If you purchase a home as an investment, you will want to see some sort of a return...maybe through the properties own appreciation, or maybe through rental income that takes care of the mortgage payments for you. Either way, you want to see $$$ coming your way!
If you don't plan on using the property very often, or at all for that matter, it would be a good idea to go for the rental income. Many people these days are choosing to stay in Vacation Rentals rather than in hotels, because quite simply, the cost is generally lower, and they tend to me more comfortable.
We have many clients who come down to Mexico for several months a year, or even just one month, who prefer to stay in a Vacation Rental, so that they can entertain or cook their own meals, or even to feel as though maybe they aren't so far from home. The properties that rent (and have repeat customers), are the properties that are well cared for and maintained.
Proper furnishings and decorations.
Nobody likes to stay somewhere that feels stale and bare. Furnish your property as if you were going to be living in it. Include cooking utensils and pots and pans as well as some small appliances, hang some art on the walls and include finishing touches like vases and decorative lamps. Also, have these items replaced if they start to get stained or dirty. I'm not saying that you should spend a fortune on furnishing your property...but try to find a balance so that your property is inviting to potential renters.
Maintenance on all appliances.
If the dishwasher, or the water dispenser in the fridge stop working...have them fixed! Give your airconditioners regular maintenance to keep them clean and running smoothly, and make sure your hot water heater and/or pump is also in good working condition.
Cleanings on a regular basis.
There is nothing worse than showing a property to a potential rental client, when it is dirty, or when there are dead bugs on the floors! Even when a property is vacant, it still needs to be cleaned, especially here in Mexico where dust and humidity tend to wreak havok if left for too long. Once a week would be sufficient. Lawn and pool maintenance. This is obviously only of concern if you own a house rather than a condo. The point here, is to keep the outside looking good...curb appeal people! Renters want to be welcomed into a home...not to have to fight their way to the front door. It's hard for most people to "see the potential" in a home, so don't expect renters not to care if the pool is green with algae or the lawn has not been mowed in months. Eeew.
Stellar photos for online promotion.
Pretty much 100% of our clients want to see pictures of the property they are going to rent. They want to see what the decor is like, what sort of view they will have, and if the property looks like it is in good condition. Hire a professional to snap some photos for you, or make sure that the ones you take are a good representation of what you are offering. Also, as a note... don't take a photo with the bathroom toilet as the focus...it's not appealing :) Focus on the vanity or nice jacuzzi tub...or some other feature that you are proud to show off.
After reading this list, I think you will see that you NEED to have someone (friend or property manager) who lives in the same city as where your investment property is located.
**My husband and I are in Mazatlan, Mexico, and proudly provide Property Management and Vacation Rental services for our homeowners
**Without the help of a property manager looking-out for your real-estate investment, you will likely be faced with unexpected complications as well as difficulties in attracting repeat rental customers. So get online and start interviewing some potential Property Managers...and get your investment working for you!
I'm busy working on my blog posts. Watch this space!