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Rental Property Advice – What Makes a good Seattle rental?

Chair, credenza, end table, plants and glasses, other items and books against a wall reading, "will my property make a good rental"

Written by SJA Property Management

SJA offers premier Seattle property management services and serves as the local real estate industry’s most experienced resource for rental property owners.

Seattle has always provided wise real estate investors with a steady income from renting out their Seattle real-estate properties. More than 50% of the housing market in Seattle is comprised of renters. This helps to make Seattle, Washington, an exceptional place for real-estate investors and those investors wanting steady income from their rental property.  

But as a beginner investor, one question may pop up. “What are the crucial factors that make a good rental or “Does my Seattle property make a good Seattle rental? There is no universal answer to this question about what defines a lucrative rental property. However, considering specific factors can help you invest your money wisely in a Seattle rental property that will generates steady cash flow. 

Here is a step-by-step guide for Seattle property owners about what makes a good rental property.

 

 

1. Check With Your HOA

There are several advantages of owning a Seattle rental that is part of an “homeowner association” (HOA). An HOA reduces your efforts for regular upkeep of the property and helps to boost property value. HOAs and their guidelines help you hold specific standards regarding the appearance and longevity of your Seattle rental property. Additionally, having amenities like a neighborhood pool, clubhouse, gym, tennis courts, neighborhood security, playgrounds, and dog parks in your community allows you to charge residents more rent for your Seattle property.  

Despite all these benefits, HOAs can be found to sometimes restrict owners’ right to rent their properties. Some communities may allow leasing a few properties, but others may restrict tenant turnover time and disallow short-term rentals like VRBO or Airbnb. Therefore, checking with your HOA and understanding their rules and regulations for renting out your property to tenants. As leading Seattle property management experts, SJA recommends working with an experienced property manager to help make your Seattle property ready to rent.

2. Ensure The Property Is In Good Condition

Tenants often prefer a well-maintained rental that would offer the residents with comfort, convenience and a pleasant and unique rental experience. However, skipping maintenance and avoiding regular upkeep to save money can negatively affect your real-estate investment and may not convert your Seattle real estate into a great rental property. 

According to a recent study, rental property maintenance is the third biggest pain point for rental property owners, after bad tenants and the loss of rental income. However, it is easy to avoid this pain point if you stay organized, follow simple rules and budget according to your rental property needs. 

Regular rental property maintenance is critical to spot major repairs, address emergency issues, and fix them immediately to avoid costly repairs and ensure a pleasant living environment for those residents renting your Seattle property. Consider creating a checklist for routine property maintenance and hire professional vendors and rental property maintenance experts to save additional expenses. Here are a few things you should cover under regular maintenance: 

  • Check for leaking roofs, soaked walls and mold, especially after heavy rainstorms 
  • Clean and replace air filters regularly
  • Inspect and service smoke detectors, HVAC systems and carbon monoxide detectors
  • Look for pest infestation quarterly and take necessary precautions to prevent it
  • Replace leaky faucets, showers, knobs, locks and handles
  • Flush water heater, clean gutters and check the health of plumbing and drainage system
  • Trim and remove unnecessary trees 
  • Based on the age and condition of your Seattle rental property, you can include or remove things from your checklists but make sure to evaluate common areas of your property and take good care of them to keep it rent-ready

3. Get The Right Property Insurance

One of the effective ways to make your Seattle rental property a good rental property is to have a proper insurance plan in place to protect the property. Depending on your rental’s location, age and condition, you can choose a customizable insurance plan that suits your budget and meets your rental property requirements. For example, landslides, winter storms, flooding, and earthquakes are common natural disasters in Seattle, Washington. Your insurers should guide you on the natural hazards you must insure against in the Seattle, Washington area. 

You can opt for landlord insurance that protects you and your Seattle rental property against liabilities and the potential damage and covers common financial expenses that may incur with rental property. Adding extra coverage like natural disaster insurance, landlord contents insurance, rent guarantee insurance and employer liability insurance can also provide full-proof protection for your rental property and can also boost the rental properties value.

Apart from this, you can also suggest to the residents renting your property to get renter’s insurance to protect their personal properties, vehicles, and themselves against damages due to fire, vandalism, rain, crime and negligence acts. It also covers the cost of temporary accommodation in case of the properties need of renovation. No matter what insurance you choose, it should add to your property value and ensure a great rental for your tenants.

4. Prepare For Property Showings

After checking with your HOAs, ensuring the longevity of your rental property by providing your Seattle real-estate with the right insurance policy, the next thing you can do is to prepare your rental for impressive property showings. It is for the first time your prospective tenants see the rental and decide whether they want to lease the property or not. Make sure you do everything to please your tenants and help them to make a positive decision. Some of the tasks to consider, include:

  • Property cleaning

The first step in preparing your Seattle rental property for showings is cleaning. It includes mopping, dusting, vacuuming the common area, mowing the lawn and trimming trees to make the place more attractive.

  • Staging 

Rental ShowingIf your rental is vacant, you can show it as it is. However, staging your rental property before showings allows your tenants to imagine themselves as residents living in your rental property. We recommend avoiding personal items in the unit, adding more lights and setting the appropriate temperature to offer warm-welcome to your prospective tenants. 

Consider gathering more information about your tenant’s rental expectations, likes and dislikes before scheduling rental showings. Be firm about your rental requirements and provide as much information as possible about your rental property.

Managing rental property in Seattle, Washington may seem overwhelming, especially when each factor requires equal attention and time. Therefore, it is vital to seek professional advice before making any significant decision about your Seattle rental property. The most effective way to transform your investment into profit-generating Seattle rental property is to hire a professional Seattle property management company

SJA is a premier Seattle property management company serving Seattle, Washington, Seattle’s Eastside & the Greater Puget Sound region since 2009. We provide sophisticated, personalized, and comprehensive property management services for single-family residences, luxury homes, condominiums, and multi-family buildings. Our team can assist you at every step of your rental business and ensure that you make a well-informed decision. 

For more information, contact us at SJA property management.

 

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