How much will your home rent for?
Investing in an Austin home to rent for profit requires careful decision-making. Not only are you looking for a move-in ready property you can pick up at a good price and immediately start sourcing renters. You also want to make sure the home you choose will be irresistible to the local renting community. The layout, curb appeal, and amenities are a big part of this, but so too is the neighborhood.
Just like you, when a family is looking for a new home location, they don’t just care about the number of bedrooms. They also want a neighborhood that is welcoming and enjoyable to live in. Renters want a pleasant street, friendly neighbors, and a safe place to raise their children. Young parents and couples planning to have children make up the majority of house renters, followed by grandparents who want many of the same qualities in both a home and neighborhood.
Is a home you’re considering in a good neighborhood that will draw renters? If you can spot all six of these signs of a welcoming, family-friendly neighborhood, then you’ve just struck gold.
When potential renters come to check out your home, the first thing they will see is actually the surrounding street. They will look at the nearby homes, the lawns, the basketball hoops in the driveways and decide if this is a place they want to live. The first key to a welcoming neighborhood is not homogony so much as a uniform level of quality and care in each home. Whether the houses all look the same or each one is built in a unique style, a good street is one where all the homes are in fine repair with attractive yards. If you can’t spot a single house you’d call ‘shabby’, you’ve got a wonderful starting canvas.
Austin may be well-known for high temperatures, but it’s no dessert. Most homeowners agree that the best solution to year-round warm days is a big shady tree. Even better, when everyone on the block has at least one big shady yard tree, it creates a beautiful ‘green tunnel’ effect that looks cool and inviting to potential new residents.
Shady trees cool down the neighborhood and encourage children to play safely outside without overheating in the summer. Along with the green boughs, look for the local speed limit. If it’s 30mph or below, you know you’re in a neighborhood that values peace and local child safety over disruptive rush. This means both that children are safer and the risk of noisy through-traffic is very low.
School buses exist for a reason, but most families would love to live close enough to an elementary or middle school that their children can walk to and from school on their own. There is something inherently pleasant and character-building about walking to school, and doing so with a flock of other neighborhood children is much safer than walking alone from a more distant neighborhood.
Check the area to find out how close the home you’re looking at is to elementary and middle schools. If there are only a few blocks and no busy streets between, then you’re in luck. Families will highly value the ability to send their children off to school without a vehicle ride.
One great sign of an attractive and well-kept neighborhood is the local playground. If there is a neighborhood playground and other local outdoor features, renters with children and/or pets are going to delight in the nearby opportunities for picnics and play. Fortunately, many suburban Austin neighborhoods feature a well-kept park and playground.
Don’t just drive by, get out of your car and take a pleasant walk through the local outdoor areas. This will give you a great perspective on how nice the playground is, how much space there is in the park, and little details you can use to entice renters when describing the neighborhood to them.
This is important: Be very careful about buying an investment home in HOA neighborhoods. Many homeowner’s associations put a cap on how many properties can be used for renting in the area and any given neighborhood may already have reached that cap. And they don’t always tell you about this restriction before you close on the house.
In general, it’s best to avoid HOA neighborhoods because rental privilege is either used up or the policy favors long-standing local owners over newcomers. Instead, look for old neighborhoods or new constructions that aren’t in an HOA.
Finally, keep an eye out for how people behave in the streets. Children playing together in driveways and bicycling in packs are a very good sign for a welcoming neighborhood. It means that any children who are part of your renting family will quickly make friends to play with safely nearby.
Also take a look at the adults. When people are out tending their lawns or getting the mail, do they smile and wave? Is there neighborly small talk? Friendly adult neighbors show that the area is relaxed and welcoming and your renters will feel that warmth when they move in.
Is your investment property located in a great neighborhood for renting? If you’d like more advice on how and where to buy a home to rent in the greater Austin area, contact us today! Here at Austin Property Management Pros, we specialize in the needs and desires of local renters and are always happy to help.