My wife and I purchased our first home to be used as a rental property seven years ago. That move was the culmination of several years’ worth of reading about and planning to own rental real estate. It took us that long to feel knowledgeable and confident enough to put a plan into action that would earn us a steady income stream aside from our normal careers.
For the most part, our experience has been a positive one. In fact, I’d say overall it has been great. However, we have had our share of challenges along the way, like:
…leaky copper pipes that had to be replaced in an entire house
…a dual tenant situation where one roommate left, leaving us with half the monthly revenue stream on that property until another roommate could be found
…tenants who don’t inform you of repair issues in a timely manner (“Really? It’s been leaking how long?”)
…tenants who won’t pay on time, or ever
…tenants, who by their actions force you into court (that’s a post in itself!)
…managing the finances to account for repairs, taxes and the house that sits vacant for months while you do said repairs or find a new tenant
…dealing with the emotions that come when facing these tough circumstances
…the time it took away from our already busy schedule to take care of all this
Are you prepared for all that and more? If you are game, then I have five suggestions that will help you manage through some of the dark times that will inevitably come. And I’ll tell you the sixth thing we’ve done recently that has taken our rental real estate business to the next level.