Choosing The Right Rental Property

Choosing the right rental property isn’t really all that different from choosing the right home for yourself.  But there are some differences. With that in mind, let’s go over some of the big issues.

Curb Appeal
You want the home to look good in the marketing picture. A house framed by trees, but not covered up by them, looks great.  A nice yard.  Fenced really helps.

Updated Interior
Again, a prospective tenant’s first look is probably through pictures on some online advertisement. Clean wood floors or carpeting, clean walls or freshly painted and the kitchen and baths that are in line with the price range. For a $900/mo rental property you really don’t need granite counter tops, 20″ tile floors, etc.  What you do need is something that has been updated in the last 10 years.  No avocado counter tops, almond appliances,etc. But if your income property will rent for $1,800/mo, it better be as nice as the luxury apartments right around the corner for $300/mo less.

Functional Room Sizes
A 9′ x 9′ bedroom isn’t much of a bedroom.  Is it?

Solid Foundation
Here in Kansas City, we have basements and foundations that can move.  Your best house has a perfect foundation.  That’s usually a newer house at a higher price tag. I can usually live with some movement if it’s been addressed professionally.

Good Drainage
Water can destroy a house…and the solid foundation.  Pay attention to this.

Is the neighborhood solid?  Is it on the come? Or is it on the decline?  I’m looking for solid or on the come.  I don’t want investment properties that become melting ice cubes.

Get a good, boring house.  Let some of these “flipper” guys take the risks on the tough houses.  Be patient. Choose the right rental property and your real estate will help you get to that “Retirement worth having.”


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4 responses to “Choosing The Right Rental Property

  1. These are all good tips. When Those are the things i also look especially the updated interiors and neighbors. Let’s add the Rental Price and Fees, negotiating a lower rental price than advertised is acceptable.

  2. Sheila, thank you for the response. EVERYTHING in real estate is negotiable. 🙂

  3. Hey Chris thanks again for this wonderful list. I know that all this are important and necessary but if you have to choose between the neighborhood or the interior what do you think is more important. You see, i have the unfortunate job to decide whether to choose the home with everything mentioned in your article but is located in a pretty sketchy part of the city or to choose the one located in a perfect place but have an old tear down interior. I know that what I’m debating on is practically between security or something less costly. I just want to know the opinion of an expert before I actually make a decision.
    Thank you again Chris,

  4. Alden, it depends on what the goal is. If you are going to live there or if you are going to hold for quite a while and you want to have some decent appreciation, I’d go better neighborhood. I just like the security of knowing that my property(s) will be in neighborhoods that will hold with the rest of the city or get better. If the “sketchy” neighborhood is on the rise, that could be a consideration, also. But if it’s on the decline with no foreseeable turn-around, I’d probably shy away unless I am getting a screaming deal.

    Hope that makes sense.

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