Because it offers year-round recreation, investing in South Central Vermont real estate can be quite profitable and safe. Such a transaction can also be challenging, especially for first-time investors, and requires prior planning, a time commitment, realistic goals, and careful consideration of the following factors.
1. Selecting a property. First decide on a location and the type of property you are interested in. You will want to consider proximity to good schools, public services, shopping centers, highways, recreation, etc.
Another decision will deal with the type of property you want to own–a single family residence, a multi-family unit, or a vacation rental home. Discuss with you realtor and tax advisor the pros and cons of each to decide which will be most advantageous for you.
2. Examining your finances. In addition to a monthly mortgage payment, investment property expenses can also include taxes, property management fees, utilities, insurance for fire and floods, repair and maintenance costs, condo fees, and periods of vacancy. Be prepared to have cash on hand for a 20% to 30% down payment (or investigate other options). A helpful tool to assist you in calculating costs and probable financial outcomes is www.GoodMortgage.com.
Also keep in mind that long term (5 to 10 years) ownership is usually best for the average investment. The shorter the length of time you hold the property, the greater the risk.
3. Repairing and updating. Some investment properties require initial repairs/renovation ranging from cosmetic to structural. Unless you have the time and expertise needed to make such repairs, look for skilled professional to do the work for you. Keep in mind that most renters are looking for a good location and a home that is clean and in good working order; granite counter tops and top of the line appliances are usually neither necessary nor cost effective.
4. Acting as a landlord. Being a successful absentee owner of South Central Vermont real estate will require diligence and responsibility. Carefully screen all potential tenants. Run a credit check and find out from prior landlords if they were good tenants who paid the rent on time, treated the property with care, and were considerate neighbors. The more selective you are, the more successful your lessor/lessee relations will be.
As a landlord you have both rights and responsibilities, and you need to be mindful of each.