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Getting into the landlord business can be very challenging for first time investors. Real estate is a tough business that has its own hurdles, and if care is not taken, you may end up not making profit. Now what are the things that need to be taken into consideration when looking out for an income property? START YOUR SEARCH It is better to search for properties on your own rather than getting a real estate agent. This is because, getting an agent most times gives one much pressure and you end up buying a property that does not really suit you. But searching out yourself, you are more relaxed and able to look into every neighborhood within your investing range. A real estate agent may help you complete the purchase. Four major things to consider when searching for the right property. The first thing you should consider is the neighbourhood. What is the quality of the neighbourhood? The quality will influence the kind of people you attract and the price for rent. For instance, if you buy in a neighbourhood near a university, it is certain that your tenants will mostly be students and vacancies will not be on a regular basis. The second thing you should consider is school. For family-sized accommodations, you need to consider the quality of the schools in that neighbourhood. If a property is good but the nearby schools are poorly facilitated, people may not want to buy and such will affect the value of your investment. The third thing that should be considered is the level of crime in that area. Is it safe? No one wants to live in an environment where criminal activities are high. Ask people who live in that area how frequently a fight breaks out, robbery rate and how regularly the police visits the neighbourhood. The fourth thing you should consider is how social the place is - amenities. How social is the neighbourhood? Are there malls, parks, gyms, cinemas? Is the neighbourhood surrounded by places that attract people? Find out where the public amenities and private properties can be found. Are the roads good? Has electricity been connected to the houses there? GETTING INFORMATION When securing a place, talk to renters and homeowners in the neighbourhood. Renters will be honest in telling you about the negative aspects of the area, because they have no investment in it. If you have decided to buy in a particular neighbourhood, try visiting the area at different days of the week to see the behavior of your future neighbours. THE PHYSICAL PROPERTY After checking out the neighbourhood, look for a property that has appreciation and a good projected cashflow. Look for properties that are more expensive than you can afford and those within your reach. Most times, you will get a good discount for any property. Do a research and compare the prices. That is one sure way to know what anyone is willing to pay for the property. In looking out for appreciation potential, you are looking for a property that will attract tenants who are willing to pay higher rents. Such property may have some renovations you will need to make. This will serve you well, by raising the value of the property if you want to sell after a few years. So, what is the bottom line? There are good cities in every good state, and good neighbourhoods in every city, and good properties in every neighbourhood. It's all about doing a proper research. And when you find your ideal rental property, make sure your finance is in a healthy state so you won't be needing the income immediately, you can patiently wait to start generating cash.