Renting Out Your Old Home: The Ultimate Guide to Becoming a Landlord

Investing in real estate is a great way of building wealth. To start building your real estate portfolio, one smart strategy is to hold onto your starter home after you build or buy your second home. In a healthy real estate market, you will quickly build equity and use the rent to cover your mortgage. However, while becoming a landlord and making money may seem easy, there’s more to succeeding as a landlord. Therefore, before you take the plunge, you may want to read the following guide on how to rent out your first home.

Understand your responsibility as a landlord

First, you should determine whether you can handle the obligations of a landlord. There are several benefits of renting your property, like generating income, deterring vandalism that often happens in empty homes and the ease of tax breaks. However, as a landlord, you have the responsibility to repair and maintain the property, pay your homeowners insurance, collect rent, and screen tenants.

Prepare your home

In the competitive real estate market, you won’t be able to rent out your home as-is. Tenants are choosy and have high expectations. Therefore, you will need to make your home more appealing by deep cleaning your home and ensuring that all appliances are in good working condition. Get electrical installation condition reports to ensure that all electrical appliances, fuse boxes, and wires are working properly.

Decide how much rent you will receive

You can’t just decide how much rent you will charge. Rent is controlled by the market, and the only way to come up with a fair market rent is to do some research. Ideally, you should rent your house for the same amount as other properties in a similar location, condition, and size.

Conduct a background check

There are several ways to run a background check on a potential tenant. Additionally, most property management applications have screening tools that can help you. However, before you even start screening your rental tenants, you should first decide what background and credit information you will allow. Generally, some of the things you should look closely include:

  • Prior evictions

  • Felonies

  • Bankruptcy

  • Criminal record

  • Bad financial history

After you identify the right tenant, inspect the property and take photos of the house before move-in. Remember to also ask for a reasonable security deposit and agree on the appropriate payment schedule.

Consider hiring a property manager

Do you want to receive calls at 3 a.m about a clogged toilet? If not, you may want to use a property manager.  Your property manager will handle everything from collecting rent to scheduling maintenance and repairs. Although you will have to part with a small fee, you won’t go through the hassles of screening tenants, advertising your property, keeping track of financials, issuing legal notices to tenants, filing evictions, or enforcing rental policies.

Bottom Line

There are several reasons why you should rent out your first home after you buy a new one. Although there’s no format to succeeding as a landlord, taking the time to understand your responsibility as a landlord, preparing your home, deciding how much you should rent, screening tenants, decorating your house, and hiring a property manager will increase your odds.

Top Tips for a Home Gym

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Setting up a gym at home can be a great idea to keep your fitness goals on track. After the initial investment to set it up, it can work out cheaper in the long run than paying for a gym membership. Having the gym at home can also help you to stay committed to an exercise routine and take better care of yourself... If you don’t have to leave the house to hit the gym, it’s much harder to find an excuse not to go.

Invest In Quality Equipment

You want to be sure that the equipment that you buy for your home gym is safe. A lot of equipment like rowing machines, weight racks, and treadmills turn up frequently on local selling sites or auction sites like eBay. This can save you money, but make sure you go and look at any equipment before you buy it. Give anything you buy a thorough check to make sure it’s in suitable condition before you decide. If you buy new, make sure you know how to use everything safely. At home, you won’t have a gym trainer to show how something works, so ask the salesman and get them to show you. Book gym flooring installers to make sure the floor is even and able to support equipment, especially if you’re converting the garage. 

Start Small

Gym equipment is usually not cheap, so make sure you’re going to use it before spending a fortune. Start small with some free weights, a yoga mat, and an exercise ball. If you find you’re keeping up the habit well, then you can slowly add in more pieces of equipment. 

Personalise The Space
Make your home gym a room that you actually like being in. Adding something personal like posters or pictures can help with this. Put in a TV or some speakers to entertain yourself while you work out. 

Get Multipurpose Equipment
Most home gyms are relatively small rooms, so hardworking pieces that have more than use or can be adapted as your fitness levels change are a good option. Choose things like adjustable dumbbells, so you’re set up for different exercises with one piece of equipment. 

Keep It Warm
Lots of people convert their garages into home gyms. This is a great use of space but can mean that the gym gets cold. Don’t give yourself the excuse to dodge a workout because it’s cold, and put in some space heaters to keep it warm. Even with heaters, the bar of your barbell can get very cold, which isn’t pleasant on your hands. Keep equipment like this in the house, and move them to the gym when you’re ready to work out. 

Start Sociable
You might miss the social side of the gym. Sometimes the atmosphere of the gym can help to push you through a challenging workout. If you find your home gym is a bit lonely, why not invite some of your friends to use it too? They can save on their gym memberships, and you’ll have some company while you’re working out. Of course, while there are still national restrictions you won't be able to do that but you could try a Zoom workout together!