Owning investment property can be a fantastic financial decision and it can be quite a lucrative project if you have the means to do it. But the purchase of such a property is only the first step to being successful, you need to maintain it as well.
For this discussion, we're talking about properties that you have purchased and are earning money back through renting it out. There are other forms of "investment property", but rental property is the most common and the one we're covering today.
You'll have a few things to consider when it comes to care and maintenance of your investment property.
DIY or Contractors?
Many people try to cut corners by looking after their investment properties on their own. This can be an excellent business plan, providing you are capable of taking care of repairs on your own without making problems worse. Unfortunately, most people aren't as capable as they think, and end up with far worse (and far more expensive) problems later on.
No matter if you're hiring plumbers in Sydney or in New York, you're going be getting more expertise than you personally have. Sometimes, that's what your problem needs, regardless of the cost.
And cost aside, what about your time? If you are working at a full time job, it's not always easy to schedule an afternoon to fix a toilet or patch up a leaky roof. Even if you can, the question can be more about when. The best approach is usually a combination of DIY and professional, rather than a solid attachment to one or the other.
Landlords never want to spend any more money than necessary on property repairs, and it can be very tempting to just ignore problems and hope they somehow resolve themselves. The reality is that repairs and maintenance needs don't just miraculously become fixed. Never. The longer you wait, the more annoyed your tenants will be and the problems are likely to get worse. Repairs done quickly will save you money down the road, so don't wait.
Don't Wait for Damage
And speaking of not waiting, that also applies for problems that haven't happened yet. Routine inspections and equipment replacements are always a good idea, rather than waiting around for something to break. Furnace filters, duct cleaning, gutter cleaning or whatever needs your building may have should be part of your regular maintenance.
Stop by your investment property regularly and give it a look over, even just from the outside can be revealing. Call your tenants to make sure nothing has cropped up that they've forgotten to contact you about.
If you want to keep your rental property full and earning you money, you have to ensure that it's appealing to possible tenants. Keep the paint fresh, the lawn trimmed and add small touches when you can to keep the place looking great. Don't consider these efforts to be unnecessary or wasteful. A happy tenant can be a long-term tenant, and that is what you want.