Having rental properties is a great way to have a steady monthly income. Beginning real estate investors typically stick to rental properties in their own area because they are familiar with the market and can easily check on their properties and make some repairs if necessary. Once you have enough experience and the means to expand your territory, here are 6 tips to be a great Grand Rapids landlord when you live out of state.
Know the Local Market and State Regulations
It is important to know the local market of Grand Rapids in Michigan. This will require a little bit of research and possibly a reconnaissance visit or two to get a good feel for the area. Give JTK Property Solutions a call today at (616) 333-9850 to discuss the local market of Grand Rapids to find the best place to look for rental properties. You will have to know the area’s regulations to make sure your property is following the proper code at all times. It may also be necessary to include certain verbiage in your leases as well to make sure the tenants also follow the regulations.
There are so many things you are responsible for as the landlord of a property; some of these include the mortgage payment, property taxes, maintenance and repair work, selecting tenants, and checking up on your property. A great property management company in the Grand Rapids area can help you with some of these items, but you should still be prudent and double-check all of your ducks are in a row because you are ultimately responsible.
Prepare a Budget
Even if you are using a property management company, you will still need to keep track of your own finances for every rental property you own. You will need to make sure the property maintains a positive cash flow, otherwise, it’s not worth the investment! Make sure to factor in any traveling or management expenses on top of the mortgage payment and taxes, and keep a modest repair fund available for each property. Your budget should be reviewed every quarter at a minimum to make sure your real estate investment is performing as it should.
Keeping up to date with the latest real estate technology will keep you on top of your game, especially when dealing with multiple properties in multiple states. This will save you a ton of time and energy. You can use websites for general investment knowledge and property research, find landlord tips and tricks, access market area analytics, find additional rental properties, locate the latest legal advice and forms, perform credit and background checks, and be in contact with local real estate professionals and lenders. You will even be able to access your property management’s landlord portal if they have one available!
Professional Property Management
As an out of state landlord, it would be in your best interest to make room for a professional property management company in your budget for each property. Property managers in the Grand Rapids area will be able to check on your properties on a regular basis to make sure nothing goes awry. This will also give your tenants a local contact who will be able to take quick action on any property violations or urgent repairs needed at the property.
If your property does need repairs, it would be worth it to hire a handyman to go to the property to do any repairs or remodeling necessary, that is, if the property management company is unable to hire one for you. You can save a lot of time and effort by hiring help to fix or maintain your properties. You can spend more time focusing on your budgeting and maybe finding more rental properties!