By Paige Tepping
RISMEDIA, November 26, 2010--As today’s economy continues to struggle, homeowners across the country are looking for ways to make ends meet, and many are taking on the role of landlord. While jumping into the rental scene may seem enticing, it is important to make sure you are prepared for the task before you get started.
According to the experts at AllBusiness.com, the following tips will help homeowners looking to buy rental property find success, no matter what the market.
Do your homework and find a reputable agent or broker. Taking the time to find a reputable real estate agent or broker before you begin searching for a rental property is crucial. The agent or broker that you ultimately choose to work with should know the neighborhood(s) where you are interested in buying, in addition to helping you choose properties that fit your needs.
Make sure your finances are organized. Going through your finances and making sure everything is in order is a crucial part of the purchasing process that shouldn’t be overlooked. If there is any chance that you will be taking out a mortgage in order to finance your rental property, it is important to do your research early to make sure there are no discrepancies on your credit report. If you find that your credit report is inaccurate, report it immediately so you can get the problem resolved quickly.
Set a maximum amount you can afford to pay. Before you even begin looking at properties, you should carefully examine your finances and your current situation to establish the maximum amount of money you can afford to spend. By not coming up with a number beforehand, it is easy to get carried away and spend more money than you should have.
Schedule a home inspection. Before you buy a rental property, be sure to call in a professional home inspector who will come and evaluate the home. Home inspectors will be able to tell you if the home is safe to live in, and if there are any problems that need to be addressed. This is a great way to avoid expensive repairs down the road.
Take a close look at the neighborhood. Once you have found the property that will best suit your needs, be sure to take the time and get to know the neighborhood. It is usually a good idea to visit the neighborhood during the day and at night so you can get an accurate feel for what the area is like.
Stay up-to-date. If you are looking to purchase a rental property in an area in which you aren’t familiar, you should do your homework and get to know the local real estate market. The agent or broker you are working with will be able to provide you with current information about the area as well.
Ask around. These days, people are turning any situation into a networking opportunity, so be sure to take advantage of those around you when looking for a rental property. It doesn’t hurt to ask friends, family, business owners and individuals who live in the area whether there is anything available or if they know of anyone who may be leaving the area at some point. Initiating this dialogue will keep you top of mind when something does come along.
Don’t settle. Just like you wouldn’t settle if you were in the process of buying your primary residence, it is important to treat the rental property search the same way. It may take a while to find the perfect rental location, so be patient with the process.
Ask for comparables. Your agent or broker can provide you with information regarding comparable properties in the area. It is important to take notice of the rental income, sales price, square footage and other relevant information to be sure you are getting a good deal.