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Rental Rates Aren’t Everything

Pop Quiz, hot shot!

What is the best indicator of real estate investor profitability? (Answer is at the bottom of this article)


We could point to a thousand articles showing that investing in real estate is a proven long-term wealth-building strategy. Tracking KPI’s is a must when investing in real estate. Focusing too much on certain KPI’s can distort a rental property’s long-term investment potential and unnecessarily limit your purchase options. To make the best possible residential real estate investments, it’s important to take a holistic view of each potential rental property within the context of the current (and future) real estate market.


Choosing a rental property involves making a number of important decisions and weighing all of the critical factors involved. It is especially important to avoid short-term thinking and look beyond simply comparing your anticipated rental rate to your mortgage payment. Industry experts say that there are as many as ten different things to consider when beginning your next property search. For example, the neighborhood in which the property is located, the local job market, and nearby amenities are all important elements to consider when choosing a rental property. The location of a property is important because it will determine what type of residents you will be able to attract to the property and will greatly impact your vacancy rate. The local job market and proximity to amenities will also affect the type of residents drawn to your rental, as well as impact your property values.


The value of the property, both present and future, can be an invaluable piece of information when choosing a rental to buy. The house’s potential for appreciation must be one of the long-term factors considered when making your decision, because even if the property isn’t valued highly at the present, it may be five or ten years down the road. Another related consideration is future development in the area. New construction can have a significant impact on property values, so it is important to gather as much information as you can about local or regional plans to develop or renovate nearby areas.


While assessing the market and local conditions are important, investors cannot afford to overlook things such as property taxes, age of the property (this is huge when it comes to ongoing maintenance and repairs), the number of listings and vacancies in the area, and average rents. A detailed market analysis can provide rental property owners with a window into the near future and, when combined with the other information gathered, provide a solid base upon which to estimate future performance.


Knowing how much rent you can get right now for a rental property versus the mortgage payment and other costs is an important number to have while making a new investment. But taking a holistic view of each prospective property and evaluating all of the significant factors can help you make wise investments in properties that are likely to grow in value year after year. At Real Property Management Pittsburgh, we can help you plan a long-term investment strategy designed to maximize your returns over the entire span of your property investments. Our professionals assist residential real estate investors through a range of quality services, applying industry best practices to ensure that each property you buy will help you meet your long-term financial goals.


ANSWER: Vacancy Rate

Keep those properties occupied!

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