Maximizing Your Investment – Knowing When Your Home Is Ready To Rent
When most people purchase real estate, the intention is to settle down and live securely and happily for the rest of their lives. However, it’s important that you consider all of the positives of your investment and look for ways for your money to continue to generate returns on your behalf. Rather than being content to tuck in for your retirement, it’s worth considering whether your investment in a rental property can help promote your comfort.
The beautiful climate, modern amenities, and growing metro area in Phoenix are all significant contributors to the area being one of the fastest-growing for renters in the United States. Smart homeowners are tracking the rental trends and realizing that they may be able to turn their homes into destinations for renters, thereby utilizing every financial tool they have in order to guarantee comfort and security.
Before you make the decision to rent out your property, however, it’s essential that you do everything you can to prepare yourself for the challenges of being a landlord. Even if you feel like your home has served you well and comfortably for your entire life, there are certain standards you need to achieve before your home is ready to rent to tenants. Without taking the time to meet those standards can leave you exposed from a liability standpoint and can turn your attempts to generate revenue into frustrating challenges which you may not have been prepared for.
By following the suggestions below, you can be sure that your home will serve other people as well as it’s served you while, at the same time, functioning as a tool rather than a burden. Committing yourself to invest the right amount of time and energy can save you a great deal of stress down the line and can guarantee that your renters are as happy with your property as you are.
When you live in a home for a long period of time, some of the background factors which may be curious to new visitors can go nearly unnoticed. Sounds and smells blend into the character of the property and any concerns that you may have had tended to melt away. After all, if you’re secure and comfortable in your environment, the idea that your home’s quirks may be problematic might seem ridiculous. A sewer smell in your laundry room might be a cue to you that things are functioning properly rather than a potential red flag.
Getting your home ready to function as rental property requires you to address and remove any concerns that a tenant may have upon first entering. That means not only seeking out those unusual smells and sounds, but also engaging professionals to track down their sources and attempt to remove them from the environment. Indeed, in some cases, you might have issues that are sightless or odorless to normal human detection. Without professional investigations, an issue like a radon leak could go undetected for an extended period, leaving you and your potential renters exposed.
Engaging an environmental inspection firm can help guarantee that any potential problems are sourced, addressed, and professionally mitigated before a renter moves into your home. Environmental assessments can also help cut off potentially serious problems before they snowball; you might, for example, receive valuable information about energy conservation that you haven’t previously considered. In addition to serving as a marketing tool, environmental inspections can also assist you in lowering your rates with your insurance company. Being able to document that your home is free from outside worries can go a long way toward making your insurance company feel much more comfortable relaxing your rates.
Curb appeal is an important aspect of drawing in potential renters. Many people still look for homes by simply driving through desirable neighborhoods and looking for signs on properties which stand out to them. If your home doesn’t express the kind of energy and warmth on its exterior that you’re hopeful for renters to be able to feel on the interior, then you may find yourself struggling to leap off the listings pages. Making a bold statement with your landscaping can be a great way to catch eyes and catch renters.
The environment in Phoenix makes this a particularly pressing concern. A Phoenix property management company is likely to heavily invest in a maintenance crew for landscaping needs simply because the desert environment makes an oasis of green so incredibly rare. Rather than allowing yourself to simply fall behind your potential competitors, it’s vital that you make the decision to step up. As mentioned earlier, Arizona property management is a competitive market. Investment in second homes is common, so some flourishing green on the exterior of yours can go a long way toward making it a more attractive possibility than you expected.
The other benefit that investing in landscaping may have comes from your home’s value. Many people consider landscaping to be a temporary feature that doesn’t affect the long-term resale ability of a piece of property, but since the investment is so substantial, it can truly make a difference if the time comes that you decide to divest yourself of your property. In addition, proper landscaping includes improving the irrigation of your property to deflect water and other contaminants away from the home’s foundation. This guarantees that you can avoid serious environmental concerns and, instead, keep your home dry and secure.
The punishing desert heat in Arizona may be doing more damage to your home’s roof than you’re aware of. If you opted for a middle of the road roofing option when purchasing your property, then you may not have spent enough time studying the particular challenges of the market. As any Arizona property management firm can tell you, a lack of rain doesn’t necessarily correlate to a lack of roofing problems. In fact, in many cases, costs pile up even more quickly when a roof is simply inefficient at managing energy and holding in cool air.
