Three important considerations for your next rental property are location, condition, and upgrades. Rental property is not immune to the location, location, location mantra of real estate. In fact, it may be more important with your rental. For example, you may want to avoid buying a rental on, or backing to, a busy street. When the tenant goes into the backyard or opens their windows at night, they do not want to hear the roar of traffic.
Something else that is often overlooked with investment properties is future maintenance. If the exterior is brick or stucco, that might require less long-term care than wood siding. If the roof is tile, or a newer asphalt shingle, those may last longer and require less maintenance than an older asphalt or wood shingle roof. Copper pipes are less likely to cause plumbing issues than are galvanized pipes.
Finally, consider upgrades when comparing properties. Tenants love fresh paint, remodeled kitchens, and remodeled baths; so check out the potential competition in an area like new housing tracts, condominiums, and apartments. Newer structures have finishes that are more modern. Thus, the tile in your rental's kitchen may be serviceable, but it is going to look old when compared to the granite in the kitchen in the competition's rental across town. I am not suggesting that you replace your tile with granite, but if you can buy a rental property that already has more updates than less, then go for that.
A list of items you might like to have in your rental, in a perfect world, might include: recreational vehicle parking, neutral paint such as whites and beiges, tile floors since tile does not hold pet odors, and mirrored wardrobe doors because the make rooms look bigger.
You are not going to find the perfect rental property. However, if I were comparing two similar priced rental properties in the same neighborhood, I would try to save some money and choose the one with more updates and newer neutral paint. The updated and painted property is going to rent quicker and take less of my time and money to get the property rent ready.
Scott Taylor is the general manager and co-owner of SCV Leasing in Santa Clarita, California. He is also the author of the forthcoming book The 15-Minute Landlord to be published by Amazon this spring.
SCV Leasing serves Valencia, Stevenson Ranch, Newhall, Santa Clarita, Saugus, Canyon Country, Fair Oaks Ranch, Castaic, Sand Canyon, and Westridge with homes for rent, condos for rent, and property management services. SCV Leasing’s unsurpassed marketing plan puts renters in properties fast. Mr. Taylor can be reached at email@example.com.