Do You Have the Qualifications it Takes to Become a Landlord?
Do You Have the Qualifications it Takes to Become a Landlord?
It's typically tougher and more expensive to get a loan to purchase the rental property than it is to purchase a home as a primary residence because lenders view investment properties as inherently more risky, says Scott Lindner, national sales director at TD Bank.

These are the questions you have to answer.

The idea of earning money on the side through the rental of a property could be attractive, especially if view the venture as a possible way to get rid of your job in the future or supplement your earnings when you become retired.

But, becoming a landlord isn't for the timid. It's not easy, and there is no guarantee to earn profits. There is a lot that goes into making it so in the long run.

To determine whether you're up for the challenge Here are four questions to ask yourself before entering into the business (and it's a commercial enterprise) of being a landlord.

1. Are you able to pay for it with cash -- and the patience?

You'll be spending money regularly. It could take up to five years for the rent you pay to meet or surpass your costs based the location you buy the rental property. Chris Cooper, a San Diego certified financial planner and landlord, said it could take as long as five years.

For example, you'll require cash to pay for:

A down payment If you do not inherit a property that is completely paid for, you should plan to buy it in cash or rent out a house that you own, you'll have to come up with a mortgage down payment.

It's typically tougher and more expensive to get a loan to purchase the rental property than it is to purchase a home as a primary residence because lenders view investment properties as inherently more risky, says Scott Lindner, national sales director at TD Bank.

This means that you'll have to pay an interest rate that is higher and also a greater down payment. "Most lenders will require you to put down 25% to 30% of the loan amount, based on your credit score as well as the your loan amount," Lindner said.

Renovations, repairs, and maintenance: Prior to deciding to rent out the property it is possible to do some repairs or repairs. Even if you purchase the property turnkey, you'll be on the responsible for repairs and maintenance issues that occur all through the year.

In addition, unless you're proficient at fixing home issues yourself and plan to reside near your rental property You'll probably pay 20% to 25% of the rent to pay a property manager, Cooper said.

A team of skilled plumbers, carpenters and painters will be required to complete maintenance and repairs.

Rent: You might be between tenants for months or you have a tenant who isn't able to pay rent. In the most extreme situations such as the Eviction Moratoriums related to the pandemic and government mandates, there could be a need that limit the possibility of evicting an individual if they're not paying their rent.

In all those instances, you'll have to pony up the entire monthly mortgage installment, plus taxes in addition to utility bills, insurance and other expenses, as well as maintenance.

You can help pay for these expenses by having emergency cash reserves of between six and one year's worth worth of mortgage and taxes due on your property. Mary Geong, a California-based certified public accountant, recommended that you have enough to cover these costs.

If your property is rented, everything is great. But when it's vacated you must pay for everything. And you have to have an amount of cash in reserve for this. Clients often tell me, "You will be cash poor, but asset rich."

It is necessary to seek out professional assistance. This can include the services of a property manager or person. It is also possible to employ expensive accountants and lawyers who specialize in real estate issues. Their fees are deductible as business expenses, but you'll need to front the money prior to receiving the tax benefit.

2. Are you willing to assume the risk of becoming a landlord?

Owning a rental property is a study in liability.

Geong stated that if you fail to fix something quickly enough, your tenant could sue the landlord.

You may also assist when someone falls or trips onto your property.

To protect your investment, you will require liability insurance. You may also want to establish an LLC for the rental property you own to safeguard your personal assets from potential lawsuits.

Geong stated, "That reduces the risk."

Cooper said that it doesn't erase it when it's found that you were negligent (e.g. you knew of a hazard which caused injury to a tenant and didn't address it.)

3. Are you prepared to deal with tenant headaches?

It is important to be able to handle challenging tenants.

Difficult runs the gamut from a tenant who disrupts neighbors by playing loud music to a deadbeat tenant to one who damages your property physically. It is also important to be ready to remove a tenant should it be it is necessary. This can be expensive and time-consuming.

You have to be disciplined. You are able to inform your tenant of all sorts of stories, such as "My dog ate my rent money." It is imperative to state that the rent due the first -and if it's still not received by the 10th of the month, there'll be a fine.' Cooper advised that you should be prepared to enforce it.

Additionally, you must be aware of the regulations of the landlord-tenant relationship. This includes laws governing rent control and the steps to be taken prior to evicting someone.

Geong said she had one client with a bad tenant who couldn't handle all the hassles and chose to sell their rental property just one year after purchasing it. "They claimed it was too much hassle."

4. Are you ready for tax complexities?

The investment in rental property has many tax advantages. However, they also have significant complexities.

You'll be able to take deductions for the rental costs -- including all the interest you have to pay on your mortgage.

Peter Buell, a CPA, and partner of Marcum LLP, stated that if you are in the red, you can lose up to $25,000 if you're annual earnings are lower than $150,000.

You are able to carry losses into the future if your loss exceeds $150,000 or you have an even greater loss than.

Depreciation is an option that you have the option of using and is a good idea. It lets you take a percentage of the expense of your property every year (e.g. the construction cabinets, equipment, and furniture).

Buell declared that depreciation-related recapture would apply to your property once it's sold. This will decrease some depreciation deductions. It will also subject you to recapture, even though you've never made depreciation deductions.

This complexity, as well as the fact that it may take years for tax benefits to be fully realized, is why he recommends that you always have financial reasons to invest in rental properties that are not just tax-related. "It has to be economically profitable, too."