When you have decided that buying a rental property is the best investment choice for you, much of your focus will turn to trying to find the right one. There is no doubt that life as a landlord can be highly lucrative and offer great benefits to your future financial prospects, but to reach the point where you can reap those rewards, you’re going to need a property that you can be confident in taking to market.
Finding that perfect property can often seem like an uphill climb; the process is somewhat similar to the one that you may have used when buying your own home, but is approached from a different perspective. You’re thinking about return on investment, not what it would actually be like to live there. Adopting a more concise approach during your search can help to keep things as simple and manageable as possible, and here are three tips to help you do just that.
1. Set hard location limits
When buying a rental property, a little flexibility can really aid your search and ensure you consider all possible opportunities. However, there is one criteria that you shouldn’t be willing to compromise on: location. Landlords often need to visit properties for various reasons - such as conducting repairs - so the further the property is from your home, the more inconvenience you will have to deal with throughout your ownership. Set a distance you can travel relatively comfortably and stick to it, using search filters on any listings site you use to ensure you stay within your chosen boundary.
2. Keep a very narrow focus
When it comes to potential rental properties, the breadth of choice can quickly become overwhelming; before you know it, you’ll have so many tabs open that your computer is wheezing with strain and you need to use the task manager on Mac or Windows to shut everything down and start over, and you may also find it difficult to keep track of which properties you want to know more about and which you can dismiss. Streamline the process by being very rigid with your focus: only ever looking at one property at a time and deciding if it is worth viewing; if it is, arrange an appointment, and if not, set it aside and move onto the next. You can arrange multiple appointments if you wish, but the key is to only be looking at or considering the listings for one property at any point in time.
3. Seek properties that have been on the market longer
Choosing a rental property means focusing on properties that will offer a good ROI, and one of the best ways to achieve a good ROI is to pay as little as possible for the initial property itself. While targeting properties within your budget achieves this goal to an extent, you can greatly improve your chances of getting a good deal by actively seeking properties that have been on the market for a long time. Most online listings sites will let you filter by age of listing, so choose the oldest properties as a starting point for further consideration. It’s reasonable to expect that the longer a property has been available, the more likely the owner may be to accept an offer below the asking price.
With the tips above in mind, you should be able to keep the search process straightforward, and start viewing properties that you are already confident are suitable for your needs.