Is Rental Property a Good Investment? (In TODAY’S Market)

By James Young on November 3, 2013
Is Rental Property a Good Investment? (In TODAY'S Market)

The goal of investing in rental property is to earn a profit from the rent you charge to tenants. However, depending on the characteristics of the property, the market conditions at the time and the specifics of your situation, investing in rental property may or may not be a lucrative choice. That being said, is rental property a good investment in TODAY’s market? Here are some factors to consider…

Current Market Conditions

According to housing market experts, now is one of the best times to invest in a rental property if you have the cash. Housing prices have dropped, making home and apartment purchases much more affordable for investors. In addition, mortgage interest rates are at an all-time low, so it’s possible to make a handsome profit on a rental even if you need to finance it with a mortgage.

The rental market is also ripe for investors. Rental rates continue to increase in virtually every major metropolitan area. Coupled with the affordable housing prices and the low cost of borrowing, investors who purchase rental units now are likely to have a healthy earning potential.

Characteristics of the Property

Even though the market is in a good place for investors, not every rental property offers the same earning potential. For example, properties located in low-income areas may not be able to bring in as much rent as a similar property located in an area with a higher average income. When deciding whether to invest in a rental property, consider these characteristics:

  • Price - Is the property affordable? Will you buy it outright or finance it with a mortgage?
  • Renovation required – Does the property need any work before it will be ready for tenants? How much will the work cost and how long will it take you to recover the cost in rent? How will you pay for the renovation?
  • Maintenance - Will the property require a lot of maintenance? How much will the maintenance costs reduce your profits?
  • Location - Is the property located in an area with a strong rental market? What is the average rent for a property of that size? How much profit can you earn?
  • Vacancy issues – Are there a lot of rental vacancies in the area? Will you be able to afford to maintain the property if it remains vacant for an extended period of time?

Making a Decision

In the end, whether you should purchase rental property depends on the specifics of your situation. Market conditions are excellent for investors, so if you have the capital available, this is the perfect time to make a move. However, if you have limited funds, or if you can’t qualify for an affordable mortgage, investing in a rental may not be a wise choice.

Before you make a final decision, do plenty of research. Sit down and look over your options carefully. Estimate how much the investment will cost you and how much you are likely to earn. If you believe the investment will bring in enough money to make it worthwhile, go for it! On the other hand, if you think the purchase is too expensive or the profit isn’t high enough, look for some other ways to invest your money.

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About James Young

My name is James Young- I love red wine, sailing, and playing guitar. I believe that everyday is truly a gift. I'm blessed to live five minutes from the sand in the beautiful city of Long Beach, CA. When I'm not assisting homeowners, you'll find me belting melodies with friends around a campfire, wandering the halls of an art exhibit, or watching ESPN re-runs until the sun comes up. So what am I doing here, you might ask? In a couple of sentences- I'm passionate about empowering first-time and experienced home buyers to make their dreams a reality. Whether it's saving thousands on your home loan, buying your first home, or acquiring your first investment property, I'm always here to help. Don't hesitate to ask questions, and please remember to "share the love"! :) #loveloans #loverealestate #lovelife!