Financial advisers have long recommended that rental property be a part of a balanced portfolio for investors who are interested in building wealth over the long term. However, as you can imagine, not everyone has the temperament or patience to deal with humdrum day-to-day responsibilities of rental property ownership. But, for those of us who understand the rights and responsibilities, it is an excellent way to start or expand a portfolio of investments.
Choosing a property that is right for you and your investment style can make the difference between a great experience or a miserable one. There are several factors you as an investor should take into consideration.
Is this meant to be a long term investment? Do you want to hold onto the property as a rental and then possibly move in upon retirement? Another option would be to keep it rented and use the income form the rental to supplement your pension or social security income. You could also opt to sell the property and invest in the money market, or another financial vehicle, that will give you ready cash should you need it.
Right now, the IRS is favoring rental income. Beginning this year, you as a taxpayer will be able to deduct the first 20% of your real estate income if you are an active participant. So if you self-manage the property, collect rents and facilitate repairs, you may be eligible to take advantage of this provision of the law. Like anything else, there are always qualifiers and we recommend you discuss the possibility with your accountant.
If you are a buy and hold investor and want to move into your rental property when you retire, you should look to purchase something that you like. By renting it, your tenants will pay the lion’s share of the carrying expenses. All monies spent to improve the property over the time it is rented will be tax deductible. This is a clever way to get what you want at very little cost to you.
With all the choices one has with investment property, it is critical that the property is kept up to acceptable standards. When folks ask me what this is I say that the property has to be in a condition that I would let my mother or child live in.
More next time…