We get calls every day from people telling us they want to buy a double so they can live in one half and rent out the other. It’s the classic New Orleans dream! We are more than happy to help you find the perfect double! (For the people not from New Orleans, a double is what we call a duplex.) We’ve worked a lot with people doing this, so we’ve seen a heard a thing or two. Here are the things to consider before becoming a landlord.
Condition, Location, and Price.
Doubles and duplexes that are in move-in ready condition are not as easy to find as one might think. Many of them have been converted to singles or they have been used as rentals for decades and they look ROUGH.
First things first, let’s talk about where you want to live. Second, we are going to discuss what your budget is. Because, at this point, we will likely revisit what New Orleans neighborhoods you may have to call home to live out the dream of owning a double.
If you’re willing to do renovations on a double, how are you funding this? Are we talking just about cosmetic work or