Costs to Consider when Purchasing Rental Investment Property
Updated: Feb 6
The process of searching for investment rental property can be exciting; however, before you get too excited it is important to run some preliminary numbers to make sure you know exactly what you are facing .
First, you need to carefully examine potential rental income. If the property has already served as a rental property, you need to take the time to find out how much the property has rented for in the past and then do some research to determine whether that amount is on target or not. In some cases, properties may have rented for lower than they should have while in other cases a property may be over-rented. Look at comparables in the area to make sure you know whether the property in question is on target; otherwise you may find that the amount you think you will be receiving in rental income is unrealistic.
Mortgage interest is another area that should be considered carefully. Make sure you know and understand prevailing interest rates as well as the details of your specific loan because mortgage interest is the biggest cost you will face when purchasing investment property. First, understand that homes and duplexes tend to have loan structures that are similar to any mortgage loan. With a larger property; however, such as a triplex; rates tend to be higher. If you are looking at commercial property with even more units; the matter of terms and rates is completely different.
Taxes are another issue. Many people use the taxes from the year in which the property was purchased and assume they can use these figures to estimate expenses. This is not always the cases because taxes do not remain the same; they typically change every year.
One area which many people fail to take into consideration is the cost of the property being vacant. While you would certainly hope that your property would remain rented all the time, this simply is not realistic. There will probably be times when your property will be vacant. Generally, you should assume that your property will have an average 10% vacancy rate.
The cost of tenant turnover should also be taken into consideration. This is often a big surprise to many landlords who assume they will rent out their properties and their tenants will remain in the property for some time. Even more of a surprise is how much it costs to prepare the property to rent out again. Just a few of the costs include not only advertising for a new renter but also repainting, cleaning, etc. If damage was done to the property, the total cost of repair may not be fully covered by the security deposit you charged.
Of course, the cost of insurance should also be taken into consideration. Keep in mind that the insurance for investment properties is usually higher than an owner occupied property. It's important that landlords seek insurance to cover the liability risk. #landlordinsurance
Utility costs are another area that are frequently under-estimated. If the property has already served as a rental property make sure you find out exactly what the owner pays for and what the renters pay for.
Finally, take into consideration the costs of #propertymanagement if you will not be managing the property yourself.
Tracy J. Brown