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How First-Time Investors Can Start Off on the Right Foot

Purchasing your first investment property can be downright overwhelming. You need to select a property, figure out how to finance this investment, learn about rental property tax and learn the ropes of managing it later. Whether you’re aiming for a short- or long-term rental, here are important insights to help ensure your endeavor is a successful one.

Stake Your Claim

Location is the first order of business any time someone is purchasing property, and this is especially true when you’re interested in an investment property. It’s important that your selection doesn’t want for renters, so do some hard thinking about what neighborhood is most appealing.

Understand Your Role

Sometimes first-time investors are surprised by how much work goes into owning a rental property. Whether you’re planning on running a vacation rental or becoming a landlord, there are responsibilities involved with tending guests and tenants, as well as overseeing the property itself.

There might be late-night calls for things like plumbing problems, you could have bad guests or tenants, and you need to advertise the rental. On top of all that, you need to be prepared to fill empty slots -- or cover the expense of leaving your property vacant. There is substantial physical upkeep involved as well, and tax ramifications that go hand-in-hand with investment property ownership.

Hire Some Help

You might be thinking that you’re not ready to quit your day job to tend a rental full-time, or perhaps the neighborhood you have in mind is pretty far from your personal residence. Or perhaps you’re truly diving in deep, choosing a multi-unit rental for your first go-round. In circumstances like these, sometimes the best option for investors is to hire a property manager.

As The Balance Small Business explains, a professional property manager can be a particularly good resource for first-time investors, especially if there are complications due to location and so forth. A property manager can take on the arrangements for maintenance, tenant checks, advertising, and beyond. Think things through carefully, and if you elect to hire help, check references and ensure expectations are clear on both sides of the equation. Be sure to include the cost of a pro when configuring your venture’s budget.


Sometimes first-time investors are ready to take on the whole kit and kaboodle. Maybe you have experience with managing properties in the past, or perhaps you’re a handyman and are looking forward to tinkering with the property routinely. Or maybe the property you’re considering is right next door. Whatever the case, if you’re new to investing and managing properties, and you decide to handle everything yourself, you’ll be best off with all the available tools at your fingertips.

While the first tools that might come to mind are those in your toolbox, Software Advice points out technology offers several solutions for those in the role of property manager. From scheduling maintenance to screening tenants, there are plenty of apps available to keep tabs on everything right from your phone.

Standing Out from the Crowd

Don’t forget that it’s important to plan for ways to make your rental property shine, especially if you’re planning to use it as a short-term rental. To help keep your place regularly booked, you’ll need to offer amenities that make your property compelling. Maybe comfortable outdoor furniture and a grill, a hot tub, a washer and dryer, or even a pool or ping-pong table. Wifi is also a must, as are entertainment options like easy-to-use streaming devices and gaming consoles. These might seem like trivial items, but these are some of the most common amenities travelers want in a rental.

Purchasing an investment property can be pretty intimidating your first time around. Think carefully about what location will work best for you, decide how you’re going to handle management, and ensure you have the help you need to get things done properly. With well-thought-out plans, your venture is sure to be a success.

Guest Blog: Katie Conroy  |  |

Code of the West Real Estate
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