Many homeowners are looking to renting out their house, either to avoid foreclosure, or to buy another property without selling their home. You need to know how to rent your house to be sure that you are making a good financial move. Their are many aspects to consider other than how much your mortgage is, you need to think about legal issues, advertising and repairs. Renting your house makes you an immediate landlord, and there are many things to consider before jumping in.

Preparing Your Home

You need to prepare your home for rental in a similar fashion as if you were selling. You need to make the home look  nice, but there is no need to over improve. Fresh paint, clean rooms and all appliances and systems in working order are a good start. If you are making improvements, you do not need to buy top of the line. Renters will cause wear and tear to the property, and you are not going to get the same return like you would selling. If you are selling, you can make upgrades in order to increase the asking price. Renters are not going to pay much more because you added top of the line faucets or fixtures.

Advertise

Advertise your home using multiple outlets. Try internet ads like Craigslist, social media sites, old fashioned newspaper ads and a sign in the front lawn. Include pictures of the inside and a detailed description. Decide if you will allow pets and how many are okay.

Name a Price

Generally speaking you want to be making a profit after you pay the mortgage. A good way to see how much you can get for rent is to research other properties in your area and see what they are going for. Check out Realtors websites too since they offer rental properties. If you do take a loss out of necessity, like a job transfer, then at least the loss is a tax deduction.

Use a Management Company

If you are not handy and are not interested in making repairs, collecting rent or being very involved with the tenants, then consider a management company. They will charge a monthy fee to manage your rental property. They will often do repairs, collect rent, screen the tenants, do credit checks and advertise the property. They are the contact point for the tenant so you can be hands off.

Consult the Professionals

Renting a property can affect your tax situation. You may want to consult an accountant ahead of time to make any necessary withholdings changes. Also, you could talk with a lawyer about legal issues like lead paint and renting discrimination. Some states offer this information for free so you can be sure you're following all state and county codes when renting out your home.

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