What are the things to look out for when renting?

7 Replies

Hi i'm looking to buy my first investment property in Philadelphia to use as a cashflow property for rentals. I am looking at cheaper houses/townhouses no more than 60k because i'm looking to start small, it being my first future property. I am slightly uncertain of what to look out for as far as numbers and the property itself...any advice would be greatly appreciated!!

@Katie Heer thanks for responding so quickly to my inquiry. I will be focusing on specifically Philadelphia, since i currently work/live in Manhattan, Philadelphia has favorable prices and it's relatively close to New York.

@Katie Heer sorry i misread your question lol! um that's the think i have been looking through zillow and there is a wide range of houses i have been interested in 19143, 19134, 19140 are a couple of zip codes that i have found cheap houses that could potentially be great rental properties. Again this will be my first investment property and unsure of many things. Any advice will help!

19143 Kingsessing and Cobbs Creek 

19134 Port Richmond 

19140 North Philadelphia

These are the names of the zip codes you listed. 

Philadelphia is a great city, immense with opportunity and extremely proud of its various neighborhoods, all of which have their own challenges and benefits. Please do some research on these areas and figure out if these are the neighborhoods that would
A. Provide the best ROI
B. Fulfill what you are looking for as an investor.
C. (difficult to gauge sometimes) are poised for appreciation.

http://www.city-data.com/ is a great website to get a better feel for the breakdown of these neighborhoods. Ultimately I think it depends on what your goals are for real estate. 

Also, I would suggest reading articles, latest news stories that feature these neighborhoods. On the areas that I focus on, I have subscribed to Google Alerts, which sends daily updates of news stories that feature my areas. In your case, you could put a Google Alert in for "Port Richmond, Philadelphia" for example, which would provide you with updated info about the things going on in your area.


@Charlene Isoh as @Katie Heer has mentioned, make sure you do plenty of research. Philadelphia can be very block by block, especially some of the neighborhoods you've mentioned. 

In addition to the tools listed, I use Google maps to also learn an area. 

Since you're a short bus/train ride away, I'd make a weekend out of it and visit the neighborhoods yourself. Best of luck!  

Before you invest take the time to learn your state landlord tenant regulations. You can not expect to successfully operate your business without knowing the rules.

Keep in mind lower end rentals will be labour intensive to manage. Much more hands on regarding training, screening and evicting tenants.

Wow, a great deal to think about...thanks for providing this information. I will certainly be doing more research as a whole...@Katie Heer  now would you say there are places that you like in Philadelphia you feel i should look into more? As far as what i'm looking for?.. simple cash flow properties that will provide some level of profit after all expenses are considered