A rental property will often sell for less than an owner-occupied home, which means that some rental properties can be a great deal for home buyers. Still, rental properties can have specific problems. Home buyers must investigate their purchase thoroughly before finalizing a deal.
Get a Good Inspection
Rental properties can have maintenance problems for a variety of reasons. Tenants may not take care of their home as well as a homeowner might, because they feel little or no investment in the property. Sometimes property owners feel less responsibility to keep up with a rental home because they aren’t there to live with the problem personally. Some property owners are never made aware of the problems with a rental home, while others may struggle financially if the tenants fail to make payments on time. Lack of funds can lead to lack of money to perform repairs. Thus, a rental home may have maintenance problems that should be identified and addressed before the home sale is final.
To start, get a good inspection with a reputable home inspector. Be present for the inspection and ask a variety of questions as the inspection is taking place. The home inspector may identify a variety of issues with the property, but not all issues will be problems that must be addressed right away. Asking the home inspector questions can help you identify the real, urgent problems from the less important issues.
If the home inspection does turn up problems with the home, act fast to get estimates for repair. Have contractors come to the home to take a look at the problems and suggest solutions and the cost. Once you know how much needs to be fixed and how urgently, work with your real estate agent to either negotiate repairs before proceeding with the purchase, or work with your real estate agent to negotiate a lowered price to compensate for the cost of repairs.
Visit the House Without Tenants Around
Tenants currently living in a rental home may not want the home to sell, and they may not be the best people to have on hand when looking at the home. Tenants may say misleading or inaccurate things about the functionality and upkeep of the home. Other times tenants may simply get in the way, making it difficult to see parts of the house in peace and quiet. If possible, make arrangements to see the house without tenants on the property.
Check Out the Neighborhood
Rental homes tend to be in neighborhoods with other rental properties. This leads to a lot of fluctuation in the neighborhood and can affect home values overall. Talk to a real estate agent to find out whether or not the home in question is in a neighborhood dominated by rental properties when checking for other statistics about the neighborhood, and if so, keep this in mind as you decide how to proceed. This may not affect your decision to buy the house, but it can affect the future of the neighborhood where the home is located.
Ask Advice From Your Real Estate Agent
A rental property can be a good deal for the right buyer. After a good inspection and good research, your real estate agent can help you decide whether or not a rental property is right for you. Work closely with your real estate agent to buy the best property for your needs.