When To Buy A Rental Property
Home prices in the U.S. have historically increased in value, although there are also periods of declines. For example, as the Federal Reserve reports, the median sales price of houses sold in the U.S. has increased by more than 64% over the past decade. In other words, an investor may be able to make a profit by purchasing and maintaining a rental property over the long term.
when to buy a rental property
The tax benefits available to owners of real estate provide another reason for buying rental property. The Internal Revenue Code is friendly to investment property owners, with tax-deductible expenses such as:
If an investor finances the rental property using a 25% down payment ($25,000 down), the mortgage principal and interest expense would run about $4,200 per year for a net cash flow of $2,800 ($7,000 NOI - $4,200 debt service).
A big down payment is one of the main reasons people think that they shouldn't buy a rental property. Most lenders require 25% down on an investment property, so if a property costs $100,0000 the down payment would be $25,000 (excluding closing costs, impound accounts, and cash reserves).
Buying a good rental property and hiring a great local property manager can help to keep rental income high and operating expenses reasonable. However, one of the biggest variables that is difficult to control is property taxes on a rental property.
The good news is that there are some things investors do to help reduce the risk of rising taxes, such as buying a rental property in a state with property and income taxes in mind. Some sunbelt states, such as Arizona, Alabama, and Florida have low property tax rates and low or no state income tax rates.
Owning a rental property can be a good way to diversify an investment portfolio away from traditional stocks and bonds, and building a portfolio of cash flowing rental properties can be a good way to generate extra income.
Jeff has over 25 years of experience in all segments of the real estate industry including investing, brokerage, residential, commercial, and property management. While his real estate business runs on autopilot, he writes articles to help other investors grow and manage their real estate portfolios.
According to Statista, in 2020 there were 14.1 million households (representing 42 million residents) renting single-family houses in the U.S., and Urban.org predicts there will be a 21% increase in total rental households between 2020 and 2040.
While investing in single-family rental (SFR) properties can sometimes provide both current cash flow and long-term appreciation, building a rental real estate portfolio generally requires time, energy, and a willingness to fine-tune your approach in response to evolving market conditions.
Even real estate investors who hire a local property management company may still need to remain involved in the oversight of their investments. For example, investors may be asked to authorize certain improvements or repairs and to regularly review monthly and year-end financial statements, such as the income statement and net cash flow report.
Despite best tenant screening processes, an investor may end up with a tenant who pays the rent late or needs to be evicted. Lost rental income and the added cost of an eviction can sometimes eat away at potential profits and overall returns, and overseeing an eviction process can be time consuming.
Notwithstanding the associated responsibilities, a good investment property can provide the perfect trifecta of recurring rental income, long-term appreciation in property value, and tax benefits related to mortgage interest, operating expenses, and depreciation.
Financing a single-family rental property works a little differently than applying for a mortgage on a primary residence. Down payments can be bigger, lender fees and interest rates are usually slightly higher, and there are different requirements to qualify:
Although there may be more hoops to jump through when arranging financing on a rental property, the good news is that there are a lot of options available. Conventional lenders, such as banks and credit unions, offer loans backed by Fannie Mae or Freddie Mac, while other investors obtain rental property financing through private lenders or by forming a joint venture.
A good place to begin looking for a rental property loan or refinance is the Stessa Mortgage Center. Simply answer a few questions online, and the platform will generate competitive mortgage quotes specifically designed for investment property purchases and refinances.
Return on investment (ROI) is a financial metric that real estate investors use to help determine how potentially profitable an investment property might be. To calculate the ROI of a property, an investor needs to:
For example, assume you purchase a rental property for $250,000 and it produces an annual rental income of $24,000. Let's say operating expenses are 40% of projected income and the annual mortgage interest expense is $11,000.
You can use the free rental property analyzer in this post to forecast the potential return of a property. Simply enter some information to view projected key metrics, including cash flow, cash-on-cash return, net operating income, and cap rate.
Once your offer has been accepted, you're officially "in contract," and that's when the real fun begins. This is a key moment in the acquisition process and is your one opportunity to confirm assumptions and make sure you want to move forward.
Once you've closed on your rental property acquisition, it's time to focus on tenant relations and other important operational aspects. Two key areas that require immediate attention include tracking income and expenses and sorting out property management.
Even for experienced real estate investors, keeping track of rental property income and expenses can quickly become overwhelming. Common income and costs that affect the return on a rental home include:
After signing up for an account, simply enter the rental property address, connect business banking and mortgage accounts quickly and securely, and run reports such as the income statement, net cash flow, and capital expenses.
With Stessa, investors can easily maximize rental property profits through smart money management, automated income and expense tracking, and personalized recommendations for maximizing revenue based on unique portfolio and investment strategies.
