By Darrell Bryant
With any investment, time and money is always involved. For rental property owners, this is especially true. Rental properties require buildings to be maintained, grounds to be monitored, fixtures and plumbing to be repaired, and insurance and taxes to be paid. The financial benefits of your rental property need to outweigh the effort you put into it in order to make the whole experience worth it.
If you are debating whether or not to keep your rental property, ask yourself the following questions.
How Reliable Are Your Renters?
How your rental property is treated and maintained over time will determine how much work and maintenance expenses need to go into it. This is largely impacted by the people who occupy your home day in and day out. If your renters are prone to cleaning up after themselves and keeping your rental property well-kept, then the amount of property maintenance will be kept at a minimum. However, if you have renters who do not clean up after themselves or are at risk of causing major damage, then that will cost you a lot of time and money.
Look back at your last several renters and see if you can detect any patterns. Do you tend to attract reliable renters and the amount of work and maintenance for you has been a breeze? Or are you prone to finding renters who turn out to be disappointing in the end, and your wallet is proof of it?
What Is Your Real Return On Investment (ROI)?
Just because your renters cut you a check every month does not mean that every dollar you get goes straight into your bank account. There are expenses that come with property ownership, and it’s important to take them all into account so you can figure out what is your true ROI. Take your monthly rental income and subtract any maintenance or repair expenses, management company fees, and anything else that was spent on your property that month. The result is your true ROI for the month. Repeat this for the last 6 months to get an estimated monthly average. Once you have these numbers, you can determine whether or not you are making money, and if that amount is satisfactory for the amount of responsibility and time you put into it.
Do The Tax Benefits Still Make Sense?
As a rental property owner, you have access to a set of unique tax benefits provided by the Internal Revenue Service (IRS). For instance, you have the opportunity to deduct your mortgage interest rate payments, your property tax insurance, advertising expenses to recruit tenants, and repair and maintenance expenses. There is even a special category called “depreciation” where rental property owners can deduct the estimated annual “wear and tear” of their property. (1) In order to determine whether or not you should keep your rental property, calculate how much you save on taxes in addition to your monthly rental income after expenses. For instance, if you are in a higher tax bracket, then your rental property has the power to lower how much you’ll pay in taxes. However, if you cannot utilize many of the tax benefits and the numbers do not add up, then keeping your rental property may not make sense financially.
Go The Extra Mile
Your time and money are precious resources that should always be put to good use. If you find that your rental property is giving you a desired boost in income without impeding on your well-being, then you should definitely consider keeping the property. However, if your property isn’t yielding the results you would like and it’s causing you headaches, then it may be time to consider other options.
For good measure and added peace of mind, we at D. Bryant Retirement Strategies would be more than happy to walk you through the different financial options regarding your rental property. Please call us at (402) 932-2141 or email firstname.lastname@example.org to set up an office consultation.
Darrell Bryant, CFS®, CAS® is Omaha’s Retirement Strategist. As the founder of D. Bryant Retirement Strategies, he focuses on helping individuals and couples nearing retirement do so successfully. Along with more than 30 years of experience, he received the Certified Fund Specialist (CFS®) designation and a Certified Annuity Specialist (CAS®) designation from the Institute of Business & Finance. Passionate about helping as many people as possible in his community, he hosts Retirement Strategies Radio, heard Saturday mornings at 8 a.m. on 1110 KFAB. He has also written articles on financial planning that have been featured on Fortune.com, FoxBusiness.com, Money.com, and in the Midland Business Journal. To learn more, visit his blog, his website, or connect with him on LinkedIn.