Many landlords are content with renting out a single property to keep things simple, but if you're more interested in expanding your investment portfolio, you may be ready to look for a new property. If you're going to make this type of commitment, remember the main rule of real estate: Location is key. Fortunately, you can easily research several aspects of a community to see if it's right for you.

1. High-Ranked Schools
Local schools are one of the main things renters look for in a community. Families with children want to know that their young ones will get a good education in a safe environment.
Fortunately, U.S. News & World Report ranks the nation's top schools each year, so it's easy to see where great schools are located. Try your best to purchase a property that's in a strong school district to attract great families. Because property values are often higher in these areas, you can expect a better return on investment.

2. Great Amenities
No matter where your rental unit is located, you can be sure that prospective tenants will be paying attention to the amenities a community offers.
Individuals looking at more expensive neighborhoods may wonder how close they are to a golf club, but those living in low-cost areas may simply want to be close to a community center or local park. Amenities vary by neighborhood, but you'll want to try to get the most bang for your buck in the area.

3. Low Crime Rates
Try to invest in property in an area with low crime rates. The Crime Reports website will show you all crime reports in any given area, and they even include addresses of registered sex offenders. A low crime rate is an ideal feature of a community, and researching area statistics is important because potential tenants are also checking these websites.
You could find an absolutely amazing property with a great price, but if people don't feel as if they'd be safe there, you're simply not going to rent it out. When you do find a great area with a low crime rate, it's in your best interest to do online background checks on all prospective tenants to ensure that it stays that way.

4. Local Government Services
The services that the local government provides are also important features of any community. Is citywide trash pickup available? What about public transit? Will tenants be able to get around the area easily?
There are other features, such as libraries and community parks, that local governments provide. While tenants might not always look into these before the move, it's better to be safe than sorry. The more services available in your neighborhood, the more appealing your property will be.

5. Nearby Businesses
If you're seeking out a property in a secluded area that's away from the hustle and bustle of the city, people may appreciate having to drive 20 minutes to the nearest fast food restaurant. Most renters, however, prefer to avoid a long commute to go grocery shopping, visit their bank, or grab a quick bite to eat. This means that finding a property with nearby businesses is usually ideal.

There are countless community amenities that will draw in new renters, and it's your job to seek out areas that provide the best of these features. By doing so, you'll greatly increase the likelihood that you'll see a quick return on investment. If you find appealing properties with these characteristics in mind, it can turn into a very profitable asset.

POSTED August 10 2015 1:51 PM

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