How to Invest in Rental Property as a Beginner in 2024?

Are you ready to take control of your financial future but need help knowing where to start? Investing in rental property is the perfect option for you! Not only can it provide a steady stream of passive income, but it also offers the potential for significant appreciation over time.

As a beginner, entering the rental property investment world can be intimidating. With hard work and dedication, you can find and buy a great rental property that generates consistent income. Investing in rental property should be a financial game changer — not just a means to bring in a second paycheck. This is why it’s essential to know how to invest in rental properties as a beginner.

This guide covers everything from how to find the right property, finance your investment, and manage it for long-term success. This guide helps you make informed decisions and reach your financial goals, whether you’re a first-time investor or expanding your portfolio.

So, let’s dive in and discover how you can build wealth through rental property investing!

Is Buying A House A Good Investment?

Buying a house can be a crucial financial decision with many responsibilities, including regular maintenance, repairs, and mortgage payments. However, owning a home can also be a significant investment in the long term and a source of financial security and stability.

There are several factors to consider when determining whether a house is a good investment. Here are some essential things to keep in mind:

Unpredictable Property Markets

The real estate market is the first and most crucial factor to consider when deciding whether a house is a good investment. Real estate markets can be unpredictable and subject to fluctuations, making it difficult to predict the potential return on investment.

However, the real estate market has historically appreciated over time, even though it can be volatile.

You Can’t Ignore The Location

Another important consideration when determining whether buying a house is a good investment is location.

The home’s location can significantly affect the property value, and buying in a desirable neighbourhood with good schools, public amenities, and low crime rates, among other factors, can increase the potential for your home’s value to appreciate over time.

Homeownership can be Expensive

Owning a home comes with its own set of costs that are important to consider before deciding to buy. Property taxes, maintenance costs, and mortgage payments are a few examples of the expenses associated with homeownership. Therefore, it’s essential to have a solid understanding of these costs before taking the plunge.

Homeownership can be a Long-term Commitment

Homeownership is a long-term commitment; unlike renting, buying a home comes with many responsibilities that require long-term dedication. It’s essential to be sure that you are ready to commit to owning a home before making this decision.

Advantages of Buying Home

Purchasing a home comes with some potential drawbacks, but it also has several possible advantages. 

  • One of the most significant benefits of owning a home is the potential appreciation of the property value over time. Buying a home in a desirable location will appreciate over time, allowing you to build equity and earn a profit when you sell.
  • Another benefit of buying a house is the potential tax benefits. Several tax deductions are available for homeowners, including deducting mortgage interest and property taxes from income taxes.
  • Paying a mortgage is also a form of forced savings, as every payment goes towards building equity in the home. Over time, this equity can be used to build wealth and improve your financial situation. 
  • Finally, owning a home means having a place to call your own. You can make it your own, customize it to your liking, and build lasting memories with your family. According to the Census Bureau, the homeownership rate was 66.7% in the fourth quarter of 2021.

How To Find Your First Rental Property?

Investing in rental property can be a great way to build long-term wealth and generate passive income. However, finding the right property can be a challenge. Here’s a more comprehensive guide on how to find your first rental property and make the most of your investment:

Know Your Goals

Before looking for properties, you must know what kind of return you expect and how much time you’re willing to commit

Buying an older home that needs repairs may be challenging.  Though if you’re willing to put up with some wear and tear, these homes can make great investments because their rents are lower than those for newer properties and would otherwise be empty.

Determine your Budget and Financing Options

One of the first things you need to do is determine how much you can afford to spend on a rental property. Consider your financing options and what type of mortgage you can qualify for. You will also need to factor in property maintenance and repair costs. In today’s real estate market, it’s a good idea to have a mortgage pre-approval in hand when shopping for a home.

Moreover, make sure you set aside some money specifically for this purpose. Once you have money set aside, stick with it until you find something that fits within your budget range and meets all of your criteria.

