Author Topic: Getting into rentals in the Jacksonville, FL area?  (Read 1799 times)

Vitai Slade

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Getting into rentals in the Jacksonville, FL area?
« on: April 25, 2014, 09:29:04 AM »
After buying my house last year, I feel that I'm fairly comfortable with purchasing property. I'm now settled and ready for a project. I've been thinking very hard about getting into buying a rental property, but I'm terrified of the horror stories I've heard over and over again. My parents had a rental at one point and every person they rented to screwed them on rent and tore up the place. My sister had the same issues with her rental property. Shitty people that didn't pay and tore up the place.

I want to get into rental properties, but how am I supposed to make money if I end up with these dead-beats that don't pay rent and only destroy the house/duplex/whatever? How often do you realistically encounter these people and what kinds of problems have you had to deal with. Also, what are some stories of GOOD renters that you've had and how did you find those people? Is there a common trait to look for in order to find a good renter?

What do you recommend as far as purchasing property? Should I go to the really cheap places to start or buy into a nice area that's a lot more expensive and less likely to get the rent I am asking for?

Should I even bother with getting a rental property? I am not handy AT ALL. I would have to contract out EVERYTHING if the place got destroyed, which would cut into my profits. Should I just buy more REITs or stocks instead?

Kaminoge

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Re: Getting into rentals in the Jacksonville, FL area?
« Reply #1 on: April 25, 2014, 09:45:26 AM »
Funnily enough my boyfriend and I were just looking at properties for sale in Jacksonville. Not that we're considering buying, we were just discussing the differences in prices between where he's from (Jacksonville) and where I'm from (Australia). Man is there ever some cheap property in Jacksonville!

My experience is all based in Australia but I'd say
1. Landlord insurance. Presuming you have that in the US I'd look into it if I was you.
2. The type of client you attract will depend largely on the type of property you have. So cheaper places will unfortunately be more likely to attract less desirable people. Horrible generalisation I know but there is some truth to it.
3. Who is going to manage the place? I know it's not Mustachian (although given I live 10,000 km from my rentals it's unavoidable) but I have professionals manage my properties. They select the tenants and handle all the problems. If you've got good managers you will save a lot of grief. If you are going to manage it yourself all I can really suggest is making sure you really follow up on any references provided by your tenants and make sure you follow the letter of the law when it comes to things like bond.

arebelspy

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Re: Getting into rentals in the Jacksonville, FL area?
« Reply #2 on: April 25, 2014, 09:13:48 PM »
I want to get into rental properties, but how am I supposed to make money if I end up with these dead-beats that don't pay rent and only destroy the house/duplex/whatever?

Get good tenants.

How often do you realistically encounter these people and what kinds of problems have you had to deal with.

Very rarely, if you screen well.

\Also, what are some stories of GOOD renters that you've had and how did you find those people?

They're boring stories, which is why you don't hear them.  My tenants paid me on time, rarely bothered me (only for major things, fixed minor things themselves), then left the house in great shape when they moved out.

...

/shrug

(True story, btw.  Many times.)

Is there a common trait to look for in order to find a good renter?

Yes, tenant screening is both a science and an art.  And there are laws around it (fair housing laws).  Do lots of reading on the topic, because tenant screening is one of THE key items to being a successful landlord.

What do you recommend as far as purchasing property? Should I go to the really cheap places to start or buy into a nice area that's a lot more expensive and less likely to get the rent I am asking for?

I would recommend educating yourself on rentals before doing either of these.  You'll need to define your goals before making a decision like this, but if you're at the stage of asking this question, you're at the stage where you need to learn more so you can define your goals.

Should I even bother with getting a rental property? I am not handy AT ALL. I would have to contract out EVERYTHING if the place got destroyed, which would cut into my profits. Should I just buy more REITs or stocks instead?

I don't do any work on my rentals.  I'm not handy at all either.  Heck, I don't even pick up a paintbrush, though I'm pretty sure I could do at least a mediocre job at that.

Build it into your numbers.  (Which you should do even if you are doing it yourself - because at some point you may have to or want to pay someone.)
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