Start Buying Rental Property With This 5-Step Process

If you’re very new to all of this, you’re probably wondering how to dive in to the wonderful world of buying rental property. I’ll share with you what worked for me, and it involves 5 specific steps:- Find a good real estate agent
- Practice running the numbers
- Conduct physical inspections (drive-by’s & showings)
- Make an offer & negotiate
- Manage the contract processSTEP #1: FIND A GOOD REAL ESTATE AGENTEventually, you will need your own “team,” including a real estate agent, mortgage broker, insurance broker, title company, attorney, home inspector, and a handful of trustworthy contractors. But with the exception of a real estate agent, your team does not need to be brought together right out of the gate. You will gradually assemble it as you go.STEP #2: PRACTICE RUNNING THE NUMBERSAsk your new broker to send you all the active 2-8 unit multifamily rental property listings in your target area, and practice running the numbers to identify the most beneficial ones. As long as you know a simple formula and have a few key numbers from the property, can use those numbers to do rapid-fire “back of the envelope” calculations to quickly screen properties for financial practicality. Read my property valuation article to learn how to do this.STEP #3: CONDUCT PHYSICAL INSPECTIONSOnce you have a list of financially viable multifamily rental properties, take some time to do drive-by’s. Whether the numbers work or not, you do not want to get any property in an especially bad area (in fact, you’ll find that the numbers usually work best in such areas…you get what you pay for!). Plus, while not a flawless science, if the outside looks like it’s falling apart you may want to pass.After this process, you will have a list of maybe 3 or 4 properties to look at with your Realtor, instead of, say, 10 or 15. Have your Realtor schedule weekly showings, and bring a notebook to jot down notes so you can later use this info to adjust your bid amount.Keep physically inspecting properties with your agent in this manner every week and do not get discouraged. The majority of rental properties you come across will be poorly maintained and/or overpriced. Tenants beat them up, and many, many landlords could care less about maintaining their investment.So, buying rental property takes time. All I can say is be patient, and remember that the more deals you inspect, the better deal you are likely to get when you finally pull the trigger.STEP #4: MAKE AN OFFER & NEGOTIATEOk, so you’ve run a bunch of initial numbers, did a bunch of drive-by’s, and physically inspected a bunch of hot prospects with your agent. Finally, you’ve found a 2-8 unit multifamily rental property you’d like to purchase. Time to negotiate!STEP #5: MANAGE THE CONTRACT PROCESSYippee, your offer was accepted! So now what? Well, there are various steps that round out the process of buying rental property:- Get the property “under contract”
- Initiate title work; note that some states require an attorney
- Conduct a property inspection
- Get an appraisal
- Arrange financing
- Get property insurance
- Get a property survey
- Review settlement documents and close the dealThis may seem complicated if you happen to be new to all of this, but it’s really not. After you go through the entire process once, you’ll be ready to start buying rental property like there’s no tomorrow!
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Five Important Senior Travel Tips

Often when we near retirement, seniors have big dreams of all the places they want to visit. However, as we get older, traveling often isn’t quite the delight we hoped it would be. Although it can be great fun traveling to new places and meeting new people, the logistics of traveling can be challenging for many seniors.This is especially true if you are traveling alone. However, with some advance planning, you can make your next trip much more pleasant and enjoyable. Here are some travel tips that I follow myself, to make sure my trips are as enjoyable as possible.First, consider your particular health conditions. If you need to take medication daily and you are traveling internationally, it is important to make sure that you always carry medications and copies of your medication list with you at all times. Never check your medications in airline baggage, as you may be facing a life threatening situation if your baggage gets lost.Second, plan well in advance. Although spontaneity is great for many things in life, as we age, making well thought out travel plans is very important. This is especially true for those who face mobility challenges. For example, if you have trouble standing in lines for a long time or climbing stairs, then you will want to avoid situations that requires this. Ask the questions you need to ask before you leave on your trip.Third, make back up plans as well. Even the best plans can backfire, and having a contingency plan for when things do not go as planned is important as well. Although the idea of making not one, but two (and maybe even three) travel itineraries may seem overwhelming, if things go wrong you will be very happy you made the effort.Four, travel as lightly as possible. You do not need the added difficulty of lugging heavy bags around. There are some wonderful new luggage models that have very useful features such as wheels and multiple handles. Don’t go with the cheapest you can find either, as you want your luggage to be durable and last.Finally, always think about safety. Seniors are often the target of pickpockets and thieves. Consider investing in a money belt, and maybe even carry a decoy purse or wallet with only a little money in it in case you get robbed.With proper thought and preparation, you will find that your journeys are much more comfortable, safe and enjoyable!

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