OK, so you’ve read this article about how renting > selling. You’ve taken our quiz. You’ve done your research, and you’re ready to be a landlord. But before you turn over the keys to the experts at MCL Property Management, you might need to take a few more steps.
1. Make Sure You’re Not Violating Your Mortgage.
If you have a typical mortgage, it might stipulate that your home needs to be a primary residence for at least 12 months before you start using it to make money.
If you’ve lived there for more than a year and now want to turn it into an investment property, great — you will have lower rates than if you took out a mortgage on a home destined to be an investment from Day One. But if you want to rent it out before your first year is up, you could be accused of mortgage fraud.
Before moving forward into your new landlord journey, it’s in your best interest to read your contract or reach out to your lender for clarification.
2. Don’t Make Yourself Homeless.
If you are planning to rent out what is currently your primary residence, you will need to see if you can get another mortgage for a new home. The bank might take your expected rental income into consideration, or it might not, so talk to your lender before you start shopping for a new abode.
3. Ask Permission From Your HOA
Some neighbors might not like living near a rental. If you have a homeowner’s association, your neighborhood might literally prohibit it — or put a limit on the percentage of homes that can be rentals. Oh, and while we’re talking about an HOA, don’t forget to factor those fees into the price you set for your rental.
4. Secure a Permit (If Needed)
Your city or town might require rentals to operate with a permit. If so, they’ll send out an inspector to make sure the home’s systems are in safe, working order.
5. Apply Some Elbow Grease
Your jungle-green sunroom is just your style. Aaaand that’s the problem. A prospective tenant is looking for a place that they can make their own, so push your personal feelings aside and slap on some neutral paint. Fresh landscaping also goes a long way.
Refrigerator knocks? Long wait time for hot water? Electrical plugs that are for decoration only? All those little quirks you’ve learned to live with could deter a new tenant. Get it fixed before the listing goes live.
6. Hire a Property Management Company.
We could make this checklist endless by adding details about tax forms, liability, routine maintenance and landlord’s insurance. But, we’ll just advise you to call MCL Property Management and start raking in the extra cash.