Despite all the advice about not buying a residential property for income purposes, many still do. Rental markets are still tight in the hottest real estate markets, with vacancy rates still hovering in the mid-1% range. As such, buying property to rent out makes sense, as long as you have a large enough down payment to ensure that rent covers expenses.
For the best value, consider multi-unit rental properties—like duplexes, triplexes, and beyond. This type of rental stock is still far more favourable than single-unit rentals, such as condos, as you can spread out the risk of rental loss across multiple units. But it also means paying a premium on this type of income property. Not only do you compete against other investors, but also against families and first-time buyers who are trying to find a way into hot property markets.
Also, consider markets that are located near university or hospital hubs but away from larger city centres. Quite often, these smaller college towns offer steady tenant stock, but not much long-term price appreciation. Just remember, as an investor, cash-flow must come first.
As in the past, anyone thinking of buying an investment property should first start with a financial plan and a budget. Then work the numbers. If you can’t withstand a loss—say the roof collapses or you need to hire a lawyer to legally evict a tenant—then you shouldn’t be buying an investment property.
Source: Money Sense