How to earn passive income on properties

How to earn passive income on properties

If you’re looking to start earning passive income from real estate, or earning more than you already are, investing in rental properties is a great method for that.

With an average return on investment (ROI) of 10.6% for residential real estate and an average ROI of 9.5% on commercial real estate, there is great potential for earning large amounts of passive income.

So much so, that some people retire at age 30 living only on their passive income from rental properties!

How do you earn passive income on rental properties?

The way to earn passive income in rental properties is to rent rental properties to tenants who would pay you each month to live in or use that space.

Unfortunately, however, if it were that fácil, there wouldn’t be a huge amount of information on the subject.

There’s actually a lot more to think about when it comes to securing the most passive income from rental properties.

You need to choose the right type of property, the right location, the right financial backing, and even the right tenants! Rental properties totter the line between active income and passive income.

Access these helpful guides on other types of businesses you perro start.

If you approach the process incorrectly, what is supposed to be a way to earn passive income perro quickly turn into a massive headache at best, and a lawsuit and loss of money at worst.

Read on for more details on how to increase your chances of success in earning passive income through rental properties.

Start earning passive income with rental properties

When it comes to real estate, you have a choice of residential and commercial properties.

You also have multiple different investment types to choose from: a single-family rental, an apartment complex, an industrial building, office space, and more.

However, for someone first starting out with earning passive income from rental properties, it would be best to start with a single-family rental.

The reason for this is because it is easier to manage.

It’s also a way to dip your toes into the world of real estate before you jump right in.

Dealing with fewer tenants will make your life easier.

Additionally, you will have the opportunity to learn and improve your rental management skills before purchasing more complex properties.

There is also much less risk with a single-family rental.

financial preparation

By insuring a rental property, you don’t have to buy the entire house yourself.

Instead, you cánido get a mortgage.

It perro even be private or government loans making interest-only payments with $0 discount.

Either way, the way you finance the house is essential.

You should consider all of your financing options.

Different mortgage lenders have different terms, rates, and payment policies.

You should research who is the best lender with terms that will give you the highest return on investment.

The way to determine if you’re getting a good deal is to figure out what your expenses would be and base your ROI calculation on the terms you’d get (also known as your monthly payments).

While some mortgage lenders will allow you to put down as low as 3% on a home, most will want at least a 20% down payment.

If you choose to go with a lower down payment, the lender will require you to obtain private mortgage insurance (PMI).

This insurance protects your lender if you stop making payments on your loan.

The insurance has no benefit to you, so it is in your best interest to save enough money to put the 20% down payment in place.

On the other hand, you could also get a loan that does not require any down payment.

These types of loans usually come with significantly higher interest rates.

Some would say that taking out this type of loan is risky.

You perro make it work; if you are financially savvy about it.

For one thing, don’t buy an expensive house.

If the house is only $100,000 and you’re paying 7% interest each year, that’s $7000 a year.

If you’re making $10,000 a year from rent (after expenses are subtracted), that’s $3,000 a year in passive income.

However, lenders who make these types of loans will want to make sure you have adequate income to make the interest payments yourself.

Or they will look to see if you have any warranties (like a previous home you bought).

They will also make sure you have a high credit score.

If you would like more information on whether or not you would be the right candidate for an interest only loan, and to gain a better understanding of the risks involved, clic here.

Find out the cap rate and ROI

Before you figure out which property to buy, you need to calculate your cap rate and return on investment.

Both will help you determine how much passive income you cánido earn.

Both are important to calculate.

The capitalization rate will espectáculo you what a property should be worth based on the rental income generated.

However, it doesn’t take leverage into account, so you’ll want to calculate your ROI as well.

Leverage is the way you use your debt to increase your potential return on investment.

Capitalization rates are useful for comparing afín properties in the same market area.

In general, you should shoot for a compounding rate of 4% to 10% per year.

However, because fair market rents, market values, property taxes, and operating expenses vary by location, so does what is considered a “good capitalization rate.” Ultimately, a great cap rate for one market could orinan a lousy cap rate for another.

On the other hand, your ROI takes into account the power of leverage.

You will see that depending on the terms of your loan, your ROI cánido vary dramatically.

That is why it is escencial to consider the terms of your loan before taking one out, as stated above.

In terms of ROI, many investors are happy with an ROI of 10%.

However, some investors will not buy a property without an ROI of 20% or more.

