Landlord Tips for Mortgage Savings

You may think only rich people need landlord tips. After all, in this day and age, how many of us have the money to go out and buy property for the express purpose of renting it? Sure, you might make some money, but you could also lose a bundle.

But you don't always wind up buying rental properties. In my situation, for example, we had to move to a larger home to accommodate a growing family. To sell our old house would have cost a fortune: property values have plummeted, and we were locked into a mortgage. We made the decision to save money by renting out the property instead.

Unfortunately, there wasn't anyone around to give us landlord tips -- so if you're in a similar situation, you can benefit from our mistakes. Years later, we actually own two rental properties and make a decent amount of money. But it took a while to figure out the ins and outs of being a landlord.

Save money with these landlord tips

These tips will help you successfully rent and maintain a property.

1. Know the law

Many states have specific laws requiring both landlords and tenants to fulfill certain obligations. Find out what these are before you start renting and make sure you're willing to take care of your property. Also, find out what conventions are in your area. For example, in our old hometown, it's just expected that the tenants take care of snow and mowing the lawn. In our new community, everyone expects the landlords to do it.

2. Create a specific rental agreement

The rental agreement is a legally binding document that protects both you and your tenants. Look up rental agreements online and find one you like, then alter it to suit your specific needs. Make sure it addresses things like damage deposits, penalties for late rent, and your right to enter the property.

3. Research tenants carefully

You won't save money if your tenants trash your house. Take the time to check references and make sure these are people you want to deal with.

4. Take everything into account when deciding on the rent

If possible, the monthly rent should cover your mortgage payments on the property, the insurance on the property, and any property taxes. If you want mortgage savings, you may have to charge a bit more. If your rent is unreasonable, though, you'll have trouble getting good tenants.

Think of your rental property as an investment. You might not wind up with a lot of spare cash, but you can save money in the long run by building equity in the property at no cost to yourself.

5. Keep an eye on the property

Even if your tenants are trustworthy, wonderful people, you should drive by at least once a month, preferably once a week, and just check on the property. Look for any telltale signs of wear, abuse, or neglect, and deal with them promptly.

You really can achieve mortgage savings by renting out property, but it takes some planning and effort. If you want to save money and already own a property, it's a good route to consider -- and with these landlord tips, you won't have any problems achieving success!

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