Our Real Estate Blog
It’s only a hassle if you’re not in control. There are a lot of ways to do investment property wrong, but here are the ways to do it right so that it’s an asset, not a nuisance.
- Be picky about the property. While you don’t need to purchase anything high-end, always choose something you could live in with no problem. The neighborhood is decent. The roof doesn’t leak. There are no mold or pest issues.
- If you’re not handy, find someone that is to help you out. Houses need maintenance. Taking care of your property is part of the business of ownership.
- Buy extended warranties on the appliances. If something goes wrong, you can get them repaired or replaced instead of having to buy new ones.
- Take charge of the pool care, landscaping, pest control and other services. Your tenants will be happier, and your property will be better for it.
- Have a strong rental contract or lease agreement. Get expert advice so that you’re in compliance with all tenant laws, but don’t leave yourself open to fishy situations.
- Hire a management service if you aren’t able to handle the day-to-day personally. Remember, rental property isn’t mobile, so if your career moves you across the state or across the country, you don’t want to have to sell the rental before you can move.
Owning a rental property is a long term investment. You won’t make your money back in the first year, or even the first several. It’s a long term investment. Don’t plan to live solely on the money unless you can invest in several rental units. But if you do it right, you’ll have a reliable source of passive income that will see you through your retirement years. Eventually, you’ll be able to exit your day job and live on the overage.
Spend time with a real estate professional experienced in buying investment properties. Let them know your long term goals and how you envision your rental property business. They can help you find properties, management services, contractors for repairs and even recommend a pool guy.
When placing your home on the market you’ll likely need to plan to hold an open house or two. If there's a chance of bad weather during a scheduled open house, you might question moving ahead with the event.
Before you cancel, here are a few things to consider:
Serious buyers venture out in all types of weather, so those who show are less likely to be simply curious lookers.
Buyers can experience that your home stays cozy and warm even in poor weather.
Your roof’s secure structure will shine through.
Canceling may signal to buyers that windows, the roof, or the basement areas leak and that your exterior drainage needs work.
Canceling at the last minute might make folks think twice about returning if they made the initial effort to attend.
How should you compensate for bad weather?
Make the experience pleasant:
Turn on every light. Make your home as bright as possible. You want potential buyers to see your home as warm and inviting.
Open the curtains, shutters, and blinds.
Check that gutters are clear of debris. Be sure water flows freely from gutters into your downspouts and that it diverts away from walkways.
Provide outside and inside doormats and set a stack of towels near the entryways in case anyone needs to dry off.
Set an umbrella stand near the door so that wet umbrellas stay in one spot.
Odors may appear stronger on wet days, consider moving pet beds and similar items to the garage. Use a lightly-scented fabric refreshing spray to eliminate odors in furniture, carpets, or drapes.
Provide warm beverages and to-go cups for your guests.
If you question holding an open house during inclement weather, consult your local real estate professional. They know your market, and they know the sorts of buyers that will come — rain or shine — to find their new home.
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