Buying your first rental property so that you can be a landlord is something that works for a wide variety of people. It’s a neat way to make an additional income, and it’s even better if you have a portfolio of properties
It sounds like a dream.
But of course, if it was that easy everyone would be doing it, and there are plenty of challenges to consider and obstacles you’ll need to overcome to do it successfully.
The very first hurdle to get over is finding the right property to rent out. Just because you would live in it, or it’s in a popular location, or the house next door rents out for a nice amount of money, that doesn’t mean the property you have your eye on will work out. Here are some useful tips for buying your first rental property so you have an idea of what to look out for.
Research The Location Of Your Rental Property
Location, location, location, as they say, and as Channel 4 likes to remind us on a daily basis (you’ve got to love a bit of Phil and Kirsty), and it’s true. Location is the single most important factor you’ll need to consider (after budget, of course, but that goes without saying) when you’re buying a rental property.
However, the surface isn’t enough; you’ll need to scratch well below it and find out as much as possible about not just the town or village, but the road itself. Don’t think that, just because you won’t personally be living in the property, any additional building works that are slated to start, or any neighbour disputes, or any problems with the local schools, and so on, are not your issue. They very much are because savvy tenants are going to be doing this research and finding something untoward is going to put them off signing on the dotted line. They don’t want the hassle, and neither do you.
You Will Need Landlord Insurance
Once you’ve found the right house for the right price in the right location and you’re marketing it at the right rental money, you’re still not home and dry; you need to get landlord insurance.
Most of the time, thankfully, the tenants you have in your property will take care of it; it’s their home, after all, even if it is your house. But sometimes, they just won’t. They’ll make mess, they’ll cause damage, and they’ll stop paying rent. Landlord insurance will cover all of this and more, ensuring that even the most difficult of tenants are only going to be a headache, not a blinding migraine.
It Will Cost More Than You Think
If you think that the monthly mortgage payments are the only cost you’ll need to consider, think again. We’ve already mentioned landlords’ insurance, but there are still more potential costs that a rental property might incur, and it’s vital you have money put aside to cover them.
As a landlord, you are responsible for the maintenance of the property, and if something needs to be done – a plumber is required, there’s a problem with the roof, a fence blows down, and countless other things – you need to be able to pay for it. Your tenant isn’t going to be impressed if they have to fork out themselves.