You may have located and purchased an investment rental property in a neighboring city that initially seems great – low property cost, high rent, great residents, and only some minor maintenance that needs to be done. When you originally plan to only visit your investment property once or twice a month, driving to and from your property doesn’t seem too bad. However, a 45-minute drive can add up quickly and you may want to reconsider.
It is important to remember that residents do not last forever, and this coming and going of new residents can cause multiple trips to a rental home. The average resident for a single-family residence will last a year and a half. People purchase their own homes, move for job opportunities, and other life events can result in resident turnover.
After your resident leaves, you will need to make sure that the property is properly cleaned and prepared for the newest residents to move in. While you can hire professionals to do this work, 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 a return trip to ensure that your vendors did the work as expected. If your vendors have missed a few small things, then this may require additional trips on your part.
Once your property is ready, you will need to advertise your property. Did you remember to take pictures when you inspected your vendors’ work? If not, then you will need to do another trip. Also, for each showing, you will need to make a trip. On average it takes 7 to 15 showings to find a quality and qualified applicant. You could try to schedule multiple showings for the same day(s), but often what works for your schedule does not work for applicants’ schedule, and so you should plan on several trips.
Once you have found a solid resident, you will most likely need to make an additional trip for the move-in process. However, residents often have a number of follow up requests soon after moving in. You may get questions about how to operate the dishwasher to small maintenance requests, and so you will need to plan a handful of trips within the first few weeks after move-in.
It feels great once you have a resident who pays the rent on time and everything goes smoothly for a few months, but then the toilet overflows. Your resident must 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, but then your resident has an altercation with a neighbor over the weekend, and there goes your Sunday. Everything goes smoothly for the next few weeks, but then a fuse blows, but your resident cannot find the fuse box, shutting off the heater in the middle of the winter…and you get a call at 3 am.
So the initial thought that a 45-minute drive seemed 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 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 will need to take care of will add up.
Purchasing a property in a nearby city can be a great investment with the low purchase price, high rent, and solid residents that you had initially anticipated. However, the time and cost of the day-to-day duties can turn that dream investment into a nightmare.
The professionals at Real Property Management East Cobb can assist. We will 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, plus are licensed and insured to manage your property successfully in compliance with regulations and statutes.