Choose a Location

Location is one of the most critical factors regarding rental property investment. Look for areas with a solid rental market and a history of appreciation.

A poorly located apartment building or house will need help attracting tenants and generating enough income for the owner. Hence, check out the local job market and amenities such as schools, shopping centres, and transportation.

Look for Properties

The first step towards getting started in real estate is finding a property you want to buy and rent. The best way to do this is using a rental property finder tool. This will help you quickly find houses in your area already being rented out and determine their rental price range. 

You should also look into what other new properties are being built in your area to assess the competition and determine if there will be enough demand for additional properties like yours when they go up for sale.

Analyze Potential Properties

Once you have identified them, you must analyze them carefully. Look at factors such as the current condition of the property, potential rental income, and maintenance costs. You should also consider the local real estate market and comparable rental properties.

Offer and Close

Once you have found a property that meets your criteria, it’s time to make an offer. Negotiate with the seller and hire a real estate attorney to guide you through the closing process.

Hire a Property Management Company

Managing rental properties can take time and effort. Consider hiring a property management company to handle the various aspects of the property, such as renting out the property, vetting tenants and managing the relationship with them, and handling maintenance, repairs and emergencies.

Investing in rental property can be a great way to build long-term wealth and generate passive income. By following these steps and doing your due diligence, you can find a rental property that meets your investment goals and provides a solid return on investment.

It might be helpful for you to know what the process is if you are looking to purchase a rental property.

Conduct a thorough Property Inspection

  • Hire a professional inspector to check for any structural or mechanical issues.
  • Depending on the property size, inspection costs can range from $300 to $500.
  • The inspection report can also help you negotiate the price with the seller.

Make an Offer and Negotiate the Deal

  • Determine the fair market value of the property through research and analysis.
  • Submit your offer directly to the seller or through a real estate agent.
  • Sellers may counter your request, so be prepared to negotiate.
  • The average time to negotiate and finalize a deal is about 30 to 45 days.

Secure Financing

  • Shop the best mortgage rates and loan terms to fit your budget and investment goals.
  • The down payment for a rental property is typically 20% of the purchase price.
  • Closing costs can range from 2% to 5% of the purchase price.

Close the Deal and Transfer the Funds

  • Sign a purchase agreement and other legal documents.
  • Transfer the funds for the purchase through a wire transfer or cashier’s check.
  • On average, a deal is likely to close within 30 to 45 days after signing it.

Hire a Property Management Company

  • Research and compare property management companies in your area
  • Property management fees typically range from 8% to 12% of the monthly rent.
  • A good property management company can handle tenant screening, collecting rent, and maintenance tasks, freeing up your time to focus on growing your investment portfolio. 

By following these steps and doing your homework before making your purchase, you will be able to buy your first rental property and generate monthly income passively in the process.

Check Out This Is How You Can Buy Real Estate With Little or No Money:

How To Finance Your Rental Property?

Financing your ideal rental property is the biggest hurdle for beginners who want to invest in real estate. However, it is possible to overcome this hurdle. You can still own a rental property with less money through creative financing.

Determine your Budget and Investment Goals

To succeed with investing in rental properties, you must have a clear vision of what you want from this investment and how much time you can dedicate to managing it. Make sure you’re realistic about what kind of returns you can expect from this property. 

Estimate how much money you’ll need for upkeep and repairs each year after purchase. That way, if something unexpected happens during ownership, you’ll know how long it will take to recoup those costs. This will also help ensure that your finances are secure enough for this investment.

Explore your Financing Options

Knowing the different types of loans is essential when exploring your financing options. Traditional mortgages are a standard option, but private lenders and hard money loans are alternative options if you don’t qualify for a conventional mortgage. In all transparency, unless you have a unique situation for which you need the money for a short period of time we don’t recommend private lenders and hard money loans.

