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Time for review…
The beginning of a new year makes for a perfect time to go over your property investing strategy. There are several key elements in any good property investing plan that should be reviewed at regular intervals…so why not now? It shouldn’t take very long to do this review, so let’s get started!
Annual rent roll review
A solid property investing strategy is to review your annual rent roll to ensure you are maximizing market rents from all your units. If you don’t already have tenants under leases, consider creating set leases with small yearly bumps included in them. If you have current leases coming due this year at different intervals, make sure you have a good idea of what bump-ups you want to ask for. Market research is critical here. Go out and check your competition. See what the going rate is for similar units as the ones you have coming available, or that will be up for renewal. Never leave rent roll money on the table. Always be maximizing your cash flow in this way.
Maintenance review time
Have you deferred any needed repairs to your units and/or buildings from last year? Make sure you create a schedule for the needed repairs, lest they become even bigger problems that could cost you exponentially the longer you put off the fixes. Budget for the repairs, and include them in your pro forma cash flow expenses for this year to get a more accurate picture of exactly how much you will net from your property investing.
Debt structure review
If you have long term mortgage notes in place from a long time ago, consider refinancing while rate s are still relatively low. This could end up saving you greatly in the long run. If you paid all cash for a property recently, consider whether this would be a good time to increase your leverage by taking out a mortgage on the property now. If you’ve added improvements to it in the past year, this would also help free up your cash. Crunch your numbers first, and see if the extra debt load from the new mortgage will still allow you a positive cash flow. If so, then a new mortgage may be a great way to help free up your cash for more property investing.
Pre-tax time review
Prior to April 15th, the beginning of the year gets you to focus early on whether you are maximizing your depreciation on your buildings. It’s also an excellent time to get in to see your accountant to go over these matters – before they are snowed under with work come tax time in April. Maybe they will have some new suggestions about how best to maximize your day to day expenses, as well as your capital expenses to help offset your cash flow income, realizing a smaller tax bite come tax time.
Insurance review time
Consider the beginning of the year as the perfect time to review your current building insurance policies. Yu should already be working with one dedicated insurance agent for all your property investing needs. Go over with him any adjustments he would recommend to make sure you are adequately covered in the event disaster strikes – or you have a negligent tenant. Also remember to review your current liability insurance policy on each of your buildings. This may the most critical insurance item to review. Make sure your insurance agent feels you are properly covered in the event of a tenant accidentally hurting themselves on your property, and suing you.
To sum up…
Utilizing this time of year as a great time to review all these key elements of any good property investor will help you substantially. You’ll end up maximizing your cash flows, as well as reducing taxes, and making sure you’re adequately covered in the case of emergencies or disasters.
photos courtesy of santabanta.com, activerain.com, acanthusandacorn.blogspot.com, omaharedcross.blogspot.com