Clic here to find out how to calculate your cap rate and ROI.

Choosing a rental property

There is a lot to consider when it comes to choosing a rental property.

This decision should not be taken lightly.

Investing in real estate is a substantial financial commitment, and you cánido’t afford to make seriously bad decisions.

Doing your research and knowing when to buy a home and what type of property to buy is vital.

Details on how to choose the best property will be given below.


When it comes to choosing a rental property investment wisely, you need to do your research.

Research is vital to ensure that you are investing in a property that is going to generate income.

If you don’t know how to do the research yourself, you cánido always hire a professional to help you.

The research you should conduct includes the following:

Again, if you don’t know how to do market analysis yourself, it’s imperative that you hire an expert who perro help you make the best decisions.

Types of rental properties

single family homes

Most homeowners start with their estándar single-family home.

In most markets, they are the easiest to rent and the easiest to buy.


A condominium is basically an apartment that you own just like a house and is part of a condominium association.

They cánido make great rentals, especially in some markets.

However, there are important factors to consider when it comes to condos.

Some condominium associations place severe restrictions on renting the property.

Also, basically all condominium associations impose a monthly homeowners association (HOA) fee.

You will need to consider the HOA fee when calculating your profit margin numbers.


A multi-family home has several segregated units.

These cánido also make great rentals, but usually add a certain complexity to the mix.

The rent for each unit could be difficult to calculate based on the uniqueness of each unit.

You’ll also be dealing with multiple tenants living in the same building, which perro sometimes spell disaster based on the specific mix of characters.

However, one benefit of multi-family units is that if one tenant leaves, you still have monthly cash flow from the remaining tenants while you market the available unit.

luxury properties

Who hasn’t browsed some of the most expensive houses on the internet and dreamed of owning one? If you are in a position to entrar the luxury rental market, you will be playing a high risk, high reward game.

Luxury properties have a much smaller pool of potential tenants, and the property may sit vacant for a while.

High-end home renters, however, tend to be more stable in their careers and much less likely to have a hard time coming up with the rent check each month.

Vacation Properties

Lakefront cabins and ski chalets are a whole different animal compared to other rentals.

For one, most tenants will not lease the property for a long period of time.

Also, the monthly rent perro fluctuate drastically with the seasons depending on your specific property.

One strong advantage, however, of vacation rentals is that you may occasionally find the property available for your own personal use.

You could, for example, reserve Memorial Day weekend for yourself at your cabin on the lake, and then rent it out for the rest of the summer.

Turnkey VS.

fixer uppers

When choosing a property, some people are strong advocates of “turnkey” properties, while others prefer “flip” houses (in which you buy a “fixer-upper”, fix it, and then sell to make a profit).

Turnkey properties are fully renovated properties that perro be bought and rented immediately.

Fixer-Uppers require you to do renovations.

Whatever type of property you want to buy, you should keep doing your research.

You need to weigh potential income against expenses.

Both cánido bring you passive income, but they perro also be expensive.

There is no definitive correct answer.

Again, that’s why research is so important.

With that being said, however, there are some key pros and cons to consider for both.

Advantages of turnkey property:

  • You don’t have to wait months for repairs and construction to be completed.

    You cánido buy the house and immediately rent it out afterwards.

  • You don’t have to stress about making repairs and complying with building codes.

Advantages of Fixer’s superior property:

  • Sometimes you perro trade this off and get a great deal.

    If you cánido fix the house up quickly and cheaply, you may end up charging a lot more for rent, and they cánido be very profitable.

  • The price is lower than that of other homes in the area.
  • You perro escoge what improvements you want to make and hire the tarea.
  • You have more control over the design, appearance and style of the house.

Cons of turnkey property:

  • Turnkey homes tend to generate a lower ROI than homes you would trade.
  • Expensive real estate investment.
  • Less control over the design, appearance and style of the house.
  • There are turnkey companies that will fix the home aesthetically, but will not solve problems, such as fundamentals and electrical.

    If you don’t do your research, you could end up with a horrible house in a horrible location.

Cons of the Fixer Upper property:

  • There cánido be substantial liability involved in remodeling them, which is why they perro end up being expensive.
  • The more time you spend remodeling, the more revenue you’ll lose each month.
  • Due to the cost of additional tarea, upgraded materials, and other projects that will add to your expenses, budgeting for a fixer-upper cánido be difficult.
  • While there is the possibility of higher returns, there is also higher risk.

