So you’re thinking about buying your first investment property in the Northern Kentucky or Cincinnati area. Real estate investing has made a lot of people into millionaires. But you do need to be aware that there is considerable risk involved, even with the less-risky way of starting out with rental property. It would be prudent to proceed slowly and cautiously, armed with some basic knowledge. With that in mind, we’ve prepared this short guide to buying your first investment property in Cincinnati or Northern Kentucky that highlights the key concerns for those just getting started.
Is It Right for You?
Any guide to buying your first NKY or Cincinnati investment property should begin by helping you determine whether it’s right for you, especially with respect to rental property. So . . . is it?
Being a landlord is not a job for the faint of heart. Besides having to cover – every month – your mortgage payment and operating costs, you’ll have to deal with tenants. You will have to acquire them, collect from them, and, on occasion, evict them. You need to not only prepare for this but also ask yourself whether you’re really willing to deal with all of this.
In addition, investing in real estate can be risky. There’s potentially more risk than investing in the stock market, but there’s also the opportunity to see a greater return on investment. On average, the gross return for rental investors is around 10%, whereas stocks yield only 4% to 5% at best. But, then, if you wind up with bad tenants who don’t pay, well . . .
It’s always best to get pre-approved for a mortgage loan before you begin looking at potential properties. This way, you will know ahead of time what you can afford, and when you find a good deal in your price range, you can jump on it ahead of other investors.
In the Northern Kentucky and the Greater Cincinnati areas, investment properties go QUICK because inventory is so low in the current market. It is crucial that you are prepared to make an offer as soon as you have determined that you want a property. If you are not ready to move fast, there is a large chance that the property will sell before you even have a chance to make an offer.
Determine the ROI
The next, and maybe the most important, step in our guide to buying your first investment property in Cincinnati involves determining whether the property you’ve selected will yield a good return on investment (ROI). You can get an idea of this by looking into the property’s net annual income. Then, if your expenses are mostly aligned with the current owner’s, your potential ROI should be about the same.
With rental property, you can use the “rule of 1%.” This rule states that the monthly rent should be at least 1% of your purchase price. If you can get that much in rent, then you are likely to see an adequate ROI.
As an example, if a 2 bed 1 bath home is renting for $725/month in Bellevue, KY, than the 1% rule says you could buy that home for a total cost of $72,500. It’s an estimate, and you need to do your due diligence, but it’s helpful when trying to do some quick evaluating.
What to Avoid
There are also a few things that should be bright red warning flags. These are properties that need a lot of fixing up and those in areas where it’s difficult to get tenants. Also, there are many tenants who cannot afford the rental payments you need to meet your ROI requirements. For example, while you may be able to find consistent tenants to occupy a Clifton rental, you also have to accept that most tenants will be college students. You would have to factor this into consideration when pricing the rental price and determine if the price you could charge would be worth the investment. If not, you’re better off just moving on to the next potential property.
Are You Cut Out to Be a Landlord?
Our guide to buying your first investment property in Cincinnati touched on this above, but there’s still more to it. Many people have the business acumen to become successful real estate investors, but they just aren’t cut out to be landlords. If you happen to be one of these, you still have options. You can hire a property management company to take care of the landlording tasks for you. They will even handle the eviction process if that’s needed. You will have to pay them a fee, but you’ll also be free of those headaches and have more time to concentrate on other areas of your investing business.
Keep in mind that this is just a brief guide to buying your first investment property in Cincinnati – that is, it just highlights the most important points for first-time investment-property buyers. But, hopefully, it will be enough to help you get started and make a wise property choice.