Buying Rental Property: What You Need to Know

Rose Morrison

Feb 15, 2021


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Are you interested in buying rental property? It sounds pretty nice to earn an income through apartment management. This endeavor can be rewarding and lucrative, but you should know various risks are involved, too. That’s why you need a game plan.

This process isn’t one-size-fits-all, so you might find specific steps don’t work for you. It’s all up to your situation. Keep that point in mind while you look at these tips for buying rental property:

1. Conduct Some Research

It’s crucial to research before you do anything else. This purchase will be an investment — and like with all investments, you can lose money when you’re not prepared. That’s why you need to educate yourself. There are a few ways to learn everything you need to know.

Take Classes

The first step should be to explore classes. How else do real estate professionals become knowledgeable? It’s true that hands-on experience helps, but you can supplement that practice with online courses. There are various credible options available, so you should be able to find one that suits your needs.

Read Books

If you want to learn more in your free time, you can also read books and guides written by real estate industry veterans. This trick will be a relatively easy way to learn about rental properties. Eventually, you can formulate your own strategies and plans as a result.

Explore Neighborhoods

As you dive into buying rental property, it’s also smart to investigate wherever you intend to invest. If you want to buy a property that isn’t in your neighborhood, you’ll need to do a little work. Take a weekend or two to drive around to see properties. It might be beneficial to chat with shop owners and property managers, too.

Try to learn as much as possible before you make any financial decisions.

2. Get Enough Money Together

It’s no secret that you have to be financially secure to buy a rental property. This investment will require a larger down payment than you’d put down on a home. Plus, you want to purchase a building that can drive a high return on investment. Many factors are at play.

Here are a few questions to ask yourself:

  • Do you have significant debt to pay off? Consider student loans and credit cards.
  • Are you sending any children to college soon?
  • Will you still be able to save money while you make payments?

Be sure to know your budget beforehand. Determine whether you’d like to buy or finance your rental property, too. It’s a bit more complicated to pursue loans like mortgages, so you need to carefully weigh each option. Always have a well-researched plan.

3. Look for a Location

You have several points to consider when you look for your property. If you’ve ever bought a house, you probably had a few must-haves on your list. Details like schools, taxes and crime rates are always essential to homebuyers, and it’s the same for those who rent.

However, you might notice particular neighborhoods are better for rental properties than others. It’s not common to find apartments, duplexes and condos in upper-middle-class or upper-class areas. That’s because those families have enough means to buy their own homes.

If you want to find a prime spot for renters, you should look elsewhere. It’s still important to look at safe neighborhoods with low-vacancy rates. You also need to think about where more people choose to rent than buy.

4. Consider Different Building Types

How do you know what building type to buy? There are options like small apartment complexes, but you might be better suited to purchasing a single-family home. This choice will depend on what neighborhood looks ideal, as well as your goals as a rental property owner.

If you have no clue what property looks adequate, consider a few pros and cons:

  • Condos: This option usually has minimal repair costs because you have a specific condominium association to help. This board can also respond to complaints. However, you might not get as much rent as you think.
  • Apartments: If you want to buy a small complex, you have that option. It’s a surefire way to earn more income each month. That said, you’ll need to manage more than one unit, which requires energy, time and money.
  • Single-family homes: This option might be your most straightforward choice. It’s essentially like buying a house, but you rent to someone else. This play will help you learn how to manage tenants on a smaller scale. However, you’re responsible for all maintenance tasks and complaints.

These opportunities will appeal to different people. Try to weigh each advantage and disadvantage so you can make a smart decision for yourself. It’s all up to you.

Use These Tips to Make a Smart Decision

If you want to start buying rental property, you have many possibilities at your disposal. This process can be a lucrative way to earn either your main or additional income. Still, you need to be ready for a lengthy process. After you educate yourself, set aside money and find an ideal neighborhood, you should be ready to buy. Good luck!

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