With mortgage rates low, there are many homeowners looking to buy a bigger piece of property to live in. Some of these buyers will choose to hang on to their first homes and rent them out instead of selling them or purchasing a home specifically to rent, in hopes of using the rental income to help pay off one or both of their houses. While this can be a great way to invest some money, there is a lot more to being a landlord than just having an extra house for people to rent.
Make sure that the home is in a desirable location. Unless you’re ready for your rental home to sit idle sometimes, make sure that the home you choose to rent out is near schools, easy to commute to or near convenient amenities. Far fewer people will be interested in renting a home that’s a pain to get to unless they are aspiring hermits or the view is amazing.
Don’t pick too cheap of a house. Not only will a cheap home bring in less rent, but a “deal” property might need a lot of work or repairs which can not only take up a lot of extra money, but your time as well.
Make sure that you check references. While it can certainly be a hassle, make sure that you ask for, and get, references before you rent to anyone. While it is certainly not alright to discriminate against anyone over race, religion, or sexual orientation … you should be choosy about your tenants based on the feedback you get from their references.
Don’t assume that being a landlord is an easy way to invest your money. While it can be a rewarding way to help pay for your home and make some extra money, it can be a lot of hard work as well.
Krista Kehoe, Calgary real estate agent & REALTOR®