What To Do After Buying Your 1st Investment Property
Are you a first-time property investor? If you have just successfully acquired your first investment property, congratulations! So, what is the next step?
Are you a first-time property investor? If you have just successfully acquired your first investment property, congratulations! So, what is the next step? You are probably already thinking of what type of tenant will be living at your property and how you will manage them, but before you get ahead of yourself, there are some important factors you need to consider.
Below is a list of actions for investors. This includes everything from management to security to emergency preparations. Before you consider a fresh coat of paint or adding new furnishings, don’t forget to cover the basics. This will ensure you provide not just a livable, but also an attractive property rental.
Consult with an insurance agent as to what types of policies you should get for your property. Do you need landlord insurance? This will cover you against events such as loss of rent due to a tenant’s rent default, contents insurance and public liability and more. Explore coverage options that are best suited to your needs.
If you have not yet secured a property manager, you will want one to care for your investment property. They will find you the right tenants, oversee legal and maintenance issues, and essentially save you a lot of time and worry. They will be able to help maintain and even increase the value of your investment property. They should also be able to see to the following steps with you in making sure your property is fit and ready to be marketed for lease.
- Change the locks and have spare keys made.
- Reset the codes for electronic locks and doors.
- Inspect and test smoke detectors to be sure they are compliant with legislation.
- Check that all lights are working and there are no broken or missing bulbs.
- Test the temperature of the water heater.
As a landlord, you want to stay ahead of issues by having plans in place for common maintenance issues.
- Check what needs repairing and list them by priority. Are there any loose hinges or do you need to replace worn carpet?
- Also, see if certain repairs or renovations can be made to increase your rental return.
- Schedule air conditioning services at least once every season. This will make the a/c units last longer.
- Gutters should be cleaned at least twice a year.
- Remember the location of the main water shut-off valve in case of burst pipes. Water damage can be expensive.
- Also, note the location of the gas shut-off valve.
- Label the circuit breakers in the circuit box.
- Prepare a list of emergency contacts and tradespeople, such as a plumber, an electrician, your insurance agent and utility companies.
- Store digital and physical copies of key tenancy documents.
- Make sure you always have these documents on hand:
- lender contact information,
- insurance documents,
- tenancy contact details and lease agreements,
- management agreement with your property manager,
- compliance information relating to smoke alarms and, if applicable, pool fencing.