Essential Tips for Buying Your First Investment Property

By Erin Reynolds,

There are many great reasons to invest in a rental property—passive income, predictable cash flow, tax benefits, and real estate appreciation to name a few. However, buying a rental does come with its fair share of work. To ensure your rental business is a success, you’ll have to calculate the costs involved, make a plan to mitigate risk, and determine how you’re going to manage your rental as efficiently as possible.

Are you ready to jump into the wonderful world of real estate investing? Check out the following tips from Front Desk USA to ensure your first rental property is a success!

Research the Rental Market

First, suggests getting to know your local rental market. Researching different markets can help you determine the best place to buy based on important factors like the demand for rentals and the going rental rate for the area. Pay attention to location factors like crime rate, proximity to amenities, and availability of public transit to determine the desirability of different locations.

The vacancy rate can also tell you a lot about the neighborhood. A low vacancy rate means that rentals are in high demand while high vacancy rates can be a red flag.

Wherever you live, instead of renting out your home long-term, consider renting it short-term to visiting tourists. Vacation rentals in popular areas are attractive options for travelers visiting the city.

Calculate Your Expected Profits

Renting out a property isn’t always profitable. In fact, many first-time investors have a hard time breaking even every month. Research is the key to ensuring your property will turn a profit instead of sucking your savings dry and leaving you with no choice but to sell.

Regular expenses can add up! Use local data to calculate the expected cost of expenses like HOA fees, insurance, utilities, property taxes, and mortgage payments. Remember to estimate routine maintenance as well! Once you’ve estimated monthly costs, subtract this number from your planned rental rates to determine your anticipated monthly cash flow.

Prepare Your Down Payment

While first-time homebuyers can get away with down payments as low as 3.5 percent, notes that purchasing a rental property typically requires a down payment of at least 20 percent. Saving up this kind of money can take some time, so ensure you plan ahead! Keep in mind that you may also have to pay closing costs, real estate agent commissions, and repair costs when buying a new property, so make sure you have some extra cash after paying your down payment.

Prepare for Unexpected Expenses

Unexpected expenses can derail the best of financial planning. For example, it’s important to be aware of all of a house’s issues on the front end before buying a home as-is. You’ll have a good idea of how much cash you’ll need on hand to get the property ready to rent.

It’s also important to have cash available for unexpected expenses that may occur while managing your rental. For example, if your tenants stop paying rent, you will be glad you put some money aside to cover your expenses until you can get things cleared up. As The Reluctant Landlord explains, you should also be prepared to cover the cost to repair or replace broken appliances. You can’t leave your tenants without a working furnace in the winter!

Attract High-Quality Tenants

Once your rental is all set up and ready to welcome tenants, your top priority should be finding high-quality renters. Great tenants will save you money and stress, so spending the time to find them is well worth it. High-quality tenants are less likely to cause damage to your property, miss rent payments, or move frequently and create costly vacancies. To find the best tenants, make sure you buy a property in an area that’s popular with your target demographic. For example, if you’re looking to rent to young families, look for rentals near good schools. Most importantly, make sure you screen your tenants before having them sign a lease!

Buying a rental property can be a great way to your feet wet in the world of real estate investing. Just make sure you do your research before committing to your major purchase! Careful planning will ensure your property purchase will serve as a valuable investment that generates passive income for years to come!

Photo via Pexels

Front Desk USA is a niche map publishing/advertising business focused on providing customized, high quality concierge maps paid for by local advertisers and distributed by all the hotels to their guests in the area. Advertisers include restaurants, retail shops, spas and other businesses who want exposure to hotel guests. The number one question hotel personnel are asked, ” Where is a good place to eat around here?”. Our maps do more than answer one question. We try to answer all the questions!



We trust our team of publishers to create the products and services that help millions of guests who use our maps to have a more enjoyable stay in the community they are visiting. We take a lot of pride in offering the best possible product to our hotel partners. And working with the area’s best businesses is a lot fun. Our brands offer significant income potential to publishers because our advertisers see significant return on their exposure to hotels guests looking for their products and services. We’re looking for more like-minded entrepreneurs who want to join us.

You can learn more about our Product, Process and People here.


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It means business for your business. With over a 1,000 hotels currently using Front Desk USA maps and tens of thousands being viewed by hotel guests each day, Front Desk USA is the, “go-to” visitor information guide for hotels. The maps are designed to assist hotel guests with questions they may have about the area around the hotel. Our maps are custom drawn to be specific to a geographic area. This means an advertiser can reach a specific number of hotel guests in their area. Front Desk USA maps focus on categories that are most important to hotel guests such as where to EAT, where to SHOP and where to PLAY. Publishers monitor hotels to ensure adequate inventory at all times. Hotels can order additional maps anytime at no charge. Now we have added custom  welcome website pages creating even more opportunity for exposure from additional marketing and promotions using social media. Just search Facebook for Front Desk USA.

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Hotels have at their fingertips all of the information they might need to guide their guests. Our maps can answer almost any question a guest might ask the hotel staff about the area around them. Many of our maps cover large metropolitan areas, and our maps assist guests with making their way to airports, etc. The maps pinpoint selected area restaurants (EAT) that are family-friendly fun and which have the best tasting food in the area of course. The maps also include shopping areas (SHOP) and pinpoint pharmacies and hospitals, etc. Area attractions (PLAY) are also are pinpointed, like museums, golf courses and parks and amusement venues.