Being a landlord can be more time-consuming than it might appear. Finding and screening tenants, collecting the rent, and taking care of repairs are only some of the duties required for successfully managing a rental property.
Owners also need to comply with local and state landlord-tenant laws, the Fair Housing Act, conduct periodic property inspections, run regular rent comparables, and obtain the best prices from qualified vendors to help with keeping operating expenses under control and growing rental property returns.
As housing prices continue to rise, finding funds to make a big down payment to buy a rental property is becoming more difficult in some real estate markets. Fortunately, there are several alternative strategies for buying a rental property that require less money:
As a rental property owner and landlord, your main goal is to end each month with a positive cash flow. To understand if a rental house is a smart investment, you need to understand the costs involved and estimate your potential return on investment.
Landlord insurance policies usually cover the property itself, any additional structures attached to the property (like a garage or mudroom) and any property inside the unit that belongs to the landlord. Some insurance policies may also cover lost rent or attorney fees if a tenant stops paying rent.
Vacancies and rental prices will directly affect your bottom line as a landlord. You need to price your unit to compete with other vacant rental units, but you also need to charge enough rent to make money.
Now consider a scenario where you had three rental properties. Having a single property vacant (and likely needing repairs) for four months could mean a big impact on your profits, and you might even be negative for a few months.
I recommend not starting with a major fix-and-flip deal, because those tend to be riskier and involve more holding costs when compared to a wholesale deal. If you accidentally miss a foundation or roofing issue, it could cost you thousands of dollars out of your potential profit.
A real estate partnership helps finance the deal in exchange for a share of the profits.Instead, you can ask your network of family and friends, find a local real estate investment club, consider real estate crowdfunding, or search for social media groups that target real estate investors."}},"@type": "Question","name": "How Much Down Payment Do You Need to Buy Investment Property?","acceptedAnswer": "@type": "Answer","text": "Lenders typically have stricter guidelines when it comes to rental properties. Though you can buy a primary home with as little as 3% down, most borrowers need to put down 15% to 20% to buy a rental property.","@type": "Question","name": "Should I Invest in a Condo?","acceptedAnswer": "@type": "Answer","text": "Condos are often less expensive than single-family homes, and they have fewer maintenance requirements. However, ongoing association dues and the potential for expensive special assessments are a risk. It is important to investigate the financial health of the homeowners association and the current condition of the overall building and the individual unit.Condos can be a good option for rental property buyers and they are often located in desirable locations."]}]}] Investing Stocks Bonds Fixed Income Mutual Funds ETFs Options 401(k) Roth IRA Fundamental Analysis Technical Analysis Markets View All Simulator Login / Portfolio Trade Research My Games Leaderboard Economy Government Policy Monetary Policy Fiscal Policy View All Personal Finance Financial Literacy Retirement Budgeting Saving Taxes Home Ownership View All News Markets Companies Earnings Economy Crypto Personal Finance Government View All Reviews Best Online Brokers Best Life Insurance Companies Best CD Rates Best Savings Accounts Best Personal Loans Best Credit Repair Companies Best Mortgage Rates Best Auto Loan Rates Best Credit Cards View All Academy Investing for Beginners Trading for Beginners Become a Day Trader Technical Analysis All Investing Courses All Trading Courses View All TradeSearchSearchPlease fill out this field.SearchSearchPlease fill out this field.InvestingInvesting Stocks Bonds Fixed Income Mutual Funds ETFs Options 401(k) Roth IRA Fundamental Analysis Technical Analysis Markets View All SimulatorSimulator Login / Portfolio Trade Research My Games Leaderboard EconomyEconomy Government Policy Monetary Policy Fiscal Policy View All Personal FinancePersonal Finance Financial Literacy Retirement Budgeting Saving Taxes Home Ownership View All NewsNews Markets Companies Earnings Economy Crypto Personal Finance Government View All ReviewsReviews Best Online Brokers Best Life Insurance Companies Best CD Rates Best Savings Accounts Best Personal Loans Best Credit Repair Companies Best Mortgage Rates Best Auto Loan Rates Best Credit Cards View All AcademyAcademy Investing for Beginners Trading for Beginners Become a Day Trader Technical Analysis All Investing Courses All Trading Courses View All Financial Terms Newsletter About Us Follow Us Facebook Instagram LinkedIn TikTok Twitter YouTube Table of ContentsExpandTable of ContentsSo You Want to Be a Landlord?Buying a Rental PropertyMaking Money in RentalsRisks and RewardsRental Property FAQsThe Bottom LineAlternative InvestmentsReal Estate InvestingHow to Invest in Rental PropertyTips for buying your first rental property 041b061a72