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Choosing to be a landlord may not be an easy one but it can be a lucrative one if done correctly. If you’re planning on buying a vacation home or property in the Mesa or Scottsdale area for cash flow income, or even a multi-family property, doing your research ahead of time is really the first step to a successful investment. Here are five easy steps to getting started as a landlord.

#1. Being a landlord is being a business.5 Easy Steps to Getting Started as a Landlord

This is much different than a simple homeowner, being a landlord means you will be running a business and you need to treat it like one. As with any good business, starting with the business plan is often the best way to get started off on the right foot. You want to make sure that the property makes sense from a business perspective, not just something you like. It should be reasonably priced, attractive to potential renters or vacationers or whatever type of tenet you’re looking for, and you’ll need to be able to qualify for a reasonable loan unless you’re buying it with cash.

#2. Start small.

I’m not saying you have to stick with a single-family home, but buying an apartment complex with 300 units might be a little overkill for your first run. A small, multiple unit dwelling or just a small single-family house might be a great way to start in the real estate industry. You can try your hand at investment in cash flow and see if it works with your lifestyle, budget, and how much you’re willing to put in for maintenance.

Read More: What to Look for in a Vacation or Second Home

#3. Make sure you understand the area.

Don’t invest somewhere you are not familiar with. Make sure you know the neighborhood or at least the smaller community in which you are buying. This can help you buy the cheapest house in the best neighborhood, which will bring the highest return on your investment.

#4. Use an agent that is familiar with real estate investments.

You don’t want to use an amateur agent that doesn’t understand the logistics of a real estate investment. Go with someone who has the expertise and seasoned experience in buying in your area. Having your own buyer representation during the buying process means that your interests, needs, and goals will be the first priority. You need an agent that will negotiate on your behalf for the right home.

Read More: 6 Questions to Ask Before Buying a Condo

#5. Get help when you need it.

This means in the form of a property manager or maintenance, but if you can’t do everything, don’t try to do it all. You’ll simply end up frustrated and discouraged. If you’re going to be out of town for several months, a property manager can keep things in order, keep the property occupied, and keep your deposits coming. If you’re not sure about doing certain repairs, don’t hesitate on hiring a professional. You might ask around to get a good book of business for handymen, plumbers, electricians, or contractors that do a good job at reasonable prices.

If you’re thinking about buying an investment property in Mesa Arizona or anywhere in the 55 and older communities and neighboring towns, feel free to give me a call to start the process. We can help you with the budget, negotiations, and find the right home for your ultimate financing goals.