Financing OptionDescriptionPros and Cons
Own Home Equity Line of CreditBorrow against home equity for lower interest rates & tax-deductible interest. Risk of using the primary residence as collateral.+Lower interest rates, +Tax-deductible interest-Risk of losing primary residence if unable to make payments
Using Other People’s Money Borrow from friends, family, or investors for less cash investment. The plan required for repayment.+Less cash investment-Requires a solid plan for refund -Potential for personal relationship strain
Traditional MortgageLoan for rental property purchase with lower interest rates but higher down payment and stricter qualifications.+Lower interest rates, -Higher down payment, -More stringent qualifications
Hard Money LoansShort-term loan with higher interest rates and shorter repayment terms for quick acquisition of rental property.+Quick acquisition, -Higher interest rates, -Shorter repayment terms
Seller FinancingProperty seller acts as the lender. Good option with clear terms and a payment plan, but it comes with risks.+Potential for more flexible terms,+Good option with clear terms and payment plan -Risk of losing the property if unable to make payments.

Save for a Down Payment

You’ll need a down payment to qualify for a loan from a bank or other lender. Most lenders require a down payment of 20% or more for a rental property. This can be a significant amount of money, but it can also help you secure the financing you need.

If you don’t have enough money saved up for the down payment, consider asking family members or friends if they’d be willing to help by contributing toward it.

Prepare your Financial Documents

You will need to provide a lot of documentation when you apply for financing. These include bank statements, tax returns, pay stubs and other proof of income documents. You should also have a copy of your credit report and current debt information. 

The lender will want to see that you have enough savings to cover the costs of owning the rental property and make payments on any mortgage loan they may approve.

Shop for the Best Rates

When shopping for the best rates, comparing loan terms, interest rates, and fees is essential. This can help you find the best deal and save money in the long run.

Consider your Cash Flow

Cash flow is an essential factor to consider when financing a rental property. You’ll need to ensure that you can afford the mortgage payment and other expenses associated with the property, such as property taxes, insurance, and maintenance.

If your cash flow is negative, you spend more than you generate. If it’s positive, then you’re collecting more than you spend.

A positive cash flow is essential because it allows you to pay off your mortgage faster and build up equity in your property more quickly, two things that will help make your investment more profitable over time.

Be Prepared for Additional Costs

In addition to the down payment and closing costs, additional charges may be associated with financing a rental property, such as appraisal fees, and title insurance. Be sure to factor these costs into your budget to avoid any surprises.

Factors Affecting the Financing Method

When it comes to funding a rental property, there are several factors to consider, including your credit score, the amount of down payment you can afford, and the terms and conditions of the loan.

It’s essential to research and compare different options before making a decision. Additionally, it’s crucial to have a solid business plan in place to ensure that your rental property is profitable and you can make your loan payments on time.

When financing a rental property, there are several factors to consider: 

Down payment: Generally, a larger down payment means a lower interest rate and monthly payment. Lenders often require a higher down payment for rental properties than primary residential property, typically around 20-30%.

Credit score: Your credit score is essential in determining your eligibility for a rental property loan and the interest rate you will receive. A higher credit score may result in a lower interest rate and better loan terms.

Rental income: Lenders will consider the potential rental income of the property when deciding whether to approve a loan. They typically require a certain rental income to offset the monthly mortgage payment.

Cash reserves: Lenders may require you to have a certain amount of cash reserves, such as 6-12 months of mortgage payments, to cover unexpected expenses or periods of vacancy.

Type of loan: There are various types of loans available for financing rental properties, including traditional mortgages, HELOCs, hard money loans, and seller financing. Each type of loan has pros and cons, so it’s essential to consider which option is best for your situation.

Interest rates and fees: Interest rates and fees can vary greatly depending on the type of loan and the lender. Shop around and compare rates and fees from multiple lenders to find the best deal.

Risks: The potential for vacancy, unexpected expenses, and the responsibility of being a landlord are some risks that must be weighed before committing to financing a rental property. It’s essential to have a solid plan in place to manage these risks and ensure that you can make the loan payments on time.

