Spring is the time when a lot of homes go on the market. People upgrading, downsizing, job relocations, all sorts of reasons to sell a current home. If you are considering buying a home as an investment opportunity, to rent to tenants, that makes the current moment a great time to start exploring ideas and properties to begin your endeavors in being a landlord. There are many properties to choose from, single family homes, duplex and triplex buildings, condos, townhomes...each with different responsibilities and quirks. But across the board there are a few things that are important to consider no matter what kind of property you are looking to invest in, be it a three bedroom home with an attached garage and a yard, or an 8th floor one bedroom condominium in a downtown area.
The old adage is still true: Location, location, location! Find a place you’d like to live yourself, and chances are, others will clamor for the chance to live there, too. Is the property close to shopping, making it easy to have a nice dinner out, buy groceries, or take care of other necessities? If not, is there at least a public transportation line to make it an easy commute to work or shopping areas without a car? Are there parks nearby, especially if you are looking at property in a downtown area, or one without a yard, such as in a condominium or townhouse development?
Ready Set Go!
A property that needs a little fixing can be attractive to your budget, but it’s a better situation to purchase a house or unit that is ready to go at the time you buy. No need to sink extra money into repairs, or risking the chance of finding a more difficult problem than the initial one you were aware of, and even better, you can turn the property into an occupied, income producing investment a lot faster than if you need to wait for repairs to be complete to fill the vacancy.
Even better, are tenants already in place? Perfect! There’s no need for initial added financial costs of finding a tenant. As long as the current rental agreements are sound, and the tenant history is a favorable one of prompt rental payment and low drama, there’s not much to lose by buying a property that already is generating income.
Check for Restrictions
If you are looking at units in a larger building or development, do a little due diligence and make sure the property is able to be rented. Some buildings and developments have rules and restrictions on properties, anything from how many days out of a year the property can be rented, to how many total units in a building can be used for rent instead of owner occupancy. Check with the condo or homeowner association for any rules you need to be aware of before you buy.