Thinking about buying a house is a lot of fun. You scan listings, check out tons of pictures, compare some basics like price-per-square foot and even pretend you’re Chip Gaines about to take a sledgehammer to a wall. And if you really do it and buy a home, you own this tangible thing — a house, with walls and a roof and a real, live address — that will start earning you money for your future as soon as the ink on the paper dries.
But, thinking about becoming a ... property investor sounds, well, serious, right? All kinds of questions surface. “I’ve never bought a house before. How do I do this?” Or, "I've never even been to this city. How do I figure out if this is the kind of neighborhood I want to invest in?," you might think while clicking through properties in search of a perfect investment. Does it all seem out of your reach?
Well not exactly, because you can have it all. Buying a home that is a foundation to your future is not only strategic but fun. You do this by narrowing your focus to a proven segment of real estate investing that is affordable and practical with minimal risk: single-family rentals.
Single-family rentals are homes in strong markets across the United States that most often already have a renter in place. The house is functioning, the rent payments are coming in, and you, the owner, can buy without disrupting the tenant or the cash flow. With as little as $25,000 down — money that can be leveraged from your IRA, for example — you can own an investment home. So here are some basic tips to consider as you become a bonafide property investor:
- Your first investment home is a little like the first dollar in the frame behind the local coffee shop. It’s a big deal. It sets in motion a plan for increased earnings, long-term security and a faster path toward retirement. It’s easier—and more fun—than you might think to become a real estate property investor in single-family rental home ownership.
- Understand the markets: Before you dive into those home pictures and start comparing kitchens, browse our markets to learn more about the hot places we’ve discovered for investments. Each will have different advantages, different price points and different values.
- Focus on value: Don’t forget these homes are investments. You’re not moving your big screen to Indianapolis! Focus your search. Set your filters to center in on properties that will work for you financially.
- Shop till you drop: Now that you’ve got your property investor hat on, go check out the properties in our exclusive marketplace with hundreds of vetted homes to choose from.
- Buy Local: It may not be “local” for you, but it is for our network of property management partners who will collect the rent, maintain the house, and when the time comes, find a new reliable tenant.