When you look at buying a property to rent out, one of the many things to consider is location. Depending on the type of tenant you hope to attract you'll look at what surrounds the property, the kind of neighborhood it's in, the general price range that other rentals charge in the area and what you're planning to charge for it, and much more. You'll also need to make one more very important decision: do you plan to buy locally or will be you a long distance landlord?
There are advantages to both, depending on how you plan to approach it. Long distance landlording can often be made much easier by hiring a property management company. They will be able to respond to immediate problems and be your eyes and ears to make sure nothing is going wrong. Some landlords do choose to avoid management companies even at a distance, but the work load will certainly be greater. If you choose to go this route, make sure you reach out to other landlords in the area and are well aware of the best contractors to use in the area so that you don't mistakenly hire someone that isn't fit for the job.
When you choose to invest close to home you'll have a better chance of being able to cut a few costs here and there in maintenance. If you're handy with small fixes, this may be ideal for you. If you're within driving distance of the property and something happens, you may be able to repair it quickly for the tenant, making it easier for them and cheaper for you.
If you invest locally or at a distance, make sure you know the pros and cons of each and what you're willing to handle as a landlord.
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