When you’re investing in Sonoma County real estate, you need to know how to determine if a property is a good investment. This requires you to think like a tenant. Would you want to rent that property? And, if so – how much would you be willing to rent it for?
A good investment will offer consistent rental income in the short term and appreciation in the long term. You want the numbers to add up and you want to be sure tenants will find the property desirable.
These tips will help you decide if you are investing in the right rental home in California’s Wine Country.
Establish Your Own Investment Goals
No two investors are exactly alike, and the right home for one buyer might not be the right home for you. Good decisions start with good investment goals. Establish what you’re looking for and why. This will drive how you approach the market and what you look for specifically when you’re choosing the best possible property to buy.
Sonoma County Rental Property Location
Location is an extremely important factor both for acquiring your investment and for renting it out. To attract the most qualified tenants, you’ll want to be in an area where there are good schools, easy access to transportation and commuter routes, and a generally peaceful quality of life.
That describes a lot of Sonoma County, including Healdsburg and Windsor. Find the neighborhood that offers growth and is likely to attract your desired tenant pool.
Know the Cap Rate and Do your Math
In real estate investing, the cap rate is basically the price to earnings ratio. You know your budget and your comfort level. Make sure the property you’re considering falls within that range. Measure the strength of your potential investment by price per square foot or some other metric that tells you whether the investment will hold up for you economically.
Buying properties on the low end and renting them out on the high end is every investor’s dream, but it won’t always work out that way, especially in our competitive California market. Define what you’re comfortable with, and be consistent. You can make the numbers work with almost any investment, but if you have to get too creative trying to make the math add up, you might want to find something else that’s less risky.
Set Standards for Property Condition
Fixer-uppers are an appealing idea for investors because you get a bargain and then you can renovate the home into something beautiful. However, repair and rehab projects are always more expensive than you expect and they always take longer than you want.
It’s okay to invest in a home that needs a little work, but make sure the property is structurally sound. Curb appeal is easy to fix. A leaking roof is not. Remember that the longer you spend rehabbing a rental home, the longer you go without income.
If you’re looking for your next real estate investment in Sonoma County, talk to a local professional first. Contact our team at Healdsburg Property Management. We can let you know what you’ll earn in rent and how long it will take to rent the place to good tenants, and we’d be happy to help.
Healdsburg Property Management manages single-family homes, duplexes, four-plexes and multi-unit properties of up to seven units throughout Sonoma County’s Wine Country, including Healdsburg, Windsor, Northern Santa Rosa, Cloverdale and Forestville.