Renting a House
Why Rent a House?
The main reason for renting a house is you can gain a large steady income. Many people buy rental houses in areas that have a constant flow of tenants and rent them for much more than the cost of the mortgage. Or, you have decided to sell, but the property value is lower than you expected. Over time, a house rental will increase in value and you will gain capital appreciation in addition to a steady rental income.
The whole trick is keeping it rented
Typically, a house will rent for a lot more than an apartment. They generally will offer more space and they are usually rented by groups such as families, professionals or students as an alternative to buying or renting smaller spaces.
Another benefit of renting a house is to use it as a vacation home and only rent for part of the year. Many people buy shore homes and rent them except for a few weeks of the year.
Don't forget about the tax advantages. Any tools, supplies and services you purchase for the house can be a tax deduction.
Challenges of Renting a House
Of course there are many challenges to renting a house. While rental income may be bigger, if a property goes un-rented for a period of time, you stand to lose more if you can't find tenants.
Maintenance of a home rental can also be challenging. Regular painting, lawn care, snow removal can require constant attention or qualified professionals that will cost you money.
Questions from your tenants on how things work, requests for repairs and rent collection can also take away from the experience of house renting.
House Renting Tips
1. Have tenants share some of the responsibilities. If you have a small yard, require the tenant take care of lawn and snow removal. Provide tenants with tools they need such as a mower, rake or shovel and assist whenever possible.
2. Collect utilities in advance. Often utilities will be in your name and difficult to recoup from tenants, especially after they are no longer renting your house. Determine the average cost of utilities used and include that amount in the rent.
3. Make the tenant feel at home. When renting a house, you want the tenant to stick around for a long time. Do something special, or provide a service that makes it hard for your tenants to want to leave.
4. Provide parking or make it easy of your tenants to park a car.
5. Provide laundry. Tenants won't want to drag there laundry in and out of your house rental. This simple feature will go a long way.
6. Pre-wire your house with Cable/DSL service. Your tenants will want this anyway so you are better off having it professionally installed. It will help you rent the house and avoid tenants drilling holes in your walls.
Before you Rent a House
Make sure your insurance covers your house as a rental. Some policies may charge extra if you are renting your house but if you don't let the insurance company know, you may not be covered.
Check with your city or town on regulations. Cities often have rules on what rooms in a house may be used for renting or the number of non family members that may live together.
Take time to research rents in the area. Get the most out of your house rental by getting facts on other rentals in your area.