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So you’re thinking of diving into real estate investments! Let’s look at how you can set yourself up for success, right from the beginning.
Look for a Great Location
You’re probably familiar with the old saying about location being the key to success in real estate, and it’s especially true in the investment property market. In fact, per Fortune Builders, it’s one of four key factors that make or break a rental property. The other three are vacancies and listings, the local economy, and projected development in the area. Ultimately, those three concerns reflect directly on the location, so look hard at how those aspects come together in the area you’re considering.
Choose a Property With Potential
Beyond the general area, you should examine the individual property and what it offers prospective renters. There are certain things renters often look for in properties, like space, pet-friendliness, and aesthetics. Being able to offer storage is a boon, they will look at the available parking, and security is also a factor.
Some things you can enhance, like aesthetics, while others you’ll be stuck with, like space, so think carefully about your decision. For example, you can easily replace impractical or tired carpet with a hot flooring like hardwood, which is sure to catch the attention of renters. On the other hand, you may or may not be able to expand parking options, like with a wider driveway.
Be Sure to Budget Carefully
Be sure to budget for any changes you intend to make, including the materials involved and how extensive your changes would be. For example, driveway expansion will depend in part on the surface and size of the project. An asphalt driveway will typically run $2.50 to $4.00 per square foot, while concrete costs $4.00 to $6.00 per square foot.
Along those same lines, a low-cost wood floor like pine or bamboo will run an average of $2,400 for installation. Installing a more luxurious wood, like walnut, typically will run considerably more.
If you’re planning to rent your home to vacationers, you’ll need to budget for amenities like a hot tub, HD television, a home security system, and quality linens. One thing you definitely don’t want to skimp on is Wi-Fi service. Renters will expect access to speedy and reliable internet service; some of the latest 5G options offer almost unnoticeable lag time and can handle any device.
Bear in mind that there is more to effective budgeting than the initial property purchase price and upgrades as well. While there are loans to help you make renovations to your investment property, keep in mind that the longer you go without being able to rent it, the longer you go without income from the property.
Renters and Running Things
Once you go through all the trouble of selecting a great location and upgrading a property, the last thing you want to do is have bad renters. Bad renters can come in a lot of shapes and styles, from those who don’t pay to those who harm your property. For those with long-term residential properties, there are screening services to help you weed out the potential bad actors, and Nolo points out a short-term rental can be listed with a hosting service that screens renters on your behalf.
For those who don’t want to mess with all that, another option is to hire a property manager to cover the day-by-day dealings. Beyond handling renters, they also can take on the rest of your management concerns, like upkeep, cleaning, and marketing. If you want your property to truly be passive income, this arrangement is your best bet.
Investing in property is a smart way to go. Decide where you want your venture to be, the particulars of what you’ll offer, and how you’ll run things. Starting out on the right foot is easy if you follow these strategies carefully!
Guest Submission From: Katie Conroy