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How to Approach Buying Your First Investment Property

house

You’ve probably heard that investment properties can provide a stream of passive income. While that may sound like easy money, there’s actually a lot of work involved in property investments. Before diving in headfirst, find out what you should do below.

Consider the Work Involved

Owning an investment property takes just as much work, if not more, than having your own home. If you choose to rent out the property, you’re responsible for covering just about everything a landlord covers when they rent out an apartment. If you aren’t prepared, the amount of work can quickly overwhelm you.

For that reason, many investors choose to hire a professional management company. A good company will offer local support whenever you need it, in addition to handling every aspect of running the property. By outsourcing your management, you don’t have to worry about routine home maintenance and dealing with tenants.

Beef Up Your Savings

If you currently have your own mortgage, then you already know how expensive it is to own a home. Even though you hope your investment property will generate some extra income, there are still a lot of expenses.

To start, you have to make a substantial down payment. Lenders usually want at least 25 percent down, which is a lot more than the standard 5 percent minimum for primary residences. So if you’re buying a second home in White Plains, you could easily have to put down more than $100,000 with home sales averaging $462,000 in the area.

If you have the cash needed to buy a home outright, you won’t need to worry about financing the purchase. However, there are still operating expenses. It’s a good idea to build a strong financial cushion to cover things such as routine maintenance and unexpected repairs. Having a good budget and a strong understanding of your cash flow is critical.

Start Small

It’s all too easy to bite off more than you can chew with your first investment property. For example, buying a home that needs major repairs can seriously hamper your ability to make money quickly.

There’s no rule against buying a fixer-upper for your first investment, but you have to think about how long it will take to get the home move-in ready. According to the House Flipping Academy, it can take three months to fix cosmetic repairs throughout the whole house, and up to one year to do a complete renovation. Consider the fact that you’ll be missing out on any potential rental income for that period of time. When you’re just starting out, it might be better to get a home that only needs one or two updates.

Choose a Property Wisely

When picking a home, be sure to think about your long-term goals. Will you hold onto it until you can sell it for profit? Or will you rent it out to families or vacationers? There are pros and cons to each decision. A residential rental property will need to be located in a neighborhood that attracts families or young professionals. A vacation property, on the other hand, should be in an area where people are going to actually want to book short-term rentals.

If you’re thinking about getting a vacation property, be aware that some cities are cracking down on the short-term rental industry. Always check local regulations before making a decision. And keep in mind that laws may change, potentially killing your idea for a successful short-term rental property.

If done right, property investment can be incredibly profitable whether you choose to rent out the home or sell it for profit at a later date. By having enough financial cushion, having a management plan in place, and choosing a property with a lot of potential, you’ll greatly improve your chances of success.

Responsive and Knowledgeable White Plains Accounting Firm With a Personal Touch

White Plains Accounting Firm

In business and personal finance, accountants are often unsung heroes. They can find legal means of saving you money on your taxes. They protect companies from theft and prevent costly financial blunders. And, they can make sure that your family members will be provided for after you’re gone.

Today, accounting software may be plentiful, but there’s still no substitute for human judgment when it comes to monetary matters. In fact, it’s more important than ever to work with a top-notch local accounting firm, one that offers a variety of personalized services. That’s because simple business decisions, routine financial transactions and shortcuts to financial stability and success no longer exist.

In the Metropolitan New York, Connecticut and New Jersey area, Herman & Company CPA’s, P.C. is just such a firm. We’ll get to know you well and we’ll learn about your business and investments to provide top-notch service.

Help With QuickBooks

You may rely on an accounting program such as QuickBooks to handle your transactions. Indeed, QuickBooks is an outstanding choice, as it lets you track expenses, automate payments, create reports and bill clients. However, this program is not a sufficient replacement for the experience and prowess of a knowledgeable CPA.

If you do use QuickBooks, we can provide you and your employees with individual or group training sessions. We could also install this software ― on a computer or a network ― so that one or more people may use it. Further, we can set up each component of the program or enhance the setup you already have.

As time passes, if you have questions or problems regarding QuickBooks payroll or accounting, we’ll gladly aid you with those features. Additionally, we can look over your QuickBooks reports and other documents to make sure they’re accurate and that you know how to use them to run your business efficiently and profitably. If you would like, we will conduct those reviews on a monthly or quarterly basis.

A Wide Range of Resources

Finally, we offer each of our prospective clients a free consultation with no obligations. Other than sending you a note of thanks, we won’t contact you after this meeting unless you request to hear from us again. And that consultation could be a major step toward reaching your personal or business’s financial goals!

 Paul S. Herman CPA, a tax expert for individuals and businesses, is the founder of Herman & Company, CPA’s PC in White Plains, New York.  He provides guidance and strategies to improve clients’ financial well-being.

Any U.S. tax advice contained in the body of this website is not intended or written to be used, and cannot be used, by the recipient for the purpose of avoiding penalties that may be imposed under the Internal Revenue Code or applicable state or local tax law provisions.