Recently, more and more people are turning to real estate as a source of income, especially as prices have been rebounding since the crash several years ago. Those who purchased immediately after the dip in the market have already seen a return on their investments, however, if you are thinking of entering the market now, it’s not too late, there’s plenty of opportunity for everyone.
If you are thinking of purchasing properties to rent, especially in a place outside the city you reside in, you’ll need to think through the initial set up. Afterwards, if it’s done well, the only tool that you will really need to consult will be your iPhone.
- Purchase in Good Condition
Unless you are very handy and can fix a place yourself, look for a property which is in good condition and will require little maintenance on your end. You don’t want to have to be calling in different contractors every month to fix aging plumbing, out-of-date electrical problems or a leaky roof. Buy something that will require at most some light work done by a handyman and leave the big renovation project to the pros.
- Draft a Good Lease Agreement
If you are a physically absent landlord because you live far away from your investment property, there are a couple of things you will want written into your lease agreement with your tenants. You’ll want to make sure that the tenants have responsibility for routine maintenance like lawn care, filter exchanges, and more, so that their execution of these chores won’t create a problem later on down the road. For more preemptive clauses and ideas, consult real estate lawyers that are available to prepare purchase agreements, lease agreements, conduct title searches, etc.
- Create Contacts Before You Leave
When you come to purchase your investment property, you will most likely be in the area during the searching and closing times. This is also a good time to make connections in the community and find trusted vendors who will be able to help you with any emergencies which could arise. Find a good plumber, electrician, repairman, handyman, painter, landscaper, and more, and save their numbers to your phone. Then, if something comes up, you won’t have to ask a third person contact, you will be able to directly call or text the person you need and coordinate the work required. No asking favors of your tenants, no being scammed, or being treated as a second priority.
- Take Pictures
If you aren’t able to visit your property often, it’s important to be able to take and receive pictures of any changes taking place. Your phone is an essential part of that as you will be able to take, view, store, and receive photos there from your tenants, your contractors, and more. Start an album or a folder on your phone, backed up on the cloud, so that you have good records of the state of your property, work that needs to be done, and completed projects.
- Monitor and Pay Utilities Online
Depending on the type of property you have, you might end up being the one having to deal with utility payments like electricity, water and gas. If so, set up online accounts with all the companies you are dealing with and download the apps if they have them. This will make paying the bills so much easier, especially when you have your own and your rental property’s to deal with.
Thanks to technology like phones and the internet, we can buy and maintain rental properties that are far away from where we normally live. Though having a smart phone is an essential part of this arrangement, setting up your investment to work “virtually” takes some effort. Remember to always consult a legal team if you ever have any doubts when it comes to your rights and that of your tenants.