Your potential renters will not only want comfort, but they’ll also have a concern about the efficiency of your heating and air system. If your roof hasn’t been replaced in several years, there may be leaks and drafts escaping in places that you’re entirely unaware of. This can leave you and your potential renters exposed to a wide variety of comfort and cost concerns that might turn your experience as a landlord into a struggle that you never previously anticipated. Rather than focusing on that struggle as an inevitability, a roof inspection can allow you to head it off at the pass.
Engaging a roofing firm that’s experienced at dealing with the particular climate in Phoenix can guarantee that you’re benefiting from the knowledge that comes with a career of dealing with desert struggles. A local roofer may be able to introduce you to modern technologies that are designed to repel heat from ever penetrating your roof, decreasing energy costs up front. They’re also more likely to correctly understand the movement of hot air that creates so many concerns for homeowners, and they can recommend some repairs that may save you for extensive and expensive work down the line.
Research Rental Brokers
Many private homeowners make the decision to transition their homes to rental properties while still maintaining full ownership and control. The explosion in the Phoenix property management scene makes this fully possible but also leaves homeowners in the position of having to conduct thorough research before turning over control of their real estate to someone that they may consider a stranger. If you’re feeling hesitant about engaging in a brokerage agreement, then it’s possible you haven’t done enough research to calm those concerns and truly feel engaged in the process.
It’s perfectly acceptable to shop around to find a company that you feel is most responsive to your needs. Having a full and fair assessment of your property before these meetings is important, as it will allow you and your potential broker to speak openly about some of the potential challenges which may come with listing your home. Additionally, this will prevent any aspect of those meetings from being awkward guesswork that’s conducted without sufficient guarantees being made about the marketability of your home. Property in Phoenix can be filled quickly, but it’s also vital to make sure it’s filled correctly.
Seeking out a company that makes you feel comfortable and secure is also an important part of reaching acceptance with the idea of a stranger living in your home. The personal and intimate attachment that many people have with their real estate can be a difficult barrier to break through, but without taking the time to find that comfort, you may struggle to generate the return on your investment that you deserve. The right property management company will be able to calmly address your concerns while simultaneously removing any residual fears you may have about the rental process itself.
Establish Your Tenant Requirements
The best relationship with a broker has the potential to be threatened if you find yourself dealing with the most troublesome tenants. While your broker will have a screening process in place that should help alleviate some of those concerns, it’s perfectly acceptable to set up your own restrictions. Keep in mind, however, that there are legal restrictions against discriminatory screening and other problematic behaviors that your broker can help you avoid. Aside from those extreme examples, however, you’re perfectly within your rights to want to have a thorough understanding of your potential tenants before you turn over the keys to your home.
Property management firms will surely conduct income verification checks and criminal background searches before agreeing to enter into a lease with a potential tenant. However, it’s perfectly acceptable for you to add your own restrictions to these processes. Most brokers, for example, are comfortable renting to lessors whose income exceeds three times the lease on a property. You can increase that requirement to four or even five times if you wish to be more discerning.
If you trust your brokerage firm, you’re more likely to lay the foundations for a successful relationship that guarantees smoother management of your property. That can be an important step in guaranteeing the necessary trust in preserving your investment.
Schedule Professional Cleaning
One of the most difficult adjustments for property owners to make when they transition into the rental market is accepting that their standards for their home may be slightly different from commercial expectations. Most people take pride in establishing and maintaining a well-appointed homestead, but clean to you may reveal some challenges or concerns to potential renters. Rather than allowing yourself to be exposed to potential embarrassments or awkwardness, it’s vital that look for professional assistance that should be able to smoother over any potentially rough edges.
By hiring a cleaning service, you can be sure that every nook and cranny of your home is displaying its best possible qualities to potential renters. Hiring a service also means investing in the accountability of others; your cleaning service will be responsible for maintaining the standards you set and guaranteeing that you never feel as though a cleaning isn’t up to your expectations. On the first visit from your cleaning service, you may even choose to be present when they arrive in order to walk them through some of the more troublesome spots in your home and point out areas which may require some additional attention.
