With the bustle of the current seller’s market and rising home prices, many are wondering whether to invest in real estate and rent their property to make some extra money. It’s true that investing in rental property is one of the best ways to earn passive income, which is money you earn without actively working for it. Forbes suggests renting single-family homes or even multi-family apartment complexes.

According to the Joint Center for Housing Studies at Harvard University, now might be the perfect time to become a landlord. The number of renters across the country is growing. Especially in expensive areas like Seattle, renting is still the most realistic option for many individuals, including students and young professionals and families.

Before you decide to become a landlord, however, there are a few things you should take into consideration. Here are five questions to ask yourself before buying a rental property.

1. Do I enjoy fixing up and maintaining homes?

One of the first questions to ask yourself when you’re considering becoming a landlord is “Do I like getting dirty?” Renting out a property will involve time and money. I can’t remember how many landlords I’ve called on the weekends to complain about a flooding toilet or a busted hot water heater. On almost all of these occasions, my landlord responded promptly and cheerfully to my panicked call.

Whether you have a knack for hiring and working with contractors, or you’re an expert DIY-er, you should take some sort of pleasure in the process of fixing up and maintaining a home. This skill will also allow you to purchase fixer-uppers and rent them for a profit once you’ve beautified the property.

2. Do you own property in a desirable location?

In other words, do you already own, or are you able to invest in, a property that is near an urban hub, or that is close to public transportation? According to a recent survey in the Rental Housing Journal, a good location is one of the main things that renters are looking for in an apartment or home. The other top two criteria were a community environment, which is connected to a good location, and a good rental price. 

Additionally, the journal reports that most millennials would rather be close to their jobs than to their friends and family. This may sound like a harsh truth, but it all comes down to the fact that no one wants to commute to work every.

Additionally, consider your own location in regards to your rental property. While it’s certainly not necessary, living near the property can make your landlord duties much easier, especially when it comes to those 10pm weekend phone calls from panicked renters like me.

3. Are you looking for a get rich quick scheme or a long term investment?

While renting properties is a smart way to make money, cash isn’t going to fall into your pockets overnight. While rental income does count as passive income, being a landlord doesn’t mean that you get to sit around and collect money at the end of each month. Make sure you are prepared to put in the work that is needed. Treat being a landlord like a part-time job. Ask yourself whether or not you’re read to spend money in order to eventually make money.

Don’t hesitate to contact the SeaReal Team at 206-518-5518 or info@searealteam.com if being a landlord sounds like the right job for you and you’re interested in buying a property.