How to Buy A House with No (or Low) Money Down

Editor's note: This article is from Brandon Turner of BiggerPockets.com. These guys know their real estate. Even though it appears there are ways to buy a house without putting 20% down, you guys know I would say it's wise to put that much down so that you are shielded from market downturns, PMI, etc. The year was 2006. The real estate market was soaring, lending standards were loose, and even your pet iguana could get a loan. In this era of impending doom, … [Read more...]

Rent Collecting: The Best Way to Collect Rent from Your Tenant

What's the best way to collect rent from a tenant? When I decided to become a landlord, one of the areas that I gave the least amount of thought to was collecting rent. In hindsight, I should have determined my policy for rent payment and informed the tenant during the vetting process or when I started considering ways to do real estate investing. Because I left it 'up in the air', I got several suggestions from my potential … [Read more...]

Finally Rented: Creating and Signing a Residential Lease Agreement

Ready to collect your rent? Get it in writing! Okay, truthfully we didn't just rent our home. But it did take a while. We listed our home for rent in mid-June, and my tenant moved in on August 15th. It was an up and down couple of months as I explained in previous posts. I enjoyed fixing up the rental unit, but I wasn't a big fan of finding the tenant. Once we'd gone through all of that and found our tenant, it was time to make it official: create and sign … [Read more...]

Find a Tenant: Credit Check and Screening

Our rental property after a rare Texas snow. So you just became a landlord and you want to know how to screen tenants and complete that tenant credit check? Well, you are in luck. I just became a rental property owner myself and I learned how to properly screen tenants, including the credit check. One of the great unknowns of becoming a landlord is how to screen tenants so that you can find the right people to live in your rental unit. Lord knows you don't … [Read more...]

Rental Repairs: Fixing Up My Rental Property

The new kick plate I made and installed on our rental property saved us $200. Call me crazy, but one of the most enjoyable things I've done over the past few weeks is spending some time preparing our rental property for its first tenant. I can see how people become addicted to dealing with real estate. There's just something about "taking care" of your rental property. You really get a sense of improving on your property and instantly increasing its … [Read more...]

The Best Places to List and Advertise Your Rental Property (Some Free!)

If you're anything like me, one of your biggest fears with owning a rental property is that you will not be able to find a quality tenant quickly. Taking two or three months to find a quality renter (or spending too much on advertising to do so) could easily ruin your chances of a positive cash flow rental property. You've got to get a quality renter into the property...and quick. Here are some options for advertising your rental … [Read more...]

My First Rental Property: Not Really a Great Investment

Update: As it turns out, this rental property IS a really great investment. Vacancies have been zilch, rent was raised by $100, and there have been minimal expenses related to repairs and maintenance. See my current cash flow analysis here showing returns around 10% (even with principal payments included). Looking for your first rental property? Check out our How to Find Rental Properties guide or start your property search at Roofstock. Previous update: Some … [Read more...]

How to Find Investment Rental Properties: Evaluating Real Estate Property for Purchase

I love the idea of owning several real estate investment properties and living off of the cash flow from the rental income. But while I love the thought, I'm not so sure I'd actually like the things that go along with owning investment properties (e.g. tenants, maintenance, etc.). Over the weekend I did some reading about starting up real estate investing, and I also had a discussion with a successful real estate investor. Here are some of the thoughts I have as a … [Read more...]