Managing Your Rental Property

Owning a rental property can be a significant investment, but managing it can be daunting. Whether a first-time landlord or a seasoned pro, it’s crucial to have a plan to ensure your property is well-maintained, your tenants are happy, and your finances are in order.

Let’s provide some tips and tricks for managing your rental property like a pro.

Set Clear Expectations from the Start

One of the most important things you can do when managing a rental property is to set clear expectations. This means having a detailed lease agreement that outlines your expectations for your tenants, including rules about noise levels, pets, smoking, and more. In Ontario, landlords must use the Ontario Standard Lease

Be sure to review the lease agreement with your tenants before moving in and answer any questions they may have.

Keep Your Property Well-Maintained

Keeping your property well-maintained is essential for attracting and retaining tenants. Regular maintenance and repairs can prevent minor problems from turning into big ones and save you money in the long run. 

Be sure to perform periodic inspections of your property inside and out to identify any issues that need attention.

Respond Promptly to Maintenance Requests

When tenants report maintenance issues, they must respond promptly. Ignoring or delaying repairs can lead to frustrated tenants and even legal issues. Be sure to keep an open line of communication with your tenants and address their concerns promptly.

Screen Your Tenants Thoroughly

Screening your tenants thoroughly is essential in managing your rental property. This means performing background and credit checks, verifying employment and income, and checking references. You want to ensure your tenants are reliable, responsible, and can afford to pay the rent on time.

Enforce Lease Terms and Policies Consistently

Enforcing your lease terms and policies consistently is vital for maintaining a peaceful and harmonious environment for your tenants. If you make exceptions for one tenant, others may feel treated unfairly. Be sure to address any violations of the lease agreement promptly and consistently.

Communicate Clearly and Effectively

Clear and effective communication is vital to managing a rental property. Be sure to communicate regularly with your tenants, whether it’s through email, phone, or in-person meetings.

Make sure your tenants know how to reach you in an emergency and that you have a system for addressing their concerns.

Keep Detailed Records

Keeping detailed records is vital for managing your rental property. This includes records of rent payments, maintenance requests, repairs, and more. Good record-keeping can help you stay organized, comply with legal requirements, and provide you with important information for tax purposes.

In addition to these tips, you can do a few other things to manage your rental property effectively. Here are some additional tips and tricks:

  • Set up automatic rent payments to ensure timely payments and reduce the risk of missed payments.
  • Consider hiring a property management company to handle some or all the tasks in managing your rental property.
  • Use online tools and resources to help you manage your rental property, such as property management software, tenant screening services, and maintenance request portals.
  • Stay up-to-date on local and state laws and regulations related to rental properties to ensure you comply.

By following these tips and tricks, you can manage your rental property like a pro and enjoy the financial benefits of being a landlord. With a bit of planning, organization, and communication, you can create a positive experience for your tenants and maintain a successful rental property for years to come.

How To Rent Out A House?

Renting out a house can be a great way to earn passive income and maximize the value of your property. However, renting out a home can be daunting for first-time landlords. Here are some steps to make the process smooth and stress-free:

Prepare the Property

 Before listing the property for rent:

  1. Ensure it is in good condition.
  2. Make necessary repairs, paint the walls, and clean the floors.
  3. Ensure all appliances and fixtures are in good working order.
  4. Create a checklist to ensure you get everything. This will make your property more attractive to potential renters and help you avoid legal issues.

Determine the Rent Price

Conduct a thorough analysis of the local real estate market to determine your property’s fair and competitive rental price. Consider the property location, size, condition, and regional demand. 

You can also consult a real estate agent to get a professional opinion on a reasonable rent price. Setting the rent price too high can discourage potential renters while setting it too low can lead to a loss of income.

Create an Attractive Listing

Write an attractive and detailed listing for your property that highlights its features, location, and amenities. Use high-quality images and videos to showcase the property.

