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"The 7 Top Tips for Finding the Best Rental Properties"

Finding the best rental properties for your Asset Garden can be a daunting task, especially if you're new to the process. Whether you're a student, a young professional, or a family looking for a new place to call home, there are a few things you should keep in mind when searching for your next rental property. In this post, we'll go over some of the top tips for finding the best rental properties to make your search a little easier as you fertilize and till that Garden of yours! (We're talking about real estate here and generally considering residential. Other posts will discuss commercial real estate and online real estate, so stay tuned.)

1. Know What You Want

The first step in finding the best rental property is to know what you want. Make a list of your must-haves and deal breakers, such as the number of bedrooms, bathrooms, location, and price range. This will be done after determining what kind of rental you'll be looking for, such as 'long term or short term'. This will help you narrow down your search and make it easier to find the perfect rental property for you.

2. Use A Variety of Resources

There are many resources you can use to find rental properties, such as online listings, rental agencies, classified ads, and word-of-mouth referrals. Don't rely on just one source, as you might miss out on some great opportunities. Instead, use a variety of resources to increase your chances of finding the best rental property. One hidden method to find real deals is the use of direct mail...send a note to current landlords that have owned the property for a long time. Send enough letters and you'll surely find a few 'worn out' landlords ready to sell to you.

3. Research the Neighborhood

Before signing a contract, it's important to research the neighborhood to make sure it's a good fit for you and your prospective tenants. Look for things like crime rates, schools, public transportation, and local amenities. You can also take a drive or walk around the neighborhood to get a feel for the area and see if it's somewhere you would like to live. Make sure to take a look on the weekend to see what the flavor of the community is like when everyone is home. If it's near a school or large retail store, see what the traffic is like during those rush hour times like early morning for the school and the afternoon times when the kids are getting out.

4. Check for Red Flags

When you're touring a potential candidate rental property, keep an eye out for red flags that could indicate a problem with the property or neighborhood (and neighbors!). Some things to look for include signs of neglect or disrepair, a lack of maintenance or cleaning. Those are obvious initial signs but it would never be wise to invest in a property (even for personal use) without using the services of a professional building inspector.

Just a word on that - some folks will want to use a 'friend who is a contractor' to do an inspection for them. But let me caution you that there is a nearly 100% likelihood that your 'contractor' will not have the tools and the overall expertise to do the job that an experienced building inspector will. Just sayin'....

5. Read the Contract Carefully

Before signing a contract, make sure you read it carefully and understand all of the terms and conditions. Don't be afraid to ask questions or negotiate terms that don't work for you. It's important to know what you're getting into before you sign on the dotted line. There's lots to know about when signing a real estate contract and proper, credible professional help is warranted here as well. A real estate attorney and/or a seasoned Realtor is a must unless you're very experienced in this field.

6. Be Prepared to Act Fast

In some rental markets, properties can go quickly, so be prepared to act fast if you find a rental property that meets your criteria. Have your financing and/or cash ready, at hand, if everything checks out. If you're going to be borrowing money for the purchase, it's imperative to have your financing in place prior to making an offer. This is for a variety of reasons but here are two quick points: With your financing 'in place', you can negotiate as if you're paying 'cash' because that's exactly what your seller is going to! And having it in place allows you to move quickly when time is of the essence. Also note that financing for a rental property is significantly different than borrowing for a personal residence!

7. Don't Be Afraid to Ask for Help

If you're feeling overwhelmed or unsure about this part of your Asset Garden Journey, don't be afraid to ask for help. Reach out to a real estate agent, or a real estate attorney or even a family member for advice and guidance. Most areas have real estate investors clubs that you can join. These clubs are places where you can find investors with immense experience and they love to help out newbie investors. You'll pick up tons of 'tips and tricks' of the investor world.

So finishing up, finding the best rental properties takes time and effort, but it's worth it to find a place you'll be proud to own especially when it's bringing in that consistent, monthly (or weekly!) income, growing your Garden, month by month, rain or shine! By following these top tips, you can make the process a little easier and increase your chances of finding the perfect property for you.

Thanks so much for taking some of your precious time to spend it with me!

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