If you already have a job, but are looking for a way to augment your current income, then it may be worth your time to look into investing in real estate. Being a landlord isn’t easy, but it is possible to own a rental property as an investment while also holding down a different full-time job. Let’s take a closer look at your potential investment strategy!
There’s a good market
For starters, you’re absolutely right that there is a market for rentals, particularly in college areas, that isn’t going away anytime soon. More than 40% of Americans rent their living spaces, and that number is actually steadily rising. Home ownership is still a popular goal in America, but increased urbanization and changes in the financial world have made renting increasingly attractive to a lot of us.
Of course, when you set out to purchase a rental property, you’ll be entering an investment market of sorts. A property near a college will certainly be easier to rent, but you have to expect that market forces will make price it more or less fairly.
You need to balance
You should also keep in mind that real estate is a big investment. It’s always a good idea to have some degree of balance in your investments, of course. That’s easily attainable through a diverse portfolio of stocks and bonds, but it’s a bit tougher when it comes to real estate. If you make a big real estate purchase, you’ll be putting a lot of eggs in one basket. And real estate is less liquid than many stocks, bonds, and funds are (liquidity refers to how easily something can be sold for cash).
There are other rewards to it
Investing in real estate can be rewarding in all sorts of ways, not the least of which is financial. It’s just important to remember that you should wait until you can purchase a quality property in the location you really think is best while still having cash left over for everything else you need: other investments in other sectors, an emergency fund, cash for regular expenses, and so on.
Adding on the extra work
If you’re in that position and ready to invest, you can certainly become a landlord while still holding down another job--but keep in mind that it won’t be easy! There are a lot of tasks you’ll be responsible for as a landlord, from property maintenance to making sure that your tenants pay the rent. Plus, there are legal hoops to jump through, insurance policies you’ll need to take out, and risks you’ll run with your investment.
You have to expect that owning a rental property will cost you some time, so expect to tack on some extra working hours to your schedule if you go this route. But you can limit the time commitment enough to still hold down your regular job if you’re willing to get help. Software solutions can help you post rentals, screen tenants, and even draw up leases, say the developers behind popular landlord software. Outsourcing to experts can be key, too: relying on a real estate agent to rent your property will free up a lot of time, as will signing regular maintenance contracts or hiring a building supervisor. Just keep in mind that paying for these services is going to eat into your profits!