How to Find the Perfect Pied-a-Terre and the Tenants to Rent Them

Buying an investment property in the business district of your city can make good financial sense. There is never a shortage of professionals that make the trip into the city for work, either for short-term contracts of a few months to a year, as well as those who come in regularly for short intervals. Having a furnished and technologically equipped rental that serves as a home away from home is an attractive option for many who prefer to stay away from the sterile environment of a hotel.

If you’ve decided to invest in a condo for use as a sort of professional pied-a-terre, here are a few tips of what to look for in the area, building, and unit.

Location, location, location: The closer to the heart of the business district you buy your rental unit, the better. Your prospective tenants will absolutely want to keep commutes to a minimum and do them on foot. Having easy transportation nearby, whether it’s public transit or taxi stands, will also make travelling further afield during downtime that much more convenient. Ensure that it’s easy to travel to both airports and train stations, so quick trips home are as efficient as possible.

Amenities: Both building and community amenities are important too. Convenience wins the day for the travelling executive. Think gym and swimming pool, groceries and convenience stores, cafes and pharmacies all on-site or within a few minutes walk. Extra points go to places with 24-hour access.

In-Suite Musts: For the unit itself, generally, a one-bedroom or one-bedroom and den are sufficient for space. If you plan on advertising your unit as furnished, you’ll want to ensure it’s outfitted tastefully and with the latest technology.

house for rent from owner

Your Technology Checklist:

  • Provide a phone and wireless Internet. To keep your costs low, consider a VoIP (voice over IP) phone connection that uses your Internet connection and tends to run dollars a month versus traditional landlines. For the Internet, the higher speed, the better. Look for a building that can accommodate the latest technology, such as fibre optic Internet.
  • If you plan on renting an unfurnished space, do ensure living areas and bedrooms are wired for Internet, phone, and cable.
  • For the furnished apartment, do consider a docking station with speakers for smartphones and having a universal power cord adapter on hand for those travelling from abroad.
  • Cable television that includes international business and news channels is another must to help keep tenants in touch with the goings-on at home.

For a furnished unit, offering a weekly or bi-weekly cleaning service could be a well-appreciated convenience that also ensures the upkeep of your unit.

A Caveat: In your search for an investment condo, be sure to check the condominium corporation’s rules around short-term rentals. Some allow only for leases of a minimum of six months. If you think you require more flexibility than this, keep looking, as you want to ensure you’re always operating within the condo’s guidelines.

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.