Tips on Investing in Rental Properties

Both property selling prices and interest rates are very low right now. Yet, with the economy suffering, many people are unwilling to take the plunge and purchase a home. That makes it an excellent time to invest in rental properties. A few tips will help you get started.

1. Start by making connections within the real estate investment community.

Get to know other, more experienced investors. If at all possible, find a mentor who will help you understand the processes involved. You can get advice on making the initial real estate deals, arranging financing, rehabbing the property if needed, maintaining the property and dealing with tenants. Insider knowledge of the system can help you be successful.

2. Decide whether you want to buy and sell rental properties or become a landlord.

You can make money either way, if you get good advice and make the right moves. You might be more suited to either type of investing. Think about whether you would want to deal with tenants. Think about whether you are so fond of sales deals that you want to make that your focus. The best thing you can do is to get to know yourself.

3. Get familiar with your financing options.

Talk to a lender or trusted advisor to get a feel for the kind of leverage you can manage with the assets you have. Locate financing to have on standby in case you get the deal you want on short notice. It is better to be prepared than to accept the first financing source that comes up without examining your options.

4. Get to know people in the building and maintenance trades.

If you are going to buy and sell rental properties, you may need to have them fixed up before you can move them. Also, if you are going to become a landlord, you will definitely need people who know construction and maintenance to keep your buildings in good repair. Getting to know essential workers is always a good idea, and making friends in the industry is even better.

5. Start looking for rental properties in good locations.

People naturally gravitate to rentals with good schools, nearby shopping, and safe neighborhoods. Transportation is high on most people’s lists, but the type of transportation people want depends more on the lifestyle of your area. If people use public transportation, they might want to be near bus lines for example. If driving is the major means of conveyance in the area, the key is to find neighborhoods with good roads and easy access to major thoroughfares.

When you have all the people and services lined up to help you succeed, it is time to start seriously considering rental properties if you want to invest in them. If you are prepared for the process ahead of time, you will be ready to move quickly when the right deal comes along.

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