Do you have what it takes to be a landlord? That is an important question to ask yourself before you start buying rental properties. Unfortunately, there are a lot of courses out there encouraging people with the benefits of property ownership without explaining the risks involved.
Cleveland, Ohio is a very diverse area with a lot of different zip codes, and the zip code you buy property in will make a huge difference in what your experience is as a landlord. Do you know the area you are looking at buying properties? Again, there are courses that make being an out of the area landlord sound glamorous, but you are taking a real risk buying properties in an area you’ve never seen before.
Are you a worry wart? If the answer is yes then you should not be a landlord. You probably should not be in business at all. Stick with safe investments like bonds. You won’t have the potential for large returns, but you also won’t have the risk of a total loss.
Do you have financial limitations? For many, they go into real estate with no extra income. Don’t invest all of your retirement savings into real estate. Yes, there are success stories of people who spent their last hundred dollars to get into the business and ended up millionaires, but that is not the norm, and there is a lot more to the story than what you may hear.
If you have no cash reserves, you are taking a significant risk. A single natural disaster or sewer collapse could financial destroy you. You’ll be left waiting for the insurance to pay out to make the needed repairs, or the insurance will refuse the claim, which can happen, and then you have to pay out of pocket. You MUST have cash reserve for the worst case scenario.
Often times people are blinded by the potential and fail to see the risk. You need to have an investment mindset, which means you think long-term. Can you do that?
Can you put 20% “true” equity down on a property. Housing prices are not always what they seem and properties do not always follow national trends. I’ve seen landlords try to sell a house “as is” because they are mad about damage made by a tenant. What they don’t realize is that $5,000 worth of damage can drop the value of the home $50,000. This may not sound fair and it may not be fair, but it is the reality of the situation. If buyers have to put work into the home, they are going to want it for well below market value.
You need to understand the Cleveland market and know what you are getting into. Otherwise, do not invest in Cleveland and don’t be a landlord.
Our experienced investment property management team can relieve you of the burden of managing your rental property while saving you some serious money! Call us today at (440) 220-7300 to see how we can help you!