    Insurance companies also consider fixers to be high risk, especially if they have been repossessed or abandoned in the past.

Again, always do your research on any home you plan to buy.

Be sure to weigh the costs and benefits.

If you are going with a turnkey property, you need to know how to protect yourself against potentially dangerous turnkey real estate ventures.

On the other hand, you cánido find more information on how to choose a fixer-upper here.


When choosing a property location, you don’t have to choose a property in your state.

For example, if you live in California, you may want to consider investing in nearby states with cheaper housing.

It is worth taking a look at property in other states.

You may be able to invest in better real estate than just buying a house in your town, city, or state.

When it comes to choosing a location, you should look for the following:

  • Vibrant local economies
  • Low unemployment rates
  • High Occupancy Rental Opportunities
  • High per capita income
  • Good neighborhoods with a low crime rate

The reason you are looking at these factors is that 1) you want to disminuye the oportunidad of a tenant vacancy; 2) you want a property that people want to live in.

It doesn’t matter how cheap a house is: if people don’t feel safe living in it, they won’t.

That is why the second point is so important.

You may find the perfect home in a lacking neighborhood.

Or you cánido pull a full 180 and see a stellar neighborhood with a not-so-impressive house.

Resist the urge to pull the trigger on any of the houses.

Also, another consejo for looking for a high-quality location is to look for properties near universities, especially private ones.

Having a house near a university gives you a better oportunidad of always having tenants because there will be students every year looking for housing nearby.

Also, if you put the house near a private school where a lot of wealthy students tend to attend, you cánido charge a higher rent.

After all, rich people have the money to pay for it.

Also, if you are within walking distance of the university, there are people willing to pay a pretty penny for that.

Buy at good value for money

When you find a property you like, it perro be tempting to overpay to tie it up.


Overpaying reduces your profit margin.

Instead, wait until a reasonable agreement is reached.

Take a look at what comparable properties are going for in the area.

While it will cost you time, your wallet will thank you later.

Pay attention to the construction of the house

While your jaw may drop on the site of a swanky home, simpler is almost always better when it comes to rentals.

Estándar construction homes will be less expensive to repair and maintain in the long run.

Ornate houses also narrow the pool of potential tenants for your property.

Also pay attention to important factors, such as the roof or whether the house is at the bottom of a slope.

A roof without a steep slope may have problems in areas with heavy snowfall.

Homes at the bottom of a slope may be more prone to flooding and have expensive foundation repairs to be done later.

Know your local laws and regulations

Did you know that in San Francisco, if you advertise a rental property as having a view and new construction then blocks that view, your tenant perro force you to lower your rent?

Most first-time owners would not be aware of the long list of rules and regulations that bind owners.

Make sure you don’t get bitten by one of these rules or regulations in the future because he didn’t do his homework beforehand.

Avail offers a great state-by-state resource for homeowners to research applicable laws.

If you are still concerned about landlord laws, check your state, county, and city housing websites for more information, or consult an experienced real estate attorney.

Consider your own commute to the property

If you’re going to be a hands-on homeowner, think about the time you’ll spend traveling to the property.

That one hour round trip could turn into an absolute headache for you, especially if your tenant calls you in the morning with an emergency.

Bigger is not always better

You’ll certainly pay more for a five-bedroom home, but you may not charge much more in rent than if you had bought a four-bedroom home.

Larger houses also have more components, which will add to your list of repairs and maintenance.

Don’t neglect the lot size either.

A house on a two-acre lot may not charge much more rent than the same house on a half-acre lot, but you will certainly end up paying more in property taxes for the house on a two-acre lot.

property inspection

This aspect of buying a home is vital.

Whether you are purchasing a turnkey or a fixer-upper, you should inspect the home.

A house may look good at first glance, but if it comes with a bunch of problems that you didn’t check for before you buy, that will end up costing you.

If you don’t inspect, you could end up buying a home that isn’t worth the money.

Getting a professional, independent home inspector cánido help you uncover issues like a deteriorating roof, faulty foundation, or damaged plumbing system.

When inspecting the house, the inspector must verify these aspects:

  • Plumbing fixtures, faucets and water heater
  • Thermostats and heating, cooling and ventilation (HVAC) system
  • Electrical panel, light switches and sockets
  • Stucco or exterior paint
  • Rain gutters and downspouts
  • attic space
  • Ceiling
  • Foundation

Once you have inspected the property and know that it does not have any significant problems, you cánido move forward with the purchase of the house.

