If you have found and purchased an investment rental property in a neighboring city you may be initially excited about all its prospects such as low property cost, high rent, great residents, and only some minor maintenance that needs to be done. It is a bit of a drive, but you figure that 45 minutes each way will be well worth the investment. However, driving costs add up quickly, and you may start to rethink your decision.
To begin with, residents do not last forever. The average resident for a single-family residence only last around a year and a half. This could be because residents purchase their own homes, move for a job opportunity, or have other life events that can cause them not to renew a lease and move out. After the resident leaves, you will need to visit the property to ensure that it is properly cleaned and prepared for your next set of residents. While you can hire professionals, you will still want to document and evaluate the work regardless of whether you clean it yourself.
Once your resident leaves, you will need to get the property cleaned and prepared for the next residents. You can hire professionals to do this work, but at the very least you will need to drive to your rental property to do an evaluation of what needs to be done, and then take a return trip to ensure that your vendors did the work as expected. If your vendors have missed a few small things, then this may require additional trips on your part.
Advertising your property is the next step in helping make your rental successful, and this again requires you to make that 45-minute drive to your property. Did you remember to take pictures when you inspected your vendors’ work? If not, then you will need to make another trip. Also, for each showing, you will need to make a trip. On average it takes 7 to 15 showings to find a quality and qualified applicant. You could try to schedule multiple showings for the same day(s), but often what works for your schedule does not work for applicants’ schedule, so you can expect to take several trips.
Once you have screened a potential resident and they have signed the lease you will need to make an additional trip for the move-in process. However, residents often have a number of follow-up requests soon after moving in, whether it be a question on how to operate the dishwasher to small maintenance requests, and so you will need to plan a handful of trips within the first few weeks after move-in.
Okay, you now have a great new resident who pays the rent on time. Everything goes smoothly for a few months, but then the toilet overflows. Your resident must be at work and is unable to meet the plumber, so there is another trip for you to visit the property. No problems for a few more weeks, but then your resident has an altercation with a neighbor over the weekend, and there goes your Sunday. Everything goes smoothly for the next few weeks, but then a fuse blows, your resident cannot find the fuse box, which shuts off the heater in the middle of the winter…and you get a call at 3 am.
That 45-minute drive appeared to be so easy when you first purchased the property, but it’s now a drain on not only your time but also the cost of gas, as well as wear and tear on your vehicle. How much is your time worth? That 45-minute drive each way for all the various aspects that you will need to take care of will add up.
Purchasing a property in a neighboring city can be a great investment with the low purchase price, high rent, and solid residents that you had initially anticipated. However, the time and cost of the day-to-day duties can turn that dream investment into a nightmare.
The professionals at Real Property Management California Coast can assist you. We will show your investment property to prospective residents, screen applicants, handle the move in, deal with resident emergencies and 3 am phone calls, and attend to maintenance issues. Additionally, we continually attend training in resident-landlord laws, such as fair housing and evictions, plus we are licensed and insured to manage your property successfully in compliance with regulations and statutes. To learn more about the services we offer and contact us or call us at 310-535-2150 today.
We are pledged to the letter and spirit of U.S. policy for the achievement of equal housing opportunity throughout the Nation. See Equal Housing Opportunity Statement for more information.