There's no question: rental properties are a booming prospect in Sacramento. After all, over one third of Sacramento's households are renters. With that market size, it's clear that you could find a lot of success by investing in rental properties.
But while there are many opportunities for investment, there are many ways it could go wrong. Being an investor means knowing everything from housing laws to the local climate.
Don't know these ins-and-outs of your rental properties? It could cost you in the thousands.
How do you avoid these costs? Keep reading to learn the five mistakes to avoid when investing in rental properties.
1. Not Enough Research
Research is essential for determining a rental property's value, marketability, and maintenance needs.
Put yourself in the shoes of a potential tenant. Beyond the rent and property features, what else would you want to know before moving in?
What's the reputation of the neighborhood? Does it have any unique features? For example, if your property is near a university, you could market to students.
Is there any long-term construction going on nearby? Is the property at risk of flooding or other natural disasters? These factors can affect the value of your real estate.
When determining a fair market rent, it's best to consult with experts. Property managers can use their knowledge of the local market to optimize your rent.
2. Being Guided By Emotions
When talking to prospective tenants, it's important to remember that appearances aren't everything. While some may be friendly, it doesn't guarantee that they've been reliable with rent in the past.
A thorough screening process is essential for making sure you find good tenants. Many property management groups offer these services. The best of these groups will check factors like criminal history and gross income.
3. Ineffective Marketing
It can't be understated: visuals are the first chopping block for prospective tenants. Are your property photos looking more like a horror movie set than a dream home? Consider the lighting, framing, and even furnishing of your property photos.
93% of all prospective tenants look for housing online. Don't want to be left with that 7%? Talk with a property management group about how to get on sites like Zillow or Rent.com.
4. Losing Track of Housing Laws
Fair housing laws are always evolving at the federal, state, and local levels. It's understandably hard to keep track of them: there's a lot of legal jargon involved in these changes. But not giving them a thorough reading could cost you thousands in fines.
Because there are so many of these laws to keep track of, it's best not to go it alone. Luckily, property management companies can monitor these laws on your behalf.
5. Cutting Corners on Maintenance
Property maintenance is no light matter and should never be a low priority for investors.
You may think of the "DIY" route as cost-effective, but doing maintenance yourself can take up a lot of your time. Being a rental property investor is already a busy job without making repairs.
Finding a reliable and fair-priced contractor is easier when working with a property management group. This is because they already have a network of long-term relationships with contractors.
Ready to Invest in Rental Properties?
Now that you know these five major mistakes to avoid, you're ready to embrace real estate. The market is thriving in Sacramento, and with the right guidance, you can make a sizeable profit.
That being said, there are a lot more questions to cover if you want to be an investor in rental properties. How do you coordinate showings? What can you do to make sure that tenants stay for the long-term?
Looking for some answers? Need some insider tips before investing in a Sacramento property? Contact us to learn more!