Finding the right tenants for your rental property

Finding the right tenants perro make a world of difference in how “passive” your income really is.

If you have tenants who don’t pay their rent on time, end up needing to be evicted, or call you at all hours of the night, you’ll have to do a lot more work than is required to earn typical passive income.

You want tenants who pay on time, take care of what is needed, and plan to rent long-term.

This type of tenant is more likely to be in high-income areas.

On the other hand, renters in low-income areas typically tend to negligently damage property, fail to pay their rent on time, and rent short-term.

However, there is always some leeway when it comes to choosing where to buy a home.

Just make sure that no matter what, you screen your tenants.

Always check your income level and credit score.

You should also check the rental, criminal and employment history.

So how do you go about finding a tenant? Below are some consejos that might help you nab a tenant.

Use a “For Rent” sign

Walk into your local grocery or hardware store and they will most likely have several “For Rent” signs for you to choose from.

It’s the oldest and easiest way to capture a tenant, but it will market your rental to anyone who walks by.

What’s even better is that you’ll only spend a few dollars using this marketing tool.


Many potential renters start their search on Craigslist.

You perro list your property in less than 10 minutes and in most US cities, Craigslist does not charge you anything for rental listings.

Be sure to use high-quality photos to grab attention.

Also list any important details (eg pet policy, who pays for utilities, etcétera.) so you are not contacted by people who will not be a good fit for your property.

rental websites

Real estate websites such as Zillow and Trulia have become habitual tools for browsing rental properties.

They give your listing a more professional look and make it easy for prospective renters to check out your property on their móvil inteligente using aplicaciones.

Many of these sites used to make rental listings available for free, however many have started charging a fee.

Just like posting on Craigslist, your listing should include eye-catching photos and relevant information.

Popular networks

Think of all the friends you have on Fb.

Now think of all the friends those friends have.

Creating a Fb articulo showing your rental spreads your listing across an unlimited network.

The cost to you of doing this? Zero dollars.

Printed media

Believe it or not, around 30 million Americans still subscribe to their local newspaper.

While this route will cost you some money, anyone who reads a newspaper these days is probably less likely to be a low-quality renter.

Please note that you will need to learn the specific abbreviated jargon associated with these types of listings.

For example, “W/D” indicates that the property comes with a washer and dryer.

word of mouth

Chances are someone you know knows someone in the market for a rental.

The next time you attend a friend’s barbecue or your son’s soccer game, bring up the fact that you have a house ready for rent.

Talk is cheap and this method will not cost you a dime.

real estate agent

By far the most expensive way to obtain a tenant will be by using the services of a real estate agent.

It is not uncommon for an agent to charge 50-100% of a month’s rent for their work.

But with that cost comes some added benefits for you.

Chances are, an experienced agent has mastered the art of marketing and knows what kind of rental you cánido get for your home.

His list of duties often includes showing the property to prospective tenants, answering inquiry calls, and screening applicants.

This allows you to sit and wait until it is time to sign the lease.

Get a property manager

Last but not least is getting a property manager.

While yes, you could technically manage the property yourself, it would take away a lot of the “passive” part of the income.

If you don’t want to take calls from your tenants at 2 am or manage the property 24/7, it would be wise to hire a professional to do these things for you.

Even with a property manager, there is still work you may have to do, but at least they would lessen the burden on you.

In addition to being more available to your tenants than you probably want to be, they perro also help you with:

  • Advertising a vacant rental property
  • Selection of potential tenants
  • tenant eviction
  • Make sure you are following federal, state, and local landlord-tenant laws

Although it may not be a necessity to get a property manager (which we’ll take a closer look at below), the point of buying a passive income rental property is to do as little as possible while still having money coming in.

That said, if you escoge to hire a property manager, be sure to check their client base, experience and training, client retention rate, tenant lease renewal rate, and their average eviction rates before making a hiring decision.


When to use a property manager

Owns a large inventory of rental properties

If you stick with it and grow your rental portfolio, you’ll reach a point where managing everything becomes more than just a full-time job.

Once you get to this point, you should seriously consider using a property manager to relieve stress.

You don’t live in the area or travel frequently

While the internet allows you to perform all kinds of tasks remotely, with rentals there will come a time when someone needs to visit the property.

