Have you been thinking about investing in rental properties in Jacksonville, Florida, and surrounding areas? If so, we at Suncoast Property Management have some ideas that will provide you with an overview of some simple ways that you can identify homes that would make a great rental investment.
- LOCATION! If you have ever bought or rented a home before, then you have heard the phrase, “LOCATION LOCATION LOCATION!!” This is an idea that rings true and always will. You should always try and choose a location that is near shopping, restaurants, transportation, grocery stores, good schools, and parks. This is important because these factors help to determine your monthly rental amount and can help to set the home apart from similar homes but in less desirable locations. A good location can also make up for any possible shortcomings that your home may have, like no garage, small bedrooms, or square footage. In our experience, residents find where they want to live first, and then match other details next. Finally, choose your location wisely because – remember – the location cannot be changed!
- Tenant Occupied. Purchasing a property that is already occupied with a tenant, you have instant income. We highly recommend this option as you could save yourself quite a bit of money in vacancy costs and the money it requires to place a new tenant in your newly acquired property. There is one word of caution that we recommend before making this purchase…. You need to ask to see a copy of the tenant’s current lease as well as the receipts for the monthly rent payments that have been collected. It is also a good idea to make sure the current residents have been screened prior to taking occupancy. This will show you if your tenants are making their payments on time as the only thing worse than a vacancy is a tenant that does not make their payments.
- Turn-Key Homes. Because Suncoast Property Management has been in the investment property business for over 10 years, we understand that buying a home that is not “rent ready” can be daunting and more costly than you anticipated. So, we recommend that as you begin to purchase your investment property, you start with a turn-key home. This means that the home is completely ready to be rented, just turn the key and move in. With a turn-key investment, it will help to limit the time your new investment is vacant and you will be able to begin recouping some of your cost more quickly. So, it is a good choice to purchase properties that need little to no work.
- Change your viewpoint. Instead of looking at a property from an investor’s eyes, try looking at a property through the eyes of a tenant. This will pay off for you in the long run. Ask yourself, would I live here? Would I suggest that my child that is looking at renting a new home live here? Would I recommend this house to my friends? It is so important to consider all avenues of desirability like location, amenities, the local crime rate, the school rating, the space and layout of the home, the yard, the nearby restaurants, grocery stores, and events. As obvious as this may seem, it is easily overlooked when purchasing one of your first investment properties.