There’s plenty of talk about housing these days, as the market continues to soar. Even if you’re not looking to uproot in a brand new place yourself, it’s still a wonderful time to consider the merits of owning your own rental property.
A good rental property with some quality tenants can continue to make you money long-term, as the average rent soars as high as the price of homes and condos themselves.
But if you’re looking to become the newest landlord on the block, there’s a few variables that you will want to look out for as you make your first foray into the world of property management. We’ll help you pick the right home to rent out.
Crime in the Neighborhood
You know that unnerving feeling as you lay in bed at night and hear sirens off in the distance or shouting out in the streets? Your prospective tenants will share in this concern.
Property management companies have lots of different resources to information about a neighborhood and its properties, but you’ll have to do a little bit of your own research to figure out if a neighborhood is safe or not.
Relying on the homeowner who’s selling you the property may not be best, as they will likely underplay any shady activity in the neighborhood. Go to the police department or the local public library to find accurate statistics regarding criminal activity in the area.
Your rental property may be in an excellent neighborhood and be a suitable place for long-term tenants, but you’ll want to have a strong understanding of how much you will be losing to taxes. Property taxes tend to be quite variable across the board, and you’ll want to have your facts straight before deciding if property management of the rental will be profitable.
Pay a visit to the city’s assessment office. They’ll be able to supply you with all of the pertinent tax information on file. Alternatively, you can speak with the other homeowners within the community.
Amenities and Walkscore
Property management companies love to talk amenities to their prospective renters. It’s important for new tenants to feel like they’re moving into a place that will be comfortable, yet fit into their lifestyle.
Survey the surrounding area for amenities like restaurants, coffee shops, gyms, public transportation lines, movie theaters, or other venues. It’s ideal to find a rental property that combines the best of both worlds, offering the tenants with enough peace and quiet without disconnecting them from the community.
You can also use Walkscore, a handy online resource that will show you the respective amenities around a given address. This is helpful for compiling a list of features for the neighborhood.
Before any deal on a rental property closes, it is standard to have an inspector come by and make sure that everything in the home is up to code.
One of the trickiest points of rental property management can be performing ongoing maintenance of your property. While you want to do everything you can to keep your tenants happy and increase the value of your property, you don’t want to have a rental property on your hands that will be more trouble than it’s worth.
Ask your inspector questions! They’re happy to share their knowledge. See if they have opinions on what could be improved, who could fix it, or how to work different mechanical systems in the home. Your future tenants will appreciate that you’ve done your thorough research on the home.
While you may not be your own property management company in Seattle, you can still be an admired landlord and successful property manager if you do the necessary research on your rental property and keep your tenants happy.
We’re happy to help provide more information on rental properties and our property management services. Contact us today to talk about your property questions!