September 6, 2012

Take a ‘Realty Check’ about Your Property Renting Experience

Before you decide to make the leap to landlord, consider what renting a property really entails. Getting a “realty check” now — before making a major investment — will help you know whether investing in a rental property is the right move for you.
First and foremost, acquiring rental property will require a financial commitment. Procuring funds to purchase a property is only the first cost, however. You will also need to make regular repairs and upgrades. Consider whether you have the liquid assets and ready income to help you cover property emergencies, such as roof repair, tree removal or flood damage.
You should also consider the legal costs that can be associated with renting property. You could be sued by a tenant, or accrue costs if you needed to evict one, for instance. Be sure you learn your own responsibilities and potential liabilities to better protect yourself better from common risks.
Maintenance and repair
Depending on the particulars of your rental property or properties, maintenance and repair can take up a lot of time and money. You may want to balance the time and ability required to do the work by hiring a property manager to do it for you – another expense.
Tenant interfacing
Are you a people-person? Do you have the ability to deal with occasional conflict? Could you handle the stress of difficult residents? To proceed as a landlord, you must be able to answer these questions in the affirmative or commit to hiring someone to manage your properties.
If you’re planning on renting property, you’ll need to collect rents and handle the difficulties that process can pose, as well as deal with different kinds of people in a realm that’s vital and personal to them—their home.
Time commitment
Is being a landlord something you intend to do full-time? Though the day-to-day commitment may only be a few hours, any problems might require significantly more time. In addition to repairs, maintenance and collecting rent, you will also need to spend time marketing your vacant properties. And your renters will expect you to be available.
How is your “realty check” going? By now, you have a better idea whether investing property is something you would enjoy doing. You may be ready to rent!

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