If you own a rental property that you want to let out, or even a basement or attic apartment, it can be difficult to make your place stand out above all the other rental properties available in todays market.
What most people look for is a reasonable price on the rent and that the property is clean and the furnishings are in good order. With the housing meltdown, many people are being foreclosed on and forced out of their homes.
Obviously, all these people have to live somewhere, which makes it an owners market in todays economy.
Offering a Furnished property can Give You the Edge
It can help to offer the property as furnished as it saves a potential tenant having to supply their own furniture. Many first-time renters prefer taking on a furnished property for this reason.
Other renters to target are college students and people in town on temporary work assignments. To get a feel for what works, visit an apartment complex that maintains corporate apartments.
Of course, yours wont be the only property that they view, so you need to make sure its the most appealing with amenities that are up to date, attractive, and functional
Landlords often make the mistake of using old furniture that doesnt match in an attempt to save a few pennies. Remember that this is an investment so it pays to investigate the tax write-offs that you can take advantage of.
Although you wont want to spend too much on furniture on an investment property; spending a little will allow you to fit out the place sufficiently that people will want to live there.
And you stand to lose more having a property sit empty compared to the initial cost of furnishing it.
Choose Basic Appliances and Furniture
Choose items that will be robust and hard-wearing. The essential items include a sofa, a TV stand or unit, a table and chairs suitable for eating at, and a bed for each bedroom. Youll also need wardrobes or clothes rails and chests of drawers in the bedrooms.
In the kitchen youll need to include white goods such as a fridge, oven, and washing machine. A dishwasher is an optional extra but it just may be the selling point.
When choosing a sofa, go for a finish that will withstand possible stains like red wine. If you choose a fabric sofa, a darker color can be more hard-wearing. You should avoid putting in reclinersrecliners or a sofa bed, as these are more likely to get damaged.
Although most tenants will treat your property with respect, you cannot guarantee this, and pieces of furniture need to solid and able to withstand a few knocks.
Its also worth repainting the walls a neutral tone and using the same color throughout, as it will make the property seem larger and more spacious.
Treat Your Rental Property as a Business
It can be hard to separate the emotional from a good, solid business proposition. It is important to know the nuts and bolts of how the taxing authorities will treat you. You may want to hire a CPA (Certified Public Accountant).
Another important consideration is landlord insurance, which in many cases can make you or break you, along with giving you peace of mind. For example, Allstate Insurance offers their Fair Rental Income [policy that] pays you the income you would otherwise lose due to a covered loss. In other words, if your tenants have to move out, Fair Rental Income could keep the rental income coming in for up to 12 months..
Finally, consider purchasing flood insurance. Many owners are under the misconception that a standard policy covers this type of water damage; this is simply not true. And remember that the flood plain in the US is periodically updated.