You may have found and bought an investment rental property in a neighboring city that originally seems great – low property cost, high rent, wonderful residents, and only some minor maintenance needed. The drive is just about 45 minutes each way, and you only intend to visit about once per month. Everything looks great, so what could possibly go wrong?
To begin with, tenants do not last forever. Certainly, the average resident for a single-family residence will stay for a year and a half. People purchase their own homes and transfer for job opportunities, and other life events can result in resident turnover. Once your resident leaves, the property needs to be cleaned and prepared for the next tenants. You can get professionals to do this work, but at the very least you need to drive to your rental property to examine what needs to be done and then return to ensure that your vendors did the work as anticipated. If your vendors have missed several small things, then this might require additional trips on your part.
When your property is ready, you must advertise your property. Did you remember to take pictures when you checked your vendors’ work? If not, then you need to do another trip. Also, for every showing, you will need to make a trip. It takes 7 to 15 showings on average to find a quality and qualified applicant. You could try to schedule multiple showings for the same day(s), but what works for your schedule usually does not work for applicants’ schedule, and so you should plan on numerous trips.
Once you have found a solid resident, you will need to make an extra trip for the move-in process. However, residents often have a couple of follow-up requests soon after moving in, whether it be a question on how to operate the dishwasher or small maintenance requests, and so you should plan a handful of trips within the first few weeks after move-in.
Okay, you now have a great new resident who timely pays rent. Everything goes well for a few months, but then the toilet overflows. Your resident has to be at work and is incapable of meeting the plumber, and so there is another trip for you. No problems for a few more weeks, but then your resident has an altercation with a neighbor over the weekend, and there goes your Sunday. Everything goes effortlessly for the next few weeks, but then a fuse blows and your resident can’t find the fuse box, shutting off the heater in the middle of the winter…and you get a call at 3 am.
Although that 45-minute drive appeared so easy when you first purchased the property, it’s now a drain on your time and gas costs, as well as wear and tear on your vehicle. How much is your time worth? That 45-minute drive each way for all the different aspects that you will need to take care of will add up.
Purchasing a property in a neighboring city can be an excellent investment with the low purchase price, high rent, and great residents that you had initially anticipated. However, the time and cost of the day-to-day obligations can turn that dream investment into a nightmare.
The professionals at Real Property Management Eclipse can help. We show your investment property to prospective residents, assess applicants and handle the move-in, deal with resident emergencies and 3-am phone calls, and attend to maintenance matters. Additionally, we continually attend training in resident-landlord laws, such as fair housing and evictions, and are licensed and insured to successfully manage your property in compliance with regulations and statutes.
Have you calculated the real cost of your investment rental property? To see how much time you spend and how your time commitment compares to that of other landlords, contact us online and call us at 425-209-0252 today.