Be honest in your listing to avoid any misunderstandings with potential renters. You can also consider listing on multiple rental websites to reach a larger pool of potential renters.

Screen Potential Renters

Before approving any renter, conduct a thorough background check to ensure they are financially responsible and reliable. Check their credit score, employment status, and rental history. 

You can also request references from previous landlords. Selecting a tenant who can pay rent on time and take care of the property is essential.

Create a Lease Agreement

Once you have selected a tenant, create a legally binding lease agreement that clearly outlines the rental terms, including the rent amount, payment schedule, security deposit, and other necessary provisions. Be sure to comply with all local landlord-tenant laws and regulations.

Prepare the Property for Move-In

Before the tenant moves in, ensure the property is in move-in condition. Clean the property thoroughly, replace any damaged fixtures, and ensure all appliances are in good working condition. Provide a move-in checklist to the tenant to ensure they document any existing damage.

Manage the Property

After the tenant moves in, conduct regular inspections to ensure the property is well maintained. Address any maintenance issues promptly and professionally.

Keep accurate records of rent payments and expenses for tax purposes. Maintain good communication with the tenant to ensure any issues are addressed promptly.

Renting out a house can be a great investment opportunity, but it requires careful planning and attention to detail. Following these steps can help ensure a smooth and successful rental experience.

How Much Profit Do You Want To Make On A Rental Property?

When considering purchasing a rental property, one of the most important questions to ask yourself is how much profit you want to make.

 The answer to this question will determine what type of property you should purchase, how much you should spend on it, and how much rent you should charge.

To start, you should determine the capitalization rate, or “cap rate,” for the potential property. This is the rate of return you would expect to earn on the property based on the income it generates. To calculate the cap rate, divide the annual net operating income by the property’s purchase price.

For example, if the property generates $20,000 in NOI and costs $200,000, the cap rate would be 10%.

Once you have determined the cap rate, you can use it to estimate the profit you can expect to make on the property. It would help if you also considered other factors, such as the current market conditions, the demand for rental properties in the area, and the potential for rental rate increases.

To make a good profit on a rental property, it’s generally recommended to aim for a cap rate of at least 8%. However, the cap rate can vary depending on the location and condition of the property. In some areas, a cap rate of 5% may be acceptable, while in others, a cap rate of 12% or more may be the norm.

It’s also important to consider:

  • The costs associated with owning and managing a rental property. These include property taxes, insurance, maintenance and repairs, property management fees, and advertising and tenant screening costs. You should factor these costs into your profit calculations to ensure that you make a sound investment. 
  • You must consider your long-term goals when determining how much profit you want to make on a rental property.
  • Are you looking for a steady stream of passive income, or are you hoping to build wealth through property appreciation? Are you planning to hold onto the property long-term, or are you looking to sell it in a few years?

These factors will all play a role in determining how much profit you can expect on a rental property. Make an informed decision by researching and working with a knowledgeable real estate agent or property management company.

Ultimately, your profit on a rental property will depend on various factors, including the property’s location, condition, and rental income potential. 

To ensure that you make a sound investment, it’s essential to consider the cap rate and the costs associated with owning and managing the property. Doing your due diligence and working with experienced professionals can maximize your profit potential and achieve your long-term financial goals.


What Is The 2% Rule For An Investment Property?

The 2% Rule is a basic rule of thumb for determining whether an investment property is a good deal. It states that you should buy a property where the rent will cover at least 2% of the monthly purchase price.

The 2% rule is a simple yet effective way to protect yourself from an investment property that loses money. Additionally, it helps you ensure you’re buying a property that will make money.
Let’s say you want to buy a house for $150,000. If this house rents for about $3,000 per month, then according to the 2% rule, it’s a good investment.

However, if the same house rents for only $2,000 per month, it doesn’t meet the 2% rule and probably won’t be profitable.

