Being a landlord does not always make sense from a financial and quality of life perspective. Whether you stumbled into rental property ownership accidentally, or you have collected a portfolio of rental properties intentionally, there comes a time when every rental property owner asks themselves if the headaches and financial returns are worth it.
If you are having second thoughts about owning your rental property, we want to make sure you know about OfferMarket.
OfferMarket is a rental property investment platform. We and our network of qualified investors would love to provide you with competitive offers for your unwanted property. Requesting an offer for your rental property is free and comes with no risk and no obligation.
At the end of the day, owning one or more rental properties is a business. Your rental income is revenue. Your tenants are your customers. Your real property is an asset. Your mortgage and deferred maintenance are liabilities. The best way to judge the performance of your rental property business is to look at two things:
Free cash flow is the cash your rental property generates after subtracting your mortgage principal, interest, taxes, insurance (PITI), property management, and your reserve for maintenance. If you self-manage the property, we recommend factoring in your time at the same rate that you would otherwise pay to a property management company. This is typically 5% to 10% of monthly rent and 25% to 50% of first month's rent for new tenant leasing.
If your rental property is generating negative free cash flow (i.e. you are losing money on a monthly or annual basis), then the property is likely not worth owning or one or more actions need to be taken to correct the situation.
It is possible neither of the above is feasible. Perhaps the property has major deferred maintenance that needs to be addressed in order to fill vacancies or raise rent.
When you look at your annual free cash flow plus your equity appreciation divided by your equity in the property, you will get a clear sense of how your investment is performing relative to other investments. Most notably, relative to passive investments that do not take up your time.
For example: if your property is generating $5,000 per year in free cash flow and your property is worth $5,000 more compared to last year, and you have $100,000 of equity in your property, then your return is 10%. Compare that to the S&P 500's 10 year annualized return of 13.4%. Looking at it this way makes it difficult to justify owning and managing a rental property from a financial perspective.
Rental properties are not just financial investments, they are time investments. As we covered above, they are a business and they do not perform well with absentee owners. That's why we recommend factoring in the cost of your time if you self-manage your property. Even if you use a property management company, you're still ultimately responsible for managing your rental property. Finding a great property management company can be easier said than done, and a low percentage of property management companies perform to a satisfactory level.
If you're retired and you want something to keep you busy, owning and managing rental properties might fit in great with your lifestyle. If you're retired and you want to travel or reduce stress, owning rental properties might not be an ideal situation.
If you own one or more rental properties and you are worried about leaving your loved ones with an unwanted responsibility when you pass on, it might make sense to cash in on your rental investment.
Drawing on the above concepts and adding one final point to the list, here are the reasons why landlords get tired of owning a rental property:
To this final point, we can look to the #rentstrike movement brought on by the major economic shock caused by the COVID-19 pandemic. Landlords, especially "mom and pop landlords" are getting squeezed by a moratorium on evictions, and a growing resentment towards landlords.
If you are tired of being a landlord, you are not alone. Either you know for sure you want to sell your rental property or you are still trying to figure it out.
Regardless of which camp you are in, you can request offers with no obligation. We would love to buy your rental property.