Regularly scheduling a cleaning service can be a great way to remove a great deal of stress from managing your real estate. In fact, some landlords prefer to maintain the arrangement even after tenants move into the property, generally with some accommodation factored into the monthly rent. This can help guarantee that your home is being maintained to your standards even with other people living in it, and can also relieve some stress you may have about things going on inside the home when you’re not there. Knowing that your property is in good hands is a great way to make sure you’re enjoying your profits.
Scale Down Your Decorating
If you’ve lived in a home for an extended period of time, there’s no doubt that it has taken on at least some of your personality and taste. Whether you’re putting exotic paint colors on the walls or simply arranging furniture and fixtures in distinct ways, the little touches which make your personality stand out have the potential to be off-putting to your renters. In fact, in some cases, those small alterations which you find so charming have the potential of getting in the way of getting a lease signed.
Though it may be difficult and perhaps even emotionally challenging, it’s generally wise to remove your personal decorative touches from a home before you list it for rent. Your personal items will, of course, need to be removed in order to make room for those of your tenant, but your color schemes and unique touches may need to be removed as well. Consider re-painting bright interior walls with a more neutral tone in order to appeal to a broader swath of people. While some of the personality may disappear, your potential renters will instead be able to see themselves in your empty walls.
In some cases, you may be in a position where you’re offering your home to rent already furnished. If that’s your intention, then it may not be necessary or even possible to remove all traces of yourself from the property. You should, however, be willing to be flexible. All of your pieces of furniture may not fit into a space that your lessors are seeking to utilize. You should be careful not to take disagreements over personal taste as some kind of affront. Instead, accept that taste changes between people, and behave as a gracious host.
Verify You’ve Met Local Housing Codes
Restrictions around advertising for a rental property may be surprisingly strict. If, for example, your home has a basement that your family has traditionally used as a bedroom, it may not be permissible to advertise that space in that fashion in the real estate listing. Most local authorities have both comfort and safety restrictions on areas which may be advertised as sleeping areas, and without a proper fire escape or closet, your well-finished basement may have to be just another common area when you list the property.
Similarly, a fully functioning alarm system is a requirement of the housing authority in nearly every jurisdiction. In the event of an unthinkable disaster, your tenants have to be able to escape the property in an orderly and rapid fashion. That includes early warning and detection, which means a fully functioning fire alarm. In many cases, the alarm may even have to be centrally installed in order to guarantee that local authorities can be contacted as quickly as possible. These requirements are also likely to extend to other potential hazards, such as carbon monoxide and other toxic gasses.
Your electrical system will also likely undergo strict scrutiny before your home can be approved as a rental property. Many people live in a home for years in perfect comfort without considering any potential flaws and faults, but your local housing authority will certainly scour your home for those issues before they grant the go-ahead for the home to be used as a rental property. In many cases, it may be a sound investment to engage a professional electrician to inspect the system before the government does so. This can allow you to head off potential issues and fix them in a more cost-efficient manner.
Secure Your Own Long-Term Plans
Before you turn the keys of your home over to someone else for their comfort and shelter, it’s essential that you make sure your own situation is fully taken care of. Arizona property management is a burgeoning market not just because property owners are willing to rent out their own homes, but also because those same people then find themselves in the market for places to live. Unfortunately, in many cases, the process gets rushed, and you may find yourself with a perfect tenant eager to take over before you even know where to go.
Take the time to establish your own housing situation before you even start the process of transitioning your real estate into a rental property. While this may pose a few financial challenges, those are generally easier to overcome than the stress and anxiety that accompanies the feeling of being rushed out of your home. If you’ve established a particular area as the place where you and your family intend to spend your lives, it’s OK if it takes a period of time to relocate those feelings onto another suitable dwelling.
Ultimately, the decision to turn your home into a piece of rental property is one that should be done in order to guarantee your financial and emotional comfort. If you find either of those things being challenged or threatened in the process, then it’s likely the situation isn’t right for you. Instead of pressing ahead blindly, take the time to consider your situation fully and find a spot that brings the comfort you need. This can help guarantee you don’t feel rushed or challenged and can put you in a spot to enjoy the profits that come rolling in from your rental.