Credit: a rental property appears, in many ways, like a great venture, especially when it comes to building wealth over time.  While most people do have the means and capability to do venture down the road of becoming landlord, it may be more work than many expect.  

If you're thinking of becoming a landlord, consider these points (many of them inspired by Zillow) before you get yourself into something that can be time consuming, stressful, and potentially detrimental to your finances.

1.  You'll have to fix things.  A lot.

If you aren't a fan of weekend or late room calls asking you to come fix a busted furnace or deal with a clogged shower drain, investing in a real estate property may not be the best option for you.  One-hour fixes are lucky fixes at best, and many times you may have to call in professionals to assist you - which you'll be paying for.

Make sure you're willing to spend some of your free time - and this means Thanksgiving, Christmas, Super Bowl Sunday, and any other time of day or night - being able to come and fix problems that your tenants have.

2.  You'll need to have some free time to begin with.

If you're someone who works excessively busy work weeks (read: 60+ hours a week), and/or you have kids, and/or you are managing a business, investing may not be the best call for your lifestyle.  Properties often need some TLC.  Yes, sometimes you get lucky, but it is definitely the exception to the rule when this occurs.  Zillow says landlords should expect to be called to a property usually around 4-6 times a year if not more, and some of these times will be very time consuming.

In short, if you feel you're a relatively "busy" person, real estate may not be the best idea for you.

3.  You'll need to have some savings to dedicate to the property.

As we venture into the spring and summer seasons, the housing market reaches opportune conditions for sellers (as we've recently mentioned).  In preparation to sell your home, you may be thinking of doing some home improvement projects to help better sell your home.  Which home improvement projects yield the best results without breaking the bank?  

As a home seller, there are two paradigm shifts that will make you successful on the market:

  • You are turning your home over to the market.  Act like it is no longer your residence, but your product. That will make home life a little more difficult, but will result in money in your pocket.
  • Start "moving" on now.  You're going to have to box up all of your things to move, start by packing three to six boxes before you go on the market, to reduce clutter in your home and create negative space.

Here are 7 specific projects we recommend.

1. Update your bath with quick, inexpensive fixes

Updating your bath rarely needs a complete gutting and replacement of fixtures.  Something as simple as replacing your dated toilet seat for $30 and 10 minutes of your time can do wonders for a buyer's first impression of the room.

Consider replacing your shower curtain and liner if they're worn (no one likes seeing any mildew when they're house hunting), and recaulk around the tub for a cleaner, more finished look.  An updated shower head will also add a luxury feel to your bathroom.

2. Clear out (or hide) unwanted clutter

Old newspapers, unread mail, and old shampoo bottles lining your bathtub are only some of the many ways your home has likely accumulated clutter over time - and will not win you any favors showing your home.  Take some time and analyze the clutter level of each room in your home.  Do I really need to have all of those papers on my desk?  Are there too many coats and shoes in the foyer?  Box, donate, and toss.  The more the better, usually.

3. Hide personal items

On the same vein as #3, having too many "personal" objects laying around your place doesn't bode well for selling your home.  While family photos and wedding invitations covering the fridge may feel homey and inviting to you, when a potential buyer enters a space for the first time, you want them to be able to visualize the space as their own, not like they are in the presence of someone else's well loved home.

Spring is the time to sell your home.As we gradually emerge from winter into the beginnings of spring, many homeowners wonder if this time of year is opportune for selling a home.  According to the KCM crew, spring is a great opportunity for homeowners to sell.  Here are 5 great reasons to sell your home in the spring.

  1. The most serious buyers are out now.  The market heats up April - June, and many buyers are aware of this.  For this reason, ready and able buyers with a serious need are the ones that will be looking at your property (and make the process easier for you!)
  2. There is less competition.  Mid-spring, housing supply typically begins to increase.  The more choices your buyers have, the more competition you will have to sell your place.  The earlier in spring you are able to sell the better.
  3. The process is quicker.  In the beginnings of spring, banks are relatively light on loan inquiries, which means your paperwork will be at the top of the stack.  This will not be the case as summer approaches, so it is beneficial to sell earlier to ensure an expedited process.

A new product is on the line that provides security, automation, and and environmental monitoring - all with one little device, and an app on your phone.

"Piper" is the smart technology that allows you to interact with your home, no matter how far you are from it.  (The dream when it comes to showing and staging your home.)  Homes installed with Piper are fully accessible from afar, and fully responsive to the environmental changes around it. 

Want to turn on the lights, even if you aren't there?  No problem.

With Piper's built in "Z-Wave" functionality (an outlet adapter), you can turn lights, air conditioners, fans, and more, on and off from afar.  This is exceptionally useful for you when you're showing your home, as you don't have to leave your lights switched on for potential buyers, or have your real estate agent arrive early to do so.  With Piper, you're in control.

Want to see what's going on in your home while you're not there?  Flip on the app.

Real Group Real Estate

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