You may have found and bought an investment rental property in a neighboring city that initially appears great – low property cost, high rent, great residents, and just some minor maintenance needed. The drive is only about 45 minutes each way, and you intend to visit only about once per month. Everything looks great, so what could possibly go wrong?
To start with, tenants do not last forever. Indeed, the average resident for a single-family residence will stay for a year and a half. People purchase their own homes and move for job opportunities, and other life events can result in tenant turnover. Once your resident leaves, you have to get the property cleaned and prepared for the following tenants. You can hire professionals to do this job, but at the very least, you will need to drive to your rental property to do an evaluation of what needs to be done and then go back to ensure that your vendors did the work as anticipated. If your vendors have missed a few small things, then this might require additional trips on your part.
Once your property is prepared, you will need to advertise your property. Did you remember to take photos when you reviewed your vendors’ work? If not, then you will need to do another trip. Also, you have to make a trip for each showing. On average, it takes 7 to 15 showings to find a quality and qualified applicant. You could try to schedule several showings for the same day(s), but what works for your schedule often does not work for applicants’ schedule, and so you should plan on doing several trips.
When you have found a solid resident, an additional trip is needed for the move-in process. However, residents often have a number of follow-up requests soon after moving in, whether it is a question on how to operate the dishwasher or small maintenance requests, and so you should plan a handful of trips within the first few weeks after move-in.
Okay, you now have a great new resident who timely pays the rent. Everything goes well for a few months, but then the toilet overflows. Your resident has to be at work and is unable to meet the plumber, and so there is another trip for you. No problems for a few more weeks, then your resident has an altercation with a neighbor over the weekend, and there goes your Sunday. Everything goes smoothly for the following few weeks, but then a fuse blows and your resident can’t find the fuse box, shutting off the heater in the middle of the winter…and you receive a call at 3 am.
Although that 45-minute drive felt so easy when you first purchased the property, it’s now a drain on not only your time but also the cost of gas, as well as cause wear and tear on your vehicle. How much is your time worth? That 45-minute drive each way for all the various aspects that you have to take care of will add up.
Purchasing a property in a neighboring city can be a great investment with the low purchase price, high rent, and quality residents that you had initially anticipated. However, the time and cost of the day-to-day responsibilities can turn that dream investment into a nightmare.
The professionals at Real Property Management Raleigh can help. We show your investment property to prospective residents, screen applicants and handle the move-in, deal with resident emergencies and 3-am phone calls, and attend to maintenance issues. Additionally, we continually attend training in resident–landlord laws, such as fair housing and evictions, and are licensed and insured to manage your property successfully in compliance with regulations and statutes.
Have you calculated the real cost of your investment rental property? To see how much time you spend and how your time commitment compares to that of other landlords, contact us online or call us at 919-481-0008 today!
We are pledged to the letter and spirit of U.S. policy for the achievement of equal housing opportunity throughout the Nation. See Equal Housing Opportunity Statement for more information.