What It Really Takes for First-Time Investors to Buy and Manage a Rental Property Successfully

What It Really Takes for First-Time Investors to Buy and Manage a Rental Property Successfully

Even as more people are seeing the value in owning rental properties, there are still lots of misconceptions about what it’s really like. For one, real estate investing isn’t a get-rich-quick scheme. Investing in real estate can be lucrative, and it’s an excellent way to build wealth for retirement, but it does take time and money. This is why we want you to know exactly what to expect when owning a rental property, so you can make the best decisions.

Your Responsibilities
The first big consideration is how much work goes into getting a property rental-ready. If you have the time and talent, buying a fixer-upper can result in a big payoff for your effort. However, as a first-time buyer, you may be better off buying a property that doesn’t need a ton of work. Most people can fix minor cosmetic issues themselves, but remember that major renovations require a contractor (and extra expenses add up).

Once your property is rented, your primary responsibilities are to keep it in good condition and handle relationships with tenants. Staying on top of maintenance and the overall condition of your property is essential, not just to be a trustworthy landlord but also to ensure tenants are happy and want to stay long term. Many investors find that hiring a property manager to assist with these responsibilities is tremendously helpful. If you go this route, be sure to find a rental property manager who is reputable and whom you and your tenants can contact any time, day or night.

Anticipated Costs
Along with having an idea of the work involved, the success of your investment depends in large part on anticipating all costs. When you think about how much you can afford, one thing to keep in mind is that you may need a bigger down payment for an investment property than you would for your own home. According to U.S. News, you may also get a better interest rate when you have a bigger down payment.

Besides the purchase of the property itself, you also need to factor in other expenses, including property taxes, home insurance, and maintenance costs. Forbes recommends being especially diligent about researching property taxes and insurance, because these decisions can make a major impact on your bottom line. For example, a home that seems to meet all your criteria but is in an area with high property taxes may not be the one to go with. Along the same lines, be sure to shop around and compare insurance rates before selecting a policy.

Making the Numbers Work
There are many factors that go into making the numbers work in your favor, but at a very basic level, what you want is for monthly income from rent to be greater than your total expenses. Once you know what your budget is, the location where you choose to buy will affect this calculation. When you buy a property in a prime location, you can expect to find tenants who are willing to pay for what the area has to offer. Properties in prime areas also tend to be in high demand and stay rented more consistently.

A smart investment is one where the cost vs. income works in your favor consistently, but another thing to keep in mind is that you’re also investing for the long term. The extra cash in your pocket each month is nice, but you can also expect a property’s value to appreciate over time. Plus, when you finance a property through a mortgage, each payment you make (with income earned through rent) gets you closer to owning the property outright.

This is an example of how you need both short- and long-term goals in real estate. In the short term, start by choosing the right location and the best property to maximize rental income. Making these careful decisions now will help make your investment a success and keep your long-term goals well within reach.

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How to Select the Perfect Stone for Your Bathroom Countertop

How to Select the Perfect Stone for Your Bathroom Countertop

If you are in search of a countertop for your bathroom, you might be overwhelmed by the many choices of material you can pick. However, if you take a closer look, going past the names, you will realize they are just a few substances you can choose to use. The materials include natural stones, engineered stone, concrete, solid surface, laminate, ceramic tiling, and composite.
Nevertheless, when it comes to choosing within those materials, there are many choices you can make depending on the color, pattern, and texture you prefer. For example, when deciding on which natural stone to pick, you can choose either granite, marble, or soapstone. The following is information aimed at informing you of the advantages and disadvantages of the various materials, this to make it easy for you to make a decision.

How can you narrow down your options?
If you are to make a quick and favorable decision, that you won’t regret, think of your bathroom needs and habits. The countertop you choose should make a statement. Its style and design should be unique to you. Apart from setting the tone for your bathroom, it should also provide additional workspace for your various activities.
Apart from style and design, you should also consider adaptability, maintenance, and the price of the countertop. The following is a list of countertop materials you can choose to use.

