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For First Time Investors: Rental Best Practices

Before you rent out an Investment Property for the first time, here are the Top 5 Best Practices for what to do before you rent out your Investment Property for the first time.

Take Lots of Pictures!

If you painted, cleaned and prepped your new rental property to make it fresh and attract the best rents, take lots of great pictures! Better yet, pay a professional real estate photographer to take pictures that you can use every time going forward that you need to rent it. Why you ask? Every rental unit will have some wear and tear and may look more lived in each time you rent it going forward. There is a high probability that the first time you rent it will be the best it ever looked. These first great photos will help you maximize marketing your property and attract great future tenants.

Make a List of FUTURE Property Repairs.

Houses need care and some of these care items come with a bigger price tag. We suggest investors make a 5-year to 10-year list of items they know will likely need repair or replacement to factor in costs. For example, a furnace and air conditioning lasts about 15 years, roof shingles 15 to 20 years, eaves and fascia protect your property from water damage and is important to repair and maintain, porches, doors, windows, all the structural items and mechanics. The idea is not to have any surprise costs that you haven’t banked for.

Think About Garbage.

Forward thinking about garbage will save you time and grief. If you have more than one unit, what will be your garbage rules for each unit? Do they have their own garbage cans to take to the curb, is there one communal bin? Who takes the bin to the curb? Setting expectations with tenants, having an organized system and proper garbage and recycling bins inside and outside will pay dividends.

Know Your Utilities Responsibilities.

Depending on where your rental unit is located will dictate what you are responsible for. The rule of thumb is that if the utility service is shared amongst multiple units, the landlord pays. Anything separately metered and only used by that unit, the tenant pays for. Single family homes are easy because they will be responsible for almost all utilities. Water and Sewer almost always have to remain in the owner’s name, depending on the city/region, but this bill may be passed to the tenants for payment.

Accepting You WILL Make Mistakes. Just say uncle to the inevitability of mistakes. You either get it right or you learn, either is okay. The reason there are so many blogs, podcasts, books on real estate investing is that there are a lot of mistakes or missteps to be made and lots to learn from others who have been there before you. It is worthwhile to keep yourself updated to be educated and avoid any potential gottchas!

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