3 Problems I Avoid When Shopping for a Rental Property

3 Problems I Avoid When Shopping for a Rental Property

2 min read
Brandon Turner

Brandon Turner is an active real estate investor, entrepreneur, writer, and podcaster. He is a nationally recognized leader in the real estate education space and has taught millions of people how to find, finance, and manage real estate investments.

Experience
Brandon began buying rental properties and flipping houses at the age of 21. He started with a single family home, where he rented out the bedrooms, but quickly moved on to a duplex, where he lived in half and rented out the other half.

From there, Brandon began buying both single family and multifamily rental properties, as well as fix and flipping single family homes in Washington state. Later, he expanded to larger apartments and mobile home parks across the country.

Today, Brandon is the managing member at Open Door Capital, where he raises money to purchase and turn around large mobile home parks and apartment complexes. He owns nearly 300 units across four states.

In addition to real estate investing experience, Brandon is also a best-selling author, having published four full-length non-fiction books, two e-books, and two personal development daily success journals. He has sold more than 400,000 books worldwide. His top-selling title, The Book on Rental Property Investing, is consistently ranked in the top 50 of all business books in the world on Amazon.com, having also garnered nearly 700 five-star reviews on the Amazon platform.

In addition to books, Brandon also publishes regular audio and video content that reaches millions each year. His videos on YouTube have been watched cumulatively more than 10,000,000 times, and the podcast he hosts weekly, the BiggerPockets Podcast, is the top-ranked real estate podcast in the world, with more than 75,000,000 downloads over 350 unique episodes. The show also has over 10,000 five-star reviews in iTunes and is consistently in the top 10 of all business podcasts on iTunes.

A life-long adventurer, Brandon (along with Heather and daughter Rosie and son Wilder) spends his time surfing, snorkeling, hiking, and swimming in the ocean near his home in Maui, Hawaii.

Press
Brandon’s writing has been featured on Forbes.com, Entrepreneur.com, FoxNews.com, Money Magazine, and numerous other publications across the web and in print media.

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The following are three problems I try to avoid when I look for a rental property. This isn’t to say I will never touch a property that has one of these issues, but there better be a really good reason for it, and I would have to factor it into my numbers.

3 Problems I Avoid When Shopping for a Rental Property

1. Neighborhood

You cannot easily fix a neighborhood. Sure, you could join the local city council and start a neighborhood watch, but the neighborhood is not likely going to change because you want it to. Therefore, I don’t want to buy a property where the neighborhood will always be an unsolvable problem.

Related: How to Weed Out the Top Tier Tenants From the Rental Destroyers

The property will continually be difficult to rent, the tenants will trash the house, I’ll have to deal with evictions and late rent, and in the end, the property’s value may never increase (and might actually decrease). I’m not saying I will only buy in a Class A neighborhood, but I’m definitely not going to buy in a Class D area.

Close-up view of popcorn, glasses and trash on messy table after party

2. Foundation Issues

Foundation issues scare me because they can be a money pit to fix, and the cost of a solution can sometimes eclipse six figures. This is especially true with foundation issues on a house with a basement or slab. I would also put any property that has water leaking in the foundation in this problem category and steer clear. Yes, there are investors who specialize in properties that have bad foundations, but for me, the risk is too great.

3. Shared Driveways

I once bought a nice house in a nice area that shared a driveway with a neighbor’s house. Literally, the two houses were 20 feet apart with the driveway in between, split evenly down the middle into “their side” and “my side.” When I bought the house, I didn’t see any issues with this situation, but within a few months, I learned a terrible truth: The neighbor was a driveway hoarder.

He started to pile up garbage, boats, engines, tires, and everything else you could imagine in the driveway. Although he was polite enough to keep his junk on his side of the shared driveway, it made my property look incredibly bad, and we had a terrible time trying to rent or sell it. The junk in the neighbor’s driveway reduced the value of my property by 20%, and there was nothing I could do about it.

Now I don’t buy properties where the neighbor could so easily affect my bottom line.

woman with hand extended out gesturing stop or rejection

Related: The 5 Most Common Reasons Tenants Leave Your Rentals

In addition to these three, there are other location-specific problems, such as being directly below a flight path or next door to loud/angry dogs. Likely, you’ll have your own list of “won’t touch” property features, and that’s OK. Success is found more often in what you say “no” to than what you say “yes” to.

You don’t need to try to fix every deal you find. As the saying goes, “One man’s junk is another man’s treasure.”

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What are your personal deal-breakers?

Let me know with a comment!