Meramec Valley Properties Management Reviews How to acquire and invest in rental property

Meramec Valley Property Reviews

Mark Westlock, a licensed agent with Meramec Valley Properties Management (“MVPm”) operates a residential property management company in St. Louis, Missouri. In the article below, Mr. Westlock explains the ins and outs of acquiring a rental property.

Often people build wealth by investing in rental properties. Not only does this provide a monthly stream of income, but historically, real estate has proven to be a solid investment. How to acquire and invest in a rental property? In the article below, Mark Westlock of MVPm explains.

To invest in rental properties, you need to research the market, secure financing, find a real estate agent who monitors new listings and acts quickly when good investments come on the market, and partner with a good management company of properties to screen potential tenants and take care of the day-to-day maintenance and operation of the rentals.

For the novice investor, securing a rental property can seem daunting. It can seem impossible to even know where to start. The Meramec Valley Properties guide looks at how to acquire and invest in rental property and start earning right away.

Research the market to start your rental property investment

Research is the most important step at the start of the rental property ownership journey, explains Mark Westlock of MVPm. It is important to be familiar with the market and neighborhood statistics. There are many sites that offer free information on current listings and past sales, such as Realtor.com.

Meramec Valley Properties Management reviews how easy it is to sort listings based on type (single-family, duplex, triplex, etc.), number of bedrooms, price, and many other criteria. This can provide a general feel for the market and valuable insight into how much capital will be needed to get started.

Another important consideration is rental rates. Meramec Valley Properties Management believes that viewing rental listings online provides a snapshot of the potential gross monthly income for different types of homes in different neighborhoods. A good investment-oriented real estate agent will be able to help an investor determine which properties will provide a good return on investment based on the home’s price and projected gross monthly income, explains Mark Westlock of MVPm.

Also consider neighborhood crime statistics. Sites like Homefacts.com give an overview of crime rates for a given city. Neighborhoodscout.com provides very specific data on individual neighborhoods to help investors and prospective homeowners make decisions. This site provides valuable information for free; however, some of the most sought-after data requires a purchase to access.

Finally, make sure you have a certified property inspector inspect the property prior to purchase. I have seen investors cash flow negative in their first year due to major maintenance issues (ie roofing, siding/brickwork, electrical, plumbing, decks, etc.). You wouldn’t buy your primary home without having it inspected first, so why not inspect your potential investment.

Secure financing

Meramec Valley Properties Management encourages investors to shop lenders for the best mortgage rates. Some lenders (usually local) may be more willing to finance investment properties than large national lenders will not. Also, the more money you can put down (or show you have in reserve) can help with loan approval. Banks like to have an additional deposit account with customers they lend to. Also make sure you don’t over borrow/loan. You need cash flow to cover that rainy day (ie new HVAC, prep, new flooring, etc.).

Investors should expect to have at least a 20% discount on their rent. If there’s plenty of equity in their primary home and the higher monthly payment won’t strain the investor’s budget, borrowing against their primary home can be a viable option for financing the new property, explains Mark Westlock of MVP Properties Management. However, having this home equity loan, a “black day” as mentioned in the previous paragraph is another opportunity for cash reserves.

Meramec Valley Property ReviewsFind a reputable agent who has experience with rental properties

You have nothing to lose by working with an agent. Agents work for the client, which means they are just as eager as the client to find the perfect investment property. Meramec Valley Properties Management believes that success with an agent usually means that the client will return to them in the future.

When choosing an agent, potential buyers should interview until they find someone they are confident will be up to the task. An agent should know the market well, including which neighborhoods are the most profitable when it comes to ROI, especially for rental properties. MVPm is affiliated with ReSource LLC, which has multiple agents with experience with real estate investors (some of these agents are also real estate investors). We also work with numerous other agents from other brokerages to help their clients achieve their goals.

Meramec Valley Properties Management believes that the agent should also be willing to actively research on behalf of the client and contact the client when opportunities arise. An agent who is too busy to act and show properties right away can cause prospective buyers to miss out on great opportunities.

Partner with a reputable property management company

There is nothing worse for an investor than to find that their new rental property has been vandalized by tenants, with thousands of dollars worth of damage that neither renter’s nor homeowner’s insurance will cover.

In addition to this, landlords often have to drop whatever they are doing at any time, day or night, to deal with problems with the property. This could include a pipe in the bathroom spewing water and potentially flooding the home at 3:00 in the morning, or the tenant constantly calling and asking to fix their personal washing machine, even though it is their own responsibility according to your contract.

Finding a reputable property management company is a no-brainer. Meramec Valley Properties Management believes the benefits make the costs pale in comparison. Management companies will screen potential tenants by checking their credit scores and making sure their references aren’t just friends or family members trying to do them a favor. They will also take care of the maintenance of the property so that the investor does not have to personally deal with the tenants.

Final thoughts on rental properties

Historically, real estate has been a great investment. It is possible to be very successful and build wealth by buying and renting properties, but it is important to do it the right way. Do your research, get the right financing, find the right agent and partner with an excellent property management company. Then find success in this new venture!

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