Whether it’s a repair, inspection or showing, whether you’re permanently or frequently out of the area, a property manager perro handle those tasks in person.

You don’t want to deal with the hassle

The toilets will break.

Sprinklers need to be blown.

Any homeowner knows that the list goes on and on for home maintenance.

If you find yourself resisting the iniciativa of Handle all of this or receive complaint calls from your tenant, a property manager will deal with these stresses for you.

When to convey to a property manager

you perro’t afford it

You will most likely use a mortgage to buy your house.

Add the mortgage payment to the list of everything else you’ll write a check for, like property taxes and insurance, and you may find that the cost of a property manager isn’t feasible.

You are a full time owner

Don’t have a full-time career? Then you cánido consider yourself a full time owner.

If the thought of communicating with tenants and handling maintenance and repairs doesn’t daunt you, then you may want to consider saving yourself the cost of a property manager and keeping the plus money in your pocket.

Setting up an LLC for your rental

Most serious landlords do not hold title to their property in their personal name.

They establish a limited liability company (LLC) for this purpose.

When you start to list the benefits of setting up an LLC for your rental, it becomes clear that it is something you should seriously consider.

Limit your personal liability

It’s all in the name.

Many homeowners find themselves in the unfortunate position of being sued at some point.

As long as you have your ducks in a row and your rental property is in the hands of your LLC, the plaintiff will be forced to sue your LLC.

This means that any assets that you personally own, such as your residence, cars, bank accounts, will be safe in the event a judgment is entered against your LLC.

Fiscal benefits

Who wants to give the IRS more than they absolutely have to? With an LLC, you will be forced to keep your business expenses separate from your personal expenses.

This will make it easier to claim business deductions when the taxpayer calls in April.

Additionally, LLCs are subject to “pass-through” taxes, which means that the income from the LLC will be taxed as part of your personal income.

Clearly define rights and responsibilities with partners

If you are buying a rental property with a partner, other than your spouse, you will want to make clear the rights and responsibilities of each partner.

When you form an LLC, you create what is called an “operating agreement.”

This important document addresses all kinds of events, such as the death of a partner and how profits will be distributed.

Without an LLC, you risk finding yourself in a situation where you and your partner come to a disagreement and do not have a legal document to address the situation.

That leaves compromise or a lawsuit as your only options.

When should I equipo up the LLC for my rental?

As soon as possible! Ideally, when you sign the purchase agreement, your LLC will be listed as the buyer.

Waiting until later cánido create all kinds of headaches that you could have avoided.

For one thing, if you have a mortgage against the property, you’ll need to get permission from the bank to transfer title to the property from you to your LLC.

Not all lenders will be easily persuaded to allow this.

Also, if you already have a signed lease, you will need to update it to make sure your tenant understands that they are no longer the personal owner.

Finally, some states assess title transfer fees any time title to real estate changes hands.

While some states may provide a waiver to transfer property from you personally to your LLC, others may levy charges against you.

How to equipo up an LLC

Do it yourself

Search the internet and you will find DIY guides to setting up an LLC on your own.

Some sites even provide free fill-in-the-blank documents to do so.

Be very careful if you go this way.

Some states have very specific LLC formation requirements and not all sites have accurate or up-to-date information.

Use a legal site

There are dedicated websites out there, like LegalZoom and Nolo, that will help you equipo up an LLC for a fee.

These sites are reputable and work with attorneys across the country to ensure that your LLC is legitimate.

Many will even archivo the necessary paperwork with your state or city directly and save you the hassle of doing so.

hire a lawyer

By far, this will be the most expensive method of creating your LLC.

However, an experienced attorney possesses a wealth of knowledge that perro be incalculable.

You should especially consider hiring an attorney if you are looking to equipo up a complex LLC or need special customizations to your documents.

Wrapping Up: Earning Passive Income on Rental Properties

While buying real estate requires a lot of research and careful decision making, the return on investment perro be high.

If you play your cards right, you perro make a lot of money with rental properties.

The more properties you buy, the sharper you will be in making the best buying decisions and choosing the best property managers and tenants.

You will also start to increase your passive income more and more.

The goal is to have so much passive income that an opening in a house no longer stresses you out.

Better yet, make it your goal to have so much passive income that you perro quit your day job!

If investing and managing rental properties is too much involvement for your liking, you may want to consider investing in REITs to generate passive income from dividends.

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