Residential Rental Property: Is It A Good Investment?

If you have money to invest and you are considering investing in residential rental properties, you may be wondering whether or not it is a good idea. In this article, we will go over the things that you should consider before deciding to invest in rental properties.

What Should You Consider Before Investing In Rental Properties?

The first thing you should decide is whether or not you are going to live in the building that you buy. If you rent out the entire property and you reside elsewhere, you would be able to deduct all expenses related to the building from your income. If you decide that you are going to move into the building, you would only be able to deduct the expenses related to the units that you are renting out. Should you decide to sell your property at some point, The portion of the building that you were living in would be exempt from the capital gains tax. If you rent out the entire building and you live elsewhere, all of you taxable gains would be taxable.

If you have a specific piece of property in mind that you are hoping to buy, you should make sure that the realtor’s listing is correct. If the number of units in the listing is inaccurate, it can change the terms of the sale considerably. To get this information, check the assessment roll. For example, if the building has a basement and it is considered to be a livable dwelling, it will count as an additional unit, which means that you would need to put down a larger down payment.

How Much Of a Down Payment Can You Expect To Pay?

If you are planning on renting out every unit in the building that you purchase, you would need to make a minimum down payment of 20 percent of the price of the building. If you are planning to buy a duplex and you intend to live in it, you would need to make a 5 percent down payment of the purchase price as long as you have mortgage loan insurance. If you are buying a three or a four family building and you are going to live in it, you would need to put down at least 10 percent.

These down payment rules are the same universally for all American financial institutions.

What Are Other Fees Associated With The Sale?

There are several fees that you would need to pay besides the down payment. These charges include:

  • Welcome tax
  • Notary fees
  • Inspection costs
  • Property tax adjustment (The school taxes and municipal taxes that you would be responsible for)

To cover all of these fees, your American loan insurer would calculate a standard amount, which is 1.5 percent of the purchase price of the building that you are planning to buy. In some cases, unexpected issues can arise, which would cost you more money. To cover you if something like this should happen, many financial institutions including Wells Fargo recommend changing the number from 1.5 percent to 3.5 of the price of the building. The additional money would be put in a line of credit or a savings account that is easily accessible.

Besides the Building’s Condition, What Else Should You Look For?

There are plenty of things that you should look for other than what the building looks like on the inside and out.

If you want to find tenants as easily as possible, you should look at how close stores, schools, and other important businesses are to the building.

If you aren’t planning to live in the building, you should consider the proximity of your home and your rental properties to make it easier to collect the rent each month.

If you want to be sure that you are not overpaying when you buy the building, you should take a look at how much similar buildings were sold for in the last year. This is something that a realtor can help you with.

If the building already has tenants, you need to find out about them. Find out how long each tenant has been living in the building and when their lease expires. Also, find out how much the tenants are paying for rent.

Tips For New Landlords

You should make sure that the lines of communication are open between you and your tenants. You want to include every little detail in the lease and make sure that you put everything in writing.

Many financial institutions allow you to schedule the due date for your mortgage payments. You should schedule them for the middle of the month. This will give you the leeway you will need if some of your tenants don’t pay their rent on time.

You should open up a separate bank account strictly for managing the building. If you have one account for rents, mortgage payments, and expenses, it can make accounting much easier.

What Does It Mean To Leverage Real Estate?

Leveraging your property is when you take out a second mortgage on your first investment property to purchase a second building if you don’t have the capital to do so. In most cases, you can get up to 80 percent of the worth of your first building to put toward your second.

The Pros Of Investing In Real Estate

The reason that most people invest in rental properties is that they like that they can see and spend the money that comes in each month. If you have other investments and you want to diversify your assets, real estate is a great way to do this. If you want to own your own home but you are living on a tight budget, The rent that you collect from your tenants will help you make your mortgage payments.

The Cons Of Investing In Real Estate

Real estate investing isn’t for everyone. If you like being a manager, it could work. To be a good landlord, you will need to have a lot of patience with your tenants, and you need to be available at all times to fix any problems that come up in the building. If you don’t think that you can handle something like this, real estate investing may not be the best thing for you. If this is the case, you should meet with a financial planner to discuss other investment options.

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