Selecting a good rental property for investing

If you’re ready to make the leap and become a real estate investor, follow a few basic rules that have served me well and should work for you, too.

1.  The old real estate adage “location, location, location” is true. By selecting properties in the central parts of Lafayette Parish, you’ll increase the number of prospects who will be interested in your rental. 

2.  Search for single-family detached properties. Townhomes and condos rarely have the yard that many people want, either for their children or their pets. By only investing in single-family detached homes, you’ll appeal to more renters. 

3.  Stick with three-bedroom homes. Single parents with kids often need three bedrooms, and even though the square footage may be small, having three bedrooms can solve a lot of other issues such as needs for storage or an office space.

4.  Pay attention to the school district. Many families searching for a rental are focused on keeping their children in a specific school district. District boundary lines have recently changed, so check with the Lafayette Parish School System to confirm.

5.  Watch out for association fees. Some neighborhoods have association fees, so you’ll want to consider those additional costs when making your purchasing decisions.

6.  Don’t be afraid of making a few improvements. Simple adjustments such as painting kitchen cabinets that are in good shape can make a world of difference. Remember, you’re protecting your investment.

Currently, my rule of thumb for staying viable in our market is to price my rentals in the $675 - $1,500 range. You’ll want to do the math to ensure that the total cost of your property’s mortgage plus expenses allows you stay in that category.

Take advantage of my 20-plus years of investing experience (not to mention decades as Acadiana’s top real estate agent and leader of the top real estate team). By taking care of the home and staying on top of its maintenance, you’ll help ensure that when you are ready to sell it one day, you’ll be in the best position to do so. 

That’s when you’ll see the payoff on your investment.