The first thing to consider is if the property is within a reasonable distance to manage are you willing to take on all the aspects of renting, These aspects are sumarized with Fix It! Rent It! Maintain It! For many the sheer distance leads them to make the decision to find a property manager. If you are going to tackle the job, you will want to familiarize yourself with the various laws that govern landlord / tenant relations.
The property will need to meet health and safety codes and you will need to plan for managing the repairs and maintenance. You will need documents for your screening process, a rental application and an authorization form. This will form the basis for creating your management system, which can provide a consistent and fair practice for all parties.
One of the main benefits of using a top-notched property manager is havng a management system that can be put in place rather quickly. Not to mention marketing technics (getting the word out) and market rent research (comparing other rental units) and processing applicants. Most property managers have processes and documentation which creates a consistent and fair system which to deal with the public. You can develop one for yourself over time if that is something of interest to you. You will want to treat your rental property like a business for long term success.
Rental income is your cash flow, if you decide to rent, will your rental income cover the ongoing expenses associated with the property? Will it cover mortgage payments, property taxes, and insurance? If not, determine whether you can afford to cover the difference on an ongoing basis. Will you cover the utility expenses or will it be the tenant's responsibility? Remember to plan for the anticipated annual maintenance expenses on the property might be. Most importantly, if the property were vacant even for a brief period, think about whether you could cover these expenses without a steady stream of rental income. There will be tax consequenses to consider for each property, whether you capture a tax gain or liability and you should seek the advice of a tax advisor or CPA.
Your proximity to your rental property will help you decide if you will be close enough to manage and service the property. It is very much like setting up a business from scratch and will require the creation of documents (forms and agreements) and the overall process used in placing tenants and this is no small job. Top notched property managers have processes and docs in place that can provide a turn key system. And finally, does the property cash flow make sense and is it sustainable even through vacancies.
These are just a few of the questions that owners deal when deciding to rent their property. How about you? is this something you want to take on or does it make more business sense to hire a professional property manager.
Call or contact the GotoGuy for a consultation and set a plan in motion to get the best tenant for your property.