flowerpots on apartment porch

Being a landlord isn’t always easy (or cheap!), but if your rental income covers your monthly mortgage costs, you've found a winner.


If you can find a property where the rental income covers the monthly costs, then you have a winning scenario.

Have you ever dreamt about buying a few units in the condo building downtown and converting them to rentals? Or that cute home near the college campus — just for investment and a side rental profit?

While rental properties do have pesky monthly costs and the sometimes-dreaded responsibilities of acting as a landlord, buying a rental property where rental income covers your monthly mortgage payments is a winning scenario. Here are seven key ways a property can exponentially boost its value — and your net worth!

1. Rental properties create cash flow

Cash flow is one of the cornerstone principles of all real estate wealth building, and rental properties create the opportunity for cash flow. A house or a building with multiple units can generate money each month that pays more than your carrying costs, mortgage, and expenses.

2. Positive cash flow pays off your mortgage early

Positive cash flow is created when rent from your tenants exceeds your property’s expenses. Put simply, it’s the money left over each month after all your property bills are paid. Having positive cash flow allows you to pay off mortgages early.

Expert tip: Work to reinvest any positive cash flow to pay down your mortgage balance as soon as possible. The sooner you can pay off your mortgage, the sooner you’ll have checks coming to you, not the bank.

3. Other people’s money pays off your mortgage

Someone else pays off your entire mortgage for you. As you use the rent money from your tenants’ payments toward your mortgage, you are actually paying down your loan amount. Keep that property rented for at least 15 to 20 years and you can own that house free and clear without a penny more out of your pocket. It’s a simple, but brilliant, concept.

4. Improving the property increases its value

Making the right improvements can increase your property’s value and protect you against downward swings in the market. Look to invest in properties where you can add equity and value by making smart, cost-effective improvements.

5. Market appreciation boosts your equity

Market inflation and simple supply-and-demand economics also increase home prices over time. The combination of appreciation from improvements and long-term market appreciation is a huge bonus for rental properties. It’s a profit, equity, and wealth builder.

6. Tax advantages keep more money in your pocket

Another aspect of wealth building, from an accounting standpoint: It’s “on paper.” There are tax benefits to owning rental properties, which include depreciation, rental expenses, and mortgage interest deductions you can take each year.

7. Increasing rents increases the value of your property

When you improve your property, you can increase your rents, which in turn increases the value of the property again. It’s a wonderful cycle. If you buy a run-down property that was poorly managed and you improve it, you not only stand to significantly boost its value and your equity, but you’ll also boost its rentability. You will be turning an underperforming rental property into a gem that attracts quality tenants and higher rents!

Do you have experience buying a rental property? Share your tips for success in the comments!