1. Quartz (Engineered Stone)
Quartz has a look that almost resembles that of marble and granite, but it is harder compared to the two. It is made up of 90 percent quartz plus silicon and oxygen atoms. Quartz is more resistant to scratching and staining, which makes it right for your bathroom. You can also mold into any shape or size- this way, you can fit it into your unique bathroom design.
Its other benefits include easy installation and maintenance, and it also comes in a wide range of colors. Quartz is a unique material that adds aesthetic value to your bathroom. It makes for quite a view. Choosing quartz is easy, the only complication can be on the pricing -if you are working on a limited budget. However, if you can afford it, you will get back the value for your money.

2. Marble
Marble gives your bathroom an imposing look. It comes in a wide range of colors and is both heat and waterproof. It is also shiny and has checkered patterns that make for an astounding view. It might be a little expensive and also stains easily. You can prevent staining by treating it with a silicone sealer regularly.

3. Granite
The aesthetic value that granite will add to your bathroom makes for a proper excuse for its high price. Formed by volcanic activities, granite is a remarkably hard stone which makes it very durable. It is scratch proof and with proper sealing is stain resistant. It is also resistant to bacteria- this making it perfect if you are trying to maintain your bathroom hygiene. Combining the features above with its wide range of colors, choosing granite is a choice you won’t regret.

4. Soapstone
Soapstone is one of the best choices of material for your bathroom countertop. It is softer compared to other natural stones and is still heat resistant and non-porous. Its non-porous nature is essential for a bathroom as it will not stain as no liquid cannot penetrate it. It is also easy to maintain and adds an elegant look to your bathroom.

5. Limestone
Limestone is a sedimentary rock that contains a large number of fossils from plants and animals. The appeal it creates is unique and different from the rest of the natural stone materials. It is a very absorbent material, hence for proper maintenance, you must ensure to clean it regularly. It has a variety of colors available, but because of its porous nature, its color can easily change when it comes into contact with some substances. For example, when it comes into contact with iron, its color changes to red or yellow depending on its initial appearance.

6. Concrete
There is a reason why concrete counters are growing in popularity. The reason may be the fact that it can be formed into sweeping shapes and finished with a mixture of coats. It also offers a smooth surface, which makes for an impressive design. You can customize it to your preferred look, giving you the freedom to get as creative as possible with your bathroom. They are durable and gets better with age, meaning you can count on it to stand the test of time.

7. Solid Surface
Solid surfaces are stain-resistant, easy to maintain, and porous. It is a proper material to use in a busy bath as it is bacteria resistant and durable. It has over a hundred colors you can choose from, and you can also customize to your preferred shape or size.

8. Laminate
Formed by bonding plastics under high pressure, laminate countertops are water-resistant, durable, and easy to maintain. Improvement in the manufacturing sector has led to the production a wide range of colors and patterns. This way, you have a variety of designs you can pick. It is also easy to install, and you can get one at a fair price.

9. Ceramic Tiling
It is not easy to find an efficient material like ceramic tiles for your bathroom. Its elegant look combined with a wide range of colors and textures available makes it perfect for a busy bath. It is also heat resistant, watertight, easy to maintain, stain proof, and does not discolor.
Ceramic tiles offer a high level of versatility with the design you can pick. You can either choose the smaller or larger ones, mix both the small one with the big ones. Contemplate on these possibilities when deciding to make sure the design you choose is unique to you.

10. Composite
Considering composite countertops are made out of paper, they are very efficient. Along with being water-proof, it is also stainproof, heat resistant anti-bacteria, and does not scratch easily. Composite gives your bathroom a beautiful look, with a natural feeling to it.

Composite constitutes of natural fibers and resins

Final Thought
With a large number of choices to choose from, you cannot lack a material that fits your bathroom countertop preferences. Consider the information above when deciding, and you should make the right choice.