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How do you know when it is the right time to buy a rental?

How do you know when it is the right time to buy a rental?

The differences between an accidental landlord and an on-purpose landlord.

The accidental landlord

You become an accidental landlord when life circumstances ask you to move out from your property because (for example):

  • Your job relocated you
  • You moved in with your life-partner
  • You are not ready to sell and wish to keep it

You go through pricing the rental, listing it, managing payments, and doing every other aspect of being a landlord. It takes a year to get a handle on the workflows that made sense and to streamline the process. From beginning to end, many make at most negative $100 a month.

The on-purpose landlord

When deciding to become a landlord, more strategy is involved. Education is the Key, or hire us here at D’Lux … with professionals in this industry, you know the amount you could charge in rent, the market potential of the property, all details involved in setting it up the right way.

When is the right time to become a landlord?

If you want to be a landlord, the right time is now. Start putting together a plan to meet your goal so you are ready to act when the right property presents itself. Several items need to be put in place before you purchase:

  • Financing
  • Choosing a market
  • Picking a property
  • Preparing the property
  • Managing the property

Becoming a landlord is a business decision and shouldn’t be made haphazardly, so make sure you have a comprehensive plan in place before taking the next step.


Depending on your credit score and your finances, a single-family investment property requires a 20% down payment in most cases. Multifamily investment properties require a 25% -40% down payment.

There are two ways to get around the large down payment, and my previous examples show both.

  1. Live in the property first for the required amount of time per your mortgage contract and then convert it to a rental.
  2. Buy a multifamily, live in one unit, and rent the other units.

Both of these options provide the option of qualifying for down payment assistance programs or reduced down payments.

Researching the market

Before purchasing a rental property, understand the demand for your market. Once you know the rental demand is there, research what you can charge for rent.

To determine if the property price is worth investing in, try the 1% rule. Can you make 1% of the purchase price a month on the rent? For example, let’s say you bought a property for $250,000. You could make $1,300 for one unit and $1,200 for the other unit. You would meet the 1% rule of $2,500 in rent per month.

Choose a property

When doing your market research, look for an area that is appreciating at least 3% per year. Investigate the appreciation rates in your area. Rental properties take, on average, three years to make a profit, but just because they aren’t making a profit doesn’t mean that it isn’t a good investment. A renter is paying the mortgage on your property, a property which could also be increasing in value. Even if you aren’t making a large profit month to month, you are likely going to see a return when you sell.

Preparing the property

Many real estate investors have heard of BRRR (buy, renovate, rent, refinance), but the one thing to consider is not to OVER renovate. Fresh paint and polished appliances make a big difference for a minimal amount of money. You don’t need to install new flooring, buy new appliances, and redo the kitchen to get a good renter.

The house merely needs to be ready to be lived in. Plumbing, electrical, HVAC, and the roof must be in good order. If those items are working well, post the “for rent” sign. Vacancy is the enemy, and a lengthy renovation will kill your profit in more ways than one.

Managing the property

Finally, you need to understand how to manage the property. There is more to it than finding a renter. You need a lease in place, a means for collecting rent, a system for maintenance requests, and knowledge of your renter’s legal rights.

Understand the rental laws in your area. You will need to know security deposit rules and tenant notice laws at a minimum.

You can find template leases everywhere. Make sure your lease is legal for your state. Every state is different and will have subtle differences.

Hiring D’Lux to help you succeed

Before making the decision to buy a rental, put a plan in place. Being a landlord can be a great investment to build your long-term net worth, but it can go badly if not taken seriously. Take the time to research, save, and plan before jumping into the world of rentals.

We welcome you to work with us on this venture!


D'Lux Real Estate Services

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