Casanova Brooks
Casanova Brooks

Licensed Agent

5 Best Steps to Getting Your First Rental Property


Table of Contents

Real estate investing might be the perfect option for you if you’re looking for a way to start generating passive income. It can be a little daunting when you’re starting out, but with these five steps to getting your first rental property, you’ll be on your way to finding and securing them!

So what are you waiting for? Let’s get started!

1. Figure Out Your Budget And What You Can Afford

Figure Out Your Budget

When most people think of rental properties, they think of huge houses they can’t afford and need to manage themselves.

It’s important to look at your monthly income and expenses, and then figure out how much you can afford to spend on a rental property. You should also factor in other costs, such as property taxes, insurance, and home repairs.

Another thing to keep in mind is that you want to be able to comfortably afford your bills and expenses. So it’s important not to over-stretch yourself financially by buying a rental property that’s too expensive.

Instead, try looking for rental properties that are within your budget.

Keep in mind that you’ll need to factor in the costs of repairs and maintenance, as well as the mortgage payments. You may also want to consider the potential for rent increases over time. To get started, make a list of your monthly expenses and how much you’re willing to spend on a rental property. Once you have an idea of your budget, you can start searching for properties that fit your criteria.

There are several online resources that can help you find available rentals in your area. With a little patience and research, you should be able to find an investment property that is within your budget and meets your investment goals.

2. Research The Best Neighborhoods For Rental Properties

Research The Best Neighborhood

The next step is to do your research on where the best places to buy rental properties.

For many real estate investors, the thought of researching the best neighborhoods to live in seems like a daunting task. However, this does not have to be the case. There are many resources that can help you narrow down your options and find the perfect neighborhood for your needs. One of the best places to start is by talking to your friends and family members. Ask them where they live and why they like it there. You can also look online for reviews of different neighborhoods and how the real estate market perceives them.

Another great way to learn about a neighborhood is to visit it yourself. Spend some time walking around and exploring different parts of the area. This will give you a good sense of what it would be like to live there. With a little bit of effort, you should be able to find the ideal neighborhood for real estate investing.

You’ll want to consider things like the local job market, crime rate, schools, and other amenities that renters are looking for.

Additionally, there are a few key things to keep in mind when researching the best neighborhoods for rental properties. The first is to look for areas with strong potential for future growth.

This could be due to things like new development projects or an influx of young professionals moving into the area. Another thing to consider is the current rental market conditions in the area. You’ll want to check average rent prices, vacancy rates, and unit turnaround time.

Finally, you’ll also want to ensure the neighborhood is safe and desirable for tenants. Things like crime rates, access to public transportation, and local amenities are all important factors that can affect how quickly your units will lease-up.

For example, a property located in an area with high crime rates is likely to have difficulty attracting tenants, even if it has a lower price than similar properties in safer areas.

Similarly, a property without easy access to public transportation is likely to be less attractive to tenants who don’t have cars. Tenants are also expected to be drawn to areas that offer a variety of amenities like restaurants, shops, and parks.

The ability to walk to nearby destinations is an important factor for many people, and neighborhoods with a lively mix of businesses tend to be more desirable. In addition, these areas often have higher property values, which can provide a financial incentive for landlords. 

Furthermore, tenants in these areas tend to be more engaged with their local community, and this can create a sense of pride and ownership. As a result, tenant turnover is often lower in areas with a variety of amenities.

3. Scout Out Potential Properties And Make An Offer

Scout Potential Properties

Drive around different neighborhoods, get a feel for the area, and talk to residents to get a sense of what it’s like to live there. Once you have a general idea of where you’d like to live, you can start looking at specific properties.

Scout out potential homes online, or better yet, take a drive-by and see them in person. When you find a property that you’re interested in, reach out to the seller and make an offer. With a little effort, you’re sure to find the perfect home in the perfect neighborhood.

Keep in mind that the asking price is often negotiable, so don’t be afraid to lowball your first offer.

The seller may not accept, but it’s always worthwhile to start the negotiations from a position of strength. Moreover, even if the seller does accept your initial offer, there’s a good chance that you’ll be able to negotiate a lower price once they realize how serious you are about buying the property. 

In the end, it’s important to remember that the goal is to get the best deal possible for positive cash flow later. So don’t be afraid to lowball your first offer – it could save you thousands of dollars in the long run.

It’s also important to be flexible on the possession date and other terms of the sale.

When you’re buying your first rental property, it’s important to be flexible on the possession date and other terms of the sale. The goal is to get the property under contract so you can start generating income as soon as possible. If the seller is willing to negotiate on the possession date, try to get a date that’s within 30 days of the contract signing.

This will allow you time to get your financing and familiarize yourself with the property.

The seller may want to stay in the property for a few months after the sale, or they may want to rent it back from you for a year or two. Other terms of the sale may also be negotiable, so it’s important to have an experienced real estate agent who can help you navigate the process.

Being flexible on the terms of the sale will give you a better chance of getting the property you want and help keep your costs down.

Also, by being flexible and working with the seller, you can reach an agreement that’s beneficial for both parties and help you get started on your journey as a landlord.

4. Get The Property Inspected And Make Any Necessary Repairs

Inspect The Property

Before you move any tenants into your first rental property, it’s important that you have the property inspected by a professional. This will help to identify any potential problems that could cause damage or discomfort to your tenants. Once you’re aware of any necessary repairs, it’s important to make them as soon as possible.

Otherwise, you may find yourself dealing with unhappy tenants or expensive repairs down the road.

Not only will this help to prevent further damage, but it will also show your tenants that you’re committed to maintaining a safe and comfortable living environment.

Unhappy tenants can cause a lot of pain for rental property owners. They can spread negative reviews about your property, which can deter potential tenants from even considering renting from you. As a result, it is important to try to keep your tenants happy.

One way to do this is to be responsive to their needs and concerns. If there is a problem with the property, fix it as soon as possible. In addition, try to provide amenities that will make their lives easier, such as a laundry room or storage space. Taking care of your tenants can help ensure that your rental property remains a profitable investment.

By taking these precautions, you can help to ensure a successful tenancy from the start.

5. Start Collecting Rent From Your Tenants

Collect Rent

After you’ve signed the lease and made any necessary repairs, it’s time to start collecting rent from your tenants!

This is the part where you start generating income from your rental property.

The amount of rent you charge will depend on some factors, such as the property’s location, the unit’s size, and the amenities included.

It’s important to research before setting a rent price, as you don’t want to charge too much or too little. If you charge too much, you may have trouble finding tenants. On the other hand, if you charge too little, you may not be making enough money to cover your expenses.

The best way to determine a reasonable rent price is to ask a professional property manager or real estate agent. They will be familiar with the market and can help you set a competitive price.

Once you’ve determined a rent price, it’s time to start collecting! Be sure to collect the rent on time, every month. You may consider setting up an automatic payment system to make things easier for you and your tenants.

By following these steps, you can start your journey as a landlord and generate income from your rental property. Just remember to do your research, be flexible, and take care of your tenants. With a little effort, you can find success as a landlord in no time!

Risks and Rewards of Renting Property

While there are several advantages to renting property, there are also some risks involved. First and foremost, renters are not protected by the same laws as homeowners. For instance, if a landlord decides to sell the property or stop renting it, the tenants may need to find a new place to live with little notice.

Additionally, landlords can increase rent at any time, and tenants have no say in the matter. Another risk is that of damage to the property. If anything in the rental unit is damaged, the tenant may be held responsible and be required to pay for repairs.

Finally, if there are any problems with the property, such as plumbing or electrical issues, the tenant will need to rely on the landlord to take care of them promptly.

And while there are certainly some risks associated with renting property, there are also a number of rewards. Perhaps the biggest advantage is that renters have far more flexibility than homeowners. They can move at any time without having to worry about selling their home or finding someone to take over their lease.

Additionally, renters don’t have to worry about paying for maintenance or repairs; that’s all taken care of by the landlord. And finally, because they don’t have to put any money down when they move in, renters can often live in nicer (and more expensive) properties than they could ever afford to buy outright.

Lease Property

FAQs: Rental Property Investments, Investment Properties, and Real Estate Investments

What are the steps to getting your first rental property?

Before you can start earning rental income, you need to take a few key steps. First, you need to find the right property. Look for a neighborhood that is growing or has growth potential, as this will help ensure that your rental unit is in demand. Once you have found the perfect property, the next step is to obtain financing. You will need to have a down payment of at least 20%, as well as the ability to cover ongoing maintenance and repair costs.

Once you have secured financing, obtaining the necessary permits and licenses is next. In most cases, you will need to obtain a business license and a rental permit from your local municipality. Finally, it is important to put together a lease agreement that outlines the rights and responsibilities of both you and your tenant. By taking these steps, you can ensure that you are prepared to become a successful rental property owner.

How much money should I save to buy my first rental property?

When it comes to saving for a down payment on a rental property, there is no one-size-fits-all answer. The amount you’ll need to save will depend on several factors, including the property’s price, loan type, and down payment goal.

However, as a general rule of thumb, you’ll need to save at least 10% of the purchase price for a down payment on a rental property. For example, if you’re looking to buy a $200,000 rental property, you’ll need to have at least $20,000 saved for a down payment.

If you’re using a conventional loan, you may also need additional funds for closing costs and repairs. Remember that the more money you have saved for a down payment, the lower your monthly mortgage payments will be. As such, creating a budget and goal that works for you is important.

There’s no magic number regarding how much money you should save for a rental property down payment – it all depends on your unique circumstances.

However, by following these guidelines, you can ensure that you have enough money saved up to make your dream of owning a rental property come true.

casanovabrooksCasanova Brooks is a real estate entrepreneur. With a background as a licensed realtor at Berkshire Hathaway and currently serving as a Change Agent at eXp Realty, Casanova brings a wealth of expertise and experience to the table. Beyond real estate transactions, Casanova is a seasoned motivational speaker, author, and podcast host. His book, “Real Estate: Play the Game Like the Winners,” reflects his commitment to sharing insights and strategies for success in the ever-evolving world of real estate. Join him on his journey as he continues to make waves in the world of real estate and beyond.

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