There are many reasons that you may want to turn your home into a rental. Maybe you have inherited a property you have no intention of using. Your house may have been on the market for too long, and you don’t feel like you can sell it at a value to break even. Or you may be among the millions of homeowners that would like to supplement their income or invest with rental properties. Lucky for you, the Treasure Valley is currently experiencing a booming housing market, so it’s the perfect time to turn your home into a rental!
It may be tempting to go ahead and get your home listed, but it’s important to not just jump in headfirst. To make sure your home is prepared, both physically and financially, to be rented, follow our quick and easy guide here!
Make Sure It’s Allowed
It may seem like something you shouldn’t have to worry about, but you may not be able to put your home up for rent depending on the location and mortgage status of your home.
Some mortgage loans require you to live in the home for a certain amount of time before allowing you to convert it into a rental. Other loans may not cover an investment property at all and are only applicable to your primary residence. Make sure you consult your mortgage lender to check what you’re legally allowed to do. You may be required to refinance your loan before you rent it out.
Some HOAs place restrictions on rental properties or may require prior approval before you can rent out your home. Double check with your neighborhood’s HOA to determine what steps you must take to approve your home for rental.
Change Your Insurance
In most cases, your homeowner’s insurance alone will not be enough to cover a rental property. Landlords take on some degree of responsibility for the safety of the people living in their property, so make sure to choose your new insurance policy carefully. Your insurance should have comprehensive coverage to protect you from damage and loss, and liability insurance should one of your renters get injured on the property. Some rental property insurance policies extend to attorney’s fees as well to cover if you’re sued, property damage from negligent tenants, and more.
Get Your Property Resident Ready
Probably the most obvious entry in the guide, you’ll need to get your home ready for its new residents! From a legal standpoint, it’s important to make sure your house is up to code but making repairs and improvements can help attract potential renters. Plus, with anything you add on you can charge more rent and raise a higher profit.
Check Building Codes
You may want to go ahead and jump right into needed renovations and décor, but you should first address your building codes. These codes, set by both state and local governments, are the minimum housing safety standards and are mandatory for landlords to follow. They cover maintenance, sanitation, electrical, ventilation, and fire safety and are subject to change depending on the location of your property. We recommend a thorough read through of the Idaho Code but be sure to look up the specific building code for your city as well.
Of course, reading through pages upon pages of code might not be everyone’s cup of tea. While you should still read it in order to understand your responsibilities, you can also make life just a bit easier by scheduling an inspection with your local building department. Depending on your location there may be a small fee to conduct the investigation, but this is a necessary step in making sure your property is rental-ready. Plus, this small fee can save you thousands in maintenance and compliance fees down the line, so it is more than worth it.
Make Any Needed Renovations
Just like you would if you were to sell your home, the decision to rent out your home necessitates the need to update and renovate the property. Now, we’re not saying to go out and replace every appliance in your home. But slapping on a new coat of paint or replacing worn out door knobs, handles, and faucets can really work wonders. In general, if it looks old and worn out, you should replace it-if it doesn’t break the bank, that is. We also recommend getting your carpets cleaned and considering getting your hard wood resurfaced. These little details will stand out to prospective tenants!
If you really want to take on a large home improvement project to try and further appeal to future renters, we suggest transforming a room into a home office. More people than ever are working out of their homes, so home office spaces are a big seller. You don’t need to do much, but if you have access to fiber-optic internet you may want to consider getting it installed. An at-home worker’s most vital tool is fast internet speeds, and this helps to take care of that.
You want your home to make a good first impression, and it can’t do that if its grass is overgrown and full of weeds. According to a 2013 survey from the National Association of Realtors, 71% of homebuyers consider curb appeal to be an important part of the home buying process. Be sure to plan ahead, focus on both your entry and exit, spruce up your lawn, and repair any sprinkler issues!
Find a Tenant
You’ve gone through most all of the necessary steps to rent out your home, what’s left is to put it on the market! There are multiple sites out there that will help you to find a tenant, but it may be confusing to navigate them all. It might also be challenging to determine your exact rental rules and set a price for rent. That’s where we come in! DJW Property Management has years of experience managing rental properties. We’ll help you get your home ready for rent, find a responsible tenant, and take care of collecting rent on time every month. You can sit back and relax while we take care of managing your property for you!
Let us manage your rental property! Contact us today to begin your journey to becoming a landlord!