Depending on the area, this 2% rule might be more like a 1% rule. Usually the nicer the city and property the lower return on investment through rent but the appreciation over time tends to be higher.

What Is The 50% Rule?

The 50% rule is a straightforward formula for evaluating investment properties. The procedure is based on the gross rental income divided by the monthly mortgage payment (including taxes and insurance).

The 50% rule states that your property should generate at least 50% of its gross monthly rent as cash flow. For example: If you have a $1,000 monthly mortgage payment and rent your unit for $1,200, you would have a positive cash flow of $200 per month.

The 50% rule is not an exact science, and many factors can affect your numbers. This is why it’s essential to do calculations based on actual numbers to see how close you are to meeting the 50% guideline.

How Much Money Should I Save To Buy My First Rental Property?

If you’re considering buying your first rental property, one of the biggest questions is likely how much money you’ll need to save to invest. The answer to this question is going to be different for everyone.

The amount of money you’ll need to save will depend on various factors, including the cost of the property, the type of mortgage you qualify for, and the amount of money you’ll need to put down.

You should save as much money as possible before purchasing your first rental property. This will help you cover the down payment and closing costs and have enough money to cover any unexpected expenses.

In addition to saving up for the purchase itself, it’s also essential to have a solid financial plan in place to manage your rental property. This should include a plan to cover ongoing expenses like property maintenance, repairs, and capital gains tax, generate rental income to cover these costs, and ultimately turn a profit.

How Can I Invest In My Rental Property In My 20s?

Investing in a rental property in your 20s can be a great way to build long-term wealth and generate passive income. However, it can also be daunting, especially if you’re starting and don’t have much financial experience.

The good news is that you can take critical steps to make investing in a rental property in your 20s easier.

Building Credit Score
Pay bills on time and keep credit card balances low to build credit.
Dispute any errors on your credit report to improve your credit score.
Consider taking out a small loan or credit card to establish a credit history.

Saving Money
Start a budget and save aggressively to build up a down payment.
Consider living at home with your parents longer to save on rent.
Cut back on unnecessary expenses to save more.

Finding the Right Property
Determine your target rental markets, such as college students or families.
Research the area for rental demand, job growth, and potential rental income.
Consider the property’s condition, location, and potential for appreciation.

Managing the Property
Create a business plan outlining expenses, rental income, and projected profits.
Consider hiring a property management company to handle maintenance and tenant screening.
Stay organized with financial records and property documents.

Are Rent To Buy Houses Real?

Rent-to-buy houses, also known as lease-to-own homes, are a type of arrangement where tenants can purchase the property they are renting at the end of their lease term. While this arrangement is not very common, it is a factual and legal option for some renters and landlords.

One of the main benefits of a rent-to-buy arrangement is that it can give tenants who may need help to allow a traditional mortgage to work towards homeownership.

This arrangement can also benefit landlords, as it can help ensure that the property remains occupied and well-maintained during the rental period.

Final Thoughts

Investing in good rental property can be a great way to build long-term wealth and generate passive income. While it can be daunting to start as a beginner, taking the time to research the market, build your finances, and develop a solid investment strategy can help you succeed in this exciting and lucrative field.

Whether you’re looking to invest in a single property or build a portfolio of rental homes, the key is to start small, focus on your finances, and never stop learning. You can also become a successful real estate rental property investor with dedication, hard work, and a little luck.

So, what are you waiting for? Take the steps towards rental investment today and start building the future you’ve always dreamed of. Good luck!

Sabine Ghali
Sabine Ghali
Helping real estate investors build wealth over time

Sabine Ghali, Managing Director at Buttonwood Property Management, Award Winning Real Estate Broker and an Entrepreneur at heart. Sabine is on a mission to help investors create real estate wealth over time in the Greater Toronto Area. Sabine is published in a number of media outlets, including Toronto Star, The Globe and Mail, Toronto Sun, Entrepreneur, Forbes, and Gulf News, among many others.