With home prices nearing their bottom, now might be a great time to buy Santa Cruz real estate as income property. Many more people will be looking to rent now that pre-approved mortgages are harder to come by. But, before you become a landlord, you’ll want to make sure your potential rental property won’t remain vacant for long.
6 tips to help you evaluate your Santa Cruz real estate investment:
1. Determine if your area has a strong rental market. See what kind of homes are for rent and track how long they remain vacant. If the same properties are listed week after week, it might not be the best area to purchase a rental.
2. Get a feel for the stability of the population. It's good to find a rental property in a transient community because residents are less likely to purchase their own homes, and more likely to rent, if they know they're only going to be there for a couple years. In particular, look for areas with military installations or colleges nearby.
3. Keep an eye on Craigslist and the local Classifieds. Track how many rentals are available at any given time, and get an idea of the size of houses most commonly listed. You won’t want to be trying to rent a 1-bedroom house in a neighborhood that is full of young families.
4. Make sure your potential rental property is located in a good school district. Potential renters with children could be turned off by the quality of the local schools if they have a poor reputation.
5. Check around with local property management companies. They’ll often have the best information about what sort of properties are the easiest to rent out. You can also check their websites to see the properties they have available.
6. Find a house that’s in good shape. Would you live there? If not, either move on to a different property or immediately fix it up.
Owning a rental home can be a great investment. Do your homework, and purchase a home people will be clamoring to rent — not one that continues to sit vacant.
If you have questions about purchasing Santa Cruz real estate as income property, please call me at (831) 662-6522 or email me at Lauren@LaurenSpencer.com.
For more information, please visit my website at www.MySantaCruzRealEstate.com.