Now is a great time to invest in a rental property.

With home prices at an all time low and interest rates at the lowest they’ve been in years, it is the best time in years to invest in a rental property.

Here are some tips to finding your first investment property and take advantage of the opportunity of a lifetime.

First and foremost, partner with an experienced real estate agent who can help you locate promising properties.  It is important to look for a broker who will expect to do business with you again and again and will therefore be much more careful about what they recommend.

Determine the type of property which fits your investment strategy.  Decide if you will plan on being the landlord of the rental property or if you would like to flip houses instead.  If you are interested in being the landlord of the property, you should choose a home that is close to your primary residence.  Many options come to play if you will be the property manager – apartment buildings, commercial real estate or buying land to be developed.  If this is your first investment property, starting with a single residential house may be a perfect solution especially for this type of market.

For an investment property you will plan on renting out, location is key.  Choose a home in a high-rent or highly populated area, staying away from rural areas where fewer people are and there are a smaller pool of renters.  Homes with multiple bedrooms and bathrooms are important to families looking to rent.  If looking to rent to a family, making sure the home is in a good school district is also important.  The better the rental property as a package is to the renter, the more likely you are to please potential renters.

Before you start looking at rental properties, find out if you have enough assets to handle the ups and downs associated with investing.  You can speak with your lender or financial planner to see if it is feasible with your income to cover the few months out of the year there might be a vacancy.  It is a good idea to have about 6 months worth of mortgage payments saved up for the year.

Rental PropertyMake sure you have connections to various professionals to make needed repairs and improvements the rental property may need.  Bottom line, become knowledgeable.  The more you know, they better you will be able to handle problems that may come your way.  There are many issues that may arise from your rental property from tenant problems to major leaks within the home.

Buying an investment property is much different than purchasing your primary residence.  When buying a rental property, put all emotions aside and think with a business-related attitude.  And remember, The Lawhead Team is a great partner in finding the perfect investment property for you.  Because Two Lawheads Are Better Than One!TM