Owning a property sounds like fun at first, and it can be, but you should know it’s also an important undertaking that comes with a lot of responsibility on your part. It’s a wise idea to sit down and think it through before you fully commit and sign on the dotted line.
You may indeed have a change of heart or feel even more strongly about moving forward once you sort through all the details. What you don’t want to do is make any assumptions or proceed without having all the facts and figures outlined. The point is to take a calculated risk and not simply jump in without having any background knowledge or confidence in yourself about what you’re about to do.
Your Desired Location
Before you can purchase a rental property, you have to pick the right one out, and this will entail you doing a little research on your own. It’s important to know where and what you want to buy before you hand over your money. Location means a lot to people, and you’ll have an easier time renting out your space if others find your property desirable as well. Look around and make sure it’s in a good neighborhood and there are shops nearby, especially a grocery store, and good links to public transportation. It may be tempting to be drawn to a cheaper property, but spend the time checking out the area first before buying it.
Your Schedule & Availability
Unfortunately, you don’t always have control over what happens and occurs at your property, and you should always be available to respond to any calls or concerns. Consider your current schedule and obligations and if you have the time to properly manage and handle all the complications that could pop up when you own a property. It can be even more of a challenge if you travel a lot or don’t live very close to the property that you own. You have to have some flexibility in your schedule and make sure you’re prepared to respond and show up when your tenants call you and need your assistance.
Ask yourself if you know what to do in the case of an emergency and if you’re up to speed with the state and local building codes and regulations. It’s worth you taking the time to learn more about fire alarms and what the fire alarm supervisory signal means should you see it go off. Take time to educate yourself on these matters so you feel comfortable knowing what to do and how to respond to certain issues or problems that may arise. It’s also important to understand who to contact in certain situations if you’re unable to handle the matter yourself.
Your Financial Situation
The truth is that it costs money to be a property owner and have a building of your own. There are going to be unexpected fixes and complications that will come up that will require a financial investment from you. You also need to plan for vacancies in case you’re unable to rent out your space and need to cover the cost of your mortgage for the time being. Realize that you need to have enough funds built up and available to you if you’re going to be successful as a property owner and able to pay your bills and make fixes on time. It’s not a cheap investment, and you need to be prepared to handle all the financial ups and downs that come with being a property owner.
Your Ability to Vet Tenants
As a property owner, you have the option of you filling the space or getting someone else to pay the rent for you. If this is the case, then you’re going to want to know how to vet tenants appropriately. It’s best to go through the process professionally and have the right paperwork handy when agreeing to let tenants move into your space. Know what questions to ask, how to do a background check and the legality behind the situation. You need to understand that this is serious business and shouldn’t be taken lightly or you could run into unwanted circumstances.
Your Maintenance Plan
If you’re not a very handy person, it’s critical you find someone who is that you trust to take care of any maintenance issues that occur. You’ll want to make sure the landscaping is kept up to help with your curb appeal and that all is functioning properly inside the property as well. Ask your tenants to be good about notifying you of any issues right away so you can get in there and fix them and aren’t caught off guard with any surprises at the end of the lease. The key is to be prepared ahead of time and have a few names and numbers of people you can reach out to should you need help.
Your Problem Solving Skills
You have to accept the fact that there may be problems that come up along the way as a property owner. This likely isn’t the project for you if you’re someone who panics easily and wants answers right away without taking the time to sort through the facts. The truth is you may have to deal with tenants who don’t pay their rent on time or legal matters, so always be on the offense ready to find solutions instead of complaining or ignoring important matters. Being a property owner is a big job and will require a lot of time and energy out of you, so ask yourself if you’re up for the challenge.
It’s should now be clear that there’s a lot to think about and consider before you simply decide you want to be a property owner. Take time to mull over all these different scenarios and aspects of the job and then be honest with yourself about if it’s the right path for you. Remember it’s a commitment so once you move forward, it’s going to be difficult to retrace your steps and get out of it.