Believe me when I tell you that all houses are not alike. And as crazy at it sounds, renters are picky, and are getting more so every year. So choosing the right types of houses to buy matters a lot to your long-term success and profitability.
Thankfully though, picking the right types of houses is not rocket science either.
Over the last seven years, through trial and error, and through exchanging notes with other rental property owners in the suburbs, I’ve developed the ideal set of criteria for rental houses.
This criteria does two things – it takes into consideration the wants and needs of a picky rental market, and it takes into consideration the wants and needs of you and I as property owners.
Because you need to think about marketability to renters when you buy. You can get a great deal on a house, but if it’s some weird or non-standard configuration you’re not going to have any success renting it.
And also because you need to think about repairs and maintenance, as well as your eventual re-sale, before you buy as well.
For example, you should never buy a rental house with either a flat roof or a roof with too high of a pitch to it.
Because if you hold onto the house for any real length of time, the odd are that you’re going to have to replace the roof at some point. And flat roofs, and roofs with excessive pitches can cost two to three times as much to replace as a standard pitched roof.
And you don’t get to charge a higher rent for replacing the roof, no matter what it costs.
So what you buy is as critical to your success as where you buy it.
My recommendation to you, and what I buy exclusively, consists of this:
• Ranch, bungalow, or colonial style
• Brick exterior
• Greater than 1000 square feet
• 3 or 4 bedrooms above grade
• a full basement
• a garage
• a fenced yard
• a normal pitched roof
• in a neighborhood and not on a busy street
Even if they meet the above criteria, however, stay away from weird configurations and additions.
Also, stay away from less popular layouts like tri-level and quad-level designs. People don’t like buying them and they like renting them even less.
Stick to this list and you’ll maximize your appeal to the renter market, and you’ll maximize the marketability of the house when you eventually want to sell it.
Tune in tomorrow for Step 4: DON’T Deal With Section 8