking about his products and the benefits they provided me. It was cold and windy so we only walked about a half a mile. After we returned to the shop we finished up. As he was leaving he said how invigorated he felt. He appreciated the opportunity to get a bit of exercise while on the road.

I’ve done it and it worked out great, and I’ll do it again.

My new answer to the question, “You have a minute?” Is “Sure, Let’s walk”

Published in: on March 26, 2012 at 6:49 am  Comments (1)  
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The reason I haven’t posted a blog lately.

A picture is worth a thousand words. The lack of a picture in this case is worth a few thousand.


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Published in: on March 25, 2012 at 7:41 pm  Leave a Comment  

Warren Buffet Recommends Buying Homes as Investments

by Dave Miller

In an interview last week Warren Buffet told young investors to go out and buy single family homes. He explained how it is a way to short the dollar.

Here is the interview: Warren Buffet on Buying Homes

His down side to buying a couple hundred thousand houses is the management aspect. I’m not sure why he considers that to be a problem as there is good money in management. He could just buy his own management company and make a profit there also.

Yet management continues to be the biggest hang up for people contemplating their first purchase. And as they buy more that fear diminishes, or so I tend to find it. My findings are this; if you are purchasing detached single family homes you are in different category than multi-family or apartment style homes. The type of people renting single family homes tend to be more responsible. For one, they can afford the higher rent; this tells you a lot about the person.

So if you can buy single family homes in the country or in a nice development at a good price I agree with Warren Buffet; it should be a great investment over the years.

Buy single Family homes

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Published in: on March 14, 2012 at 8:59 pm  Leave a Comment  
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10 passwords not use to avoid being hacked

by Dave Miller

In this day and age it’s extremely important to protect yourself online. The biggest mistake people make is making their passwords easy. By making them simple they are easy remember but make you vulnerable.


Top 10 Worst Passwords:

  1.   123456
  2.   12345
  3.   123456789
  4.   Password
  5.   iloveyou
  6.   princess
  7.   rockyou
  8.   1234567
  9.   12345678
  10.   abc123

4 Tips For Password Strength

1. Your password should be at least 8 characters long.

2. Your Password should contain a mix of numbers, upper case letters, lower case letter, and special characters (!@#$%).

3. Your password should not be a name, part of your email address, or any single word in the dictionary. This will protect you from password guessing and “dictionary attacks.”

4. It is recommended that your password is a shortened character representation of a sentence. For example, the phrase “safe from attack” could become the password s8feFRM@ack.


I use a program called roboform for my passwords. It allows me to keep a master password on my computer. It remembers my passwords out in the internet world where they are more susceptible to attacks. If it is doing the remembering and not me I can make them more difficult.

Check it out here.

I costs me $29 a year but it really saves me much more in time, anguish and frustration.

I think you can do the same thing on some of the auto fill features on explorer but I feel better using a program I purchased. Hackers are more likely to use something that is standard on computers so I use roboform.

Protect thyself

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Published in: on March 3, 2012 at 12:00 pm  Comments (1)  

Think Inside The Box

Over and over we hear the line “Think outside the box”.

Today I am asking you stop and think about things inside the box.

Is it time to put your marketing strategy in a box?


Published in: on February 20, 2012 at 11:07 am  Leave a Comment  

Commercial Property, Medical Offices for sale, Gap PA


County Line Medical Center5275 Lincoln Hwy, Gap, PA 17527

Shepherd Real Estate LLC David Miller

(717) 951-0201

5275 Lincoln Hwy, Gap, PA 17527
Office Property For Sale
5275 Lincoln Hwy, Gap, PA 17527
Price: $2,595,000
Building Size: 12,726 SF
Price/SF: $203.91
Property Type: Office
Property Sub-type: Medical Office
Additional Sub-types: Retail (Other)
Property Use Type: Net Lease Investment with 3 years left on lease
Commission Split: 2.5%
Cap Rate: 8%
Occupancy: 100%
No. Stories: 1
Building Class: B
Tenancy: Multiple
Lot Size: 2.10 AC
Tax ID / APN #: 5603214800000
Parking Ratio: 50 / 1,000 SF
Last Verified 1/5/2012
Listing ID 17473352
Map of 5275 Lincoln Hwy, Gap, PA 17527 (Lancaster County)
Find out more about 5275 Lincoln Hwy, Gap
A well maintained medical office building with a solid lease in place. This property will continue to improve cash flow as the lease has 3% yearly increases. It is diversified nicely LGH, a dentist and a pharmacy.
It is a great investment property.
In Gap PA on Rt 30’s high traffice count. It provides easy on and off of Rt 30. Rt 41 and Rt 772 are only a 1/4 mile away
Shepherd Real Estate LLC

David Miller – (717) 951-0201
The information above has been obtained from sources believed reliable. While we
do not doubt its accuracy we have not verified it and make no guarantee, warranty or representation about it. It is your responsibility to independently confirm its accuracy and completeness.
Investment Properties on
Published in: on January 5, 2012 at 7:11 pm  Leave a Comment  
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