Investing in a rental property is a great idea if you’re looking for a reliable way to supplement your current income, fund your retirement, or find a way out of the corporate world.
But the problem is, whether it be a lack of experience or just pure excitement, many new landlords find themselves making poor decisions when it comes to investing in a rental property and doom their rental property business from the start.
Whether you’re looking to proactively invest in rental properties and build a large portfolio, are an accidental landlord because you’ve inherited a house or are divorced and have too much house, or want to sell your house at some point, but just can’t right now, you need to approach being a landlord as a business.
Check out these 5 ways to ensure your first rental property investment is a success and start your new career as a landlord the right way so you can achieve financial freedom and enjoy the life you’ve always wanted.
York County Property Management Tips for First-Time Investors
1. Get Your Finances in Order
It can be tempting to jump in and buy the first property you find that seems “perfect.” But doing this just sets you up for failure.
You need to have a plan in place before you purchase an investment property so you know where you stand financially:
- Pay off as much existing debt as you can so you can qualify for a loan and have extra cash on hand for landlord emergencies like maintenance issues, unexpected vacancies, and non-payment of rent
- Budget how much you can actually afford on an investment property and don’t ever go over no matter how great the property seems (there is always going to be another one you can afford)
- Save for a down payment because you usually need 20% down for a rental property to qualify for a loan
- Keep an eye on the housing market to make sure you buy at the right time and don’t fall prey to high-interest rates
After your finances are in order, give yourself enough time to find a rental property that suits your needs. Take a look at several properties before jumping into any negotiations. Make a list of all the amenities you want your rental property to have, and don’t buy anything that doesn’t have what you want.
And most importantly, make sure the property you’re interested in buying stands out from similar properties in the surrounding area. This way, no matter what the market is doing, you know you’ll have an edge over all the competition.
Closing on your first investment property is an exciting time. Just make sure you don’t jump in too fast and make things harder on yourself financially from the beginning.
2. Check the Property’s Value
If you already own a property and are interested in leasing it out, assess its value so you know what kind of rent you can expect to collect.
When it comes to setting rent rates, there are several factors to consider:
- Similar properties in the nearby area are going to affect how much you can ask for rent. Look into what other properties are leasing for so you can set a rent rate that’s not too low (so you avoid attracting the wrong tenant pool), and not too high (so your property doesn’t sit vacant for too long).
- Tenants look for amenities like outdoor living spaces, security systems, parking spaces, energy efficient appliances, plenty of storage space, and well-maintained living spaces (e.g. new flooring, fresh paint, landscaped yards, and more). Take note of what your property has and see how you can add to its overall value so you can get higher quality tenants looking to pay for extra amenities.
- The value of your property and how much you can charge for rent, will vary depending on its location. If you already have a property, capitalize on the location’s best features such as nearby shopping, dining, and entertainment.
>>Get a FREE assessment of your rental property’s value by contacting York H-G Properties. This no-obligation Rental Analysis will give you insight into your property’s worth and your potential for success.
3. Find a Reliable Real Estate Agent
Buying an investment property is a big deal. And if you plan to grow a successful portfolio of rental properties, it’s important you take each investment seriously to make sure you can profit as much as possible off each property.
Working with a real estate agent when purchasing an investment property offers plenty of benefits, if you have someone willing to work hard by your side.
When looking for a real estate agent to help you buy a good rental property, follow these tips:
- Not only take experience into consideration but also the person ─ sometimes personality outweighs years of practice
- Get referrals from other landlords or homeowners to save time
- Find someone who listens, communicates, and has your best interests at heart
- Avoid real estate agents that try to get you to overspend or rush you through the process
As a new landlord, purchasing the right investment property sets the tone for your career’s success. Don’t take the process of buying a rental property lightly. And the same rings true when it comes to choosing a real estate agent.
4. Focus on Cutting Costs
There’s a lot more to being a landlord than buying a rental property and collecting rent from tenants. And if you’re not careful, the expenses of being a landlord can creep up on you and eat into your profits.
Decreasing your costs as a landlord is one of the best ways to boost your positive cash flow and ensure that your rental property business thrives.
For instance, you can:
- Invest in making your property environmentally friendly
- Build additional costs like HOA fees into the base rent
- Charge extra pet fees
- Make all utilities the responsibility of your tenants
- Get the lowest homeowner’s insurance rates possible and require tenants to get renter’s insurance
- If you use a York County property management company, make sure you’re getting the most services for your money
By factoring in all these ways to save money, you can set yourself up for success.
Even if you run into typical landlord issues such as vacancies, unexpected maintenance and repairs, and the need to renovate to keep up with the competition, you’ll be able to garner enough rent to meet your financial goals.
5. Hire a York County Property Management Company
You may not realize it at first, but being a landlord can be really difficult. This is especially true if you begin to build your portfolio to have more than one property.
In an effort to ensure your success, consider hiring a York County property management company to help you out.
Not sure what a property manager can offer you? Take a look:
- Advertisement of your vacant property across several online platforms such as Craigslist, Zillow, and MLS
- Thorough tenant screening procedures and lease drafting services
- Turnkey services such as painting, cleaning, lock changes, and general repairs
- 24/7 maintenance and repairs for tenants
- Aggressive rent collection and immediate eviction initiation for non-payment of rent
- Routine property inspections
- Proper accounting including income/expense reporting and taxes
- And much more
If you are in need of York County property management, contact York H-G Properties today and see how we can help you manage your newly acquired rental property.
Whether you’ve recently invested in a new piece of property, or are an accidental landlord not knowing where to start, we have the knowledge and experience to take care of your property and keep your tenants happy.
After all, we’re in the business of providing you a wide range of property management services such as property advertisement, maintenance and repairs, and regular property inspections. We also focus our attention on your tenants to ensure they’re satisfied and continue to lease from you so you can reap the financial reward.