Important Considerations When Buying a Former Rental Home

If you’re on the market for a new home and you’re considering buying a current rental home, you may find some tremendous deals priced on the lower end of the market. However, there are particular considerations to make when purchasing a rental home, and prospective buyers should exercise caution in a number of areas.

First, if you plan to live in the home and hope to someday resell it as an owner-occupied residence, you’ll want to be sure the neighborhood supports those goals. If many neighboring homes are owner-occupied, rather than rentals themselves, the neighborhood is more likely to be one in which property values will increase over time.

Second, it’s a well-established fact that tenants don’t always take proper care of their homes, and that landlords may not be particularly invested in doing so either. So, you should be extra careful about uncovering potential defects in the home. Always employ a professional home inspector to give you a comprehensive overview of any structural, safety or maintenance issues that may exist.

Third, when you tour the home, try to do so with only the landlord – no tenants present. Some have been known to sabotage a potential sale because they don’t want to move out. Plus, you’ll feel more comfortable opening cupboards and closets if the tenants aren’t standing over your shoulder.

Last, be prepared to negotiate. While rentals can make for great deals, they can also come with lots of baggage. Take any needed improvements – even cosmetic ones – into account before making an offer.

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