3 Things to Consider Before Investing in a Rental Property

Investing in a Rental Property
Real estate has always been a wise investment. When you want to see your cash grow beyond anything a standard bank account can ever bring, wise investments in rental properties can prove well-worth their weight in gold. The trick is knowing how to find the right property in which to invest—and understanding what’s actually involved with being a landlord—before you find yourself falling down a money pit.

Before you go shopping for your next piece of real estate, here are three things you need to consider:

1. The Condition of the Property

You want to find a property that won’t devour your wallet when it’s time to get it up to code.

Plenty of people find fixer-uppers they can’t live without, and make a lot of profit by flipping these properties into desirable rentals. Before you endeavor in this route, you need to know what exactly is involved with putting it back into livable conditions. If you are new to the business, you need to be getting contractors out to the house once you are under agreement to make sure the roof, siding, foundation, electric, plumbing, etc.. are in good condition. You will also want estimates if anything needs to be replaced or fixed. One of the biggest mistakes novice investors make when purchasing a rental property that is a fixer upper is they do not allocate enough money for the renovations/repair costs.

  • Always get an inspection before you purchase a property. Sometimes it’s best to get two or three professional opinions if you’ll be renting your property.
  • Get estimates for the work before you make a decision.
  • Don’t bite off more than you can chew in the DIY department. Unless you’re a contractor by trade, many renovations will need to be outsourced.

2. Know How Much You Need to Bring In

Do the math before you begin your property search. How much rental income do you need to receive to fulfill your own needs? Factor in:

  • Property taxes
  • HOA fees
  • Maintenance and repair costs
  • Insurance costs
  • Capital Expenditures such as a new roof, siding, HVAC system, water heater, etc..
  • Vacancy
  • Delinquency

As you can see, the price tag can get big pretty quickly. Low-balling your rental price just to get tenants in the door can end up costing you exponentially in the end. On the other hand, if you price your property too high, great renters will simply find somewhere else to live. It’s a balancing act that requires serious consideration.

The 1% Rule is a good rule of thumb to live by. If you invest in, say, a $100,000 property, a 1% rental price would be $1,000 a month. Will that cover everything you need? If not, you might want to re-evaluate your choice of property.

3. The Right Neighborhood

Know what kind of tenants you’re trying to attract from the beginning. That will likely dictate the neighborhood in which you wish to invest. If you’re hoping to rent to families, be sure you know about the local school districts, parks, and family-friendly attractions. If you’re going for people in their 20s and 30s, condos within walking distance to shops and restaurants will be a great draw.

Purchasing the rental property is just the beginning. There are plenty of laws, requirements, and restrictions you must adhere to in order to operate a proper rental property. By hiring a premier property management firm they can help you to understand what it takes to attract high-quality tenants and avoid long term vacancy. When you’re ready, reach out to one – they’re eager to learn how they can help you manage your rental property.

Best Sites and Apps to Find, Rent, Buy Apartments 2018 | Best apartment search sites

top 10 websites apps for finding apartments
Finding that perfect spot, where you come back and unwind after a hard day at work can be a difficult job, especially if you’re not the type of person that can be easily pleased, by any random location.

You have to look through various listings, see if they fit your budget and eventually go check out the place by yourself, just to be sure that everything is ok.

All these things take a lot of time and nerves and we strongly believe that you want to avoid being put in such a situation. In this case, we’re pretty sure that you’re wondering if there is not an easier solution, like doing it online. Well, you said the magic word: “online”.

After doing a bit of research, we’ve come across a few of the best sites and apps (yes, there are dedicated apps for this!) which you can use to find your dream apartment sooner than expected.

Most of these services are free, as the only difference between them is made by their integrated features, like filters, so you can sort out apartments, and many others. But no more chatting and let’s see what we have for you guys!

Apartment List

Available for both Android and iOS, this app can be considered the starting point for any apartment hunter. It presents a huge number of potentially suitable places meeting your criteria.

Also, one of its biggest pluses is the ability to set how much you want to spend, where exactly you would like to live, as well as your commuting route. After providing all this information, just give it a few moments and it will present you all the places matching your criteria.

By far, one of the best places for finding apartments right now!

Realtor.com

Ok, time to switch to a website this time, but one that also has its own app, doing exactly the same thing. We’re talking about Realtor Rentals, which allows users to browse by map or photo view, not to mention that it provides specific driving instructions, so you can check all the apartments you want in person, without an agent.

Within the app, you will find options for setting alerts for all the apartments meeting your criteria, just as they come on the market. Basically, with one simple tap, you can get in contact with the leasing agent or even the owner and start your conversation.

Apartment Guide

Moving on, we have another entry on our list with the best sites and apps to find apartments, called – you’ll never guess this – Apartment Guide, available for iOS and Android.

The app provides HD photos, as well as floor plans, so you can check out any potential location even in the tiniest details. Also, the app, no matter on which platform you’re using it, allows you to actually save listings and share them with your friends. No, not on social media, to brag about your future apartment, but to ask for a second impression.

Bonus points for the interface, which makes it really easy to navigate through.

Rent.com

One of the most popular rentals websites makes it to our top as well. Rent.com offers two methods of checking out properties, through browser or app, which is, by the way, available for Android and iOS.

What we like the most about this option is that you can find all the available times for visiting and, if you come across something you like, book a tour, so you can check out all the details. Additionally, you can check out reviews left by previous residents and narrow down your search according to these.

In the past, it was proven that reviews left by people who actually lived in those apartments had a high impact on the final decision.

HotPads

If you’re looking for listings from major cities, then this is the app to try. However, it’s not limited to these locations!

Something we really like about it is the fact that, besides any other relevant details about a listing, it includes neighborhood details, like nearby schools and the walk score of the area. These are great to help you get an overall feel of the area around the apartment you’re considering buying or renting.

Finally, let’s not forget about the designated hot listings, which are actually the ones attracting the most interest from the app’s users. We bet that you will find something you like here!

Zillow Rentals

With more than 400,000 available spaces, Zillow Rentals is definitely one of the best sites to find apartments. However, the big number of properties you can choose from is not everything!

The website (or app) offers you the ability to personalize a search using filters such as pet policy, in-unit laundry or even on-site parking. Once you’re done, just save the searches that interest you the most, if you’re not yet decided, so you can check them out whenever you want.

If you’re not convinced on whether you should rent or buy, you can also check out all the homes available for sale in the Zillow network. Because guess what? There are also a lot which you can purchase!

Abodo

Last but not least, we also have Abodo. Abodo provides a visually streamlined way to search for rentals, using basic requirements, like the rent price, the total number of bedrooms, but also gives you the ability to select non-negotiables, like air-conditioning or pet-friendliness. If you want to check out the details for selected listings, it’s actually very easy, as they open up over the search results, so you can sort them considering the relevancy, price, recency, or even popularity.

Search tip: In map view, listing icons turn grey after you’ve clicked on them, so you won’t end up checking the same listing multiple times.

And we’re done! Hopefully, our selection of the best sites and apps to find apartments will help you come across the perfect spot for you! Obviously, if you know any similar variants, do let us know about them, using the comments section below!

Is condo FHA approved?

condo FHA loan
If you’re among those looking forward to buying a condo using an FHA loan, there’s one crucial aspect you should be aware of: the location must meet a few requirements and be included on the FHA Condominium Approval List. Basically, condo associations must apply to have their project added on the list, first thing first.

What’s an FHA approved condo?

Such locations are basically residential condominiums that meet all the property eligibility requirements and are, of course, available for purchasing the above-mentioned loan. The Federal Housing Administration insures one unit condos in which you can get either a 15 year or a 30 years fixed-rate mortgage.

Generally speaking, any condo can be bought using many different types of home loans, even conventional loans. However, if you want to get one through an FHA loan, the property must be approved by the Administration.

Which are the eligible projects?

There are a few types of condo projects the United States Department of Housing and Urban Developments considers eligible, as it follows:

  • Detached or semi-detached units
  • Manufactured housing
  • Row house
  • Walk up, mid or high-rise
  • With or without an elevator
  • Anything that contains at least two units

Where should I check if a project is approved?

Let’s just say that you found the ideal condo complex and you’re fancying buying one.

In order to see if the condo is FHA approved, you should start with checking the master list of FHA-approved condo projects, available here.

What are the main general approval guidelines?

The main condition for a condo to be FHA approved is that it should consist of two or more units. Also, no more than 25 percent of the project’s total floor area can be used for non-residential/commercial use, while no more than 10 percent of the units can be owned by one investor. Finally, no more than 15 percent of all units’ homeowners association fees can be 60 or more days late.