When you first dive into Seattle property management and own your first rental property, it’s easy to stress out. There are many pitfalls, and if you don’t know what you’re doing, you’ll fall into them. Whether it’s properly optimizing your listings, or simply dealing with renters, knowing the “do’s and don’ts” can be a gamechanger.
In today’s post, we’re going to give some tips on managing your first home or unit.
1. Get the Right Financing
Your mortgage is likely going to be your highest cash expenditure. Before you invest, it’s important that you focus on a financing strategy. You will want to answer these questions:
· How’s your personal credit? If your credit is subpar, you will need to pay more for the same interest rate.
· Do you have cash reserves in the event of extended vacancies? If you’re unable to rent out the unit, having cash reserves to pay the mortgage will keep your head above water.
· Is there a balloon payment? A balloon payment is a mortgage or commercial loan payment that is due at the end of the term.
Many first-time landlords spend much of their time finding the best-priced houses or apartment units, but they don’t spend much time securing the best financing deal possible. When looking for a home or unit to purchase, don’t merely look at what’s for sale online, take some time to do what’s needed to get the best financing possible.
2. Understand Landlord-Tenant Law
When owning and renting an estate, it’s crucial that you fully understand landlord-tenant law. This law will cover things like maintenance, security deposits, eviction procedures, and more. Familiarize yourself with federal and state regulations for landlords. Be sure not to violate discrimination laws pertaining to race, religion, sex, nationality, disability, or any other status protected by the state.
3. Know What Will Rent
Do some research before you purchase a home or building. Look online and find properties that are similar to the one you’re considering. Notate how much the rent is going for and check to see if the owners are offering incentives like free months (a sure sign of a weak housing market).
4. Prioritize Rent Collection
Your rent is your source of revenue. If your tenants are consistently late on rent, then you must pursue what’s due and should consider issuing late charges. While you should be as fair as possible when
dealing with renters, if they are late on their payment, make sure they communicate with you ahead of time. However, if they stop paying rent without answering your texts and calls, and this goes on for an extended period of time, you may need to start eviction proceedings.
5. Know How to Market Online
Even in 2019, there are a great number of owners who still advertise in their local newspaper or with neighborhood flyers. In the digital era, you must know how to market your rental, and you must leverage online marketing to advertise it.
Do you need to manage your property but lack the time or expertise? Real Property Associates Inc. can manage your residential or commercial properties, like condos, apartment buildings, and smaller office buildings.
With Real Property Associates Inc., your first rental investment doesn’t need to be stressful. For more information, call (206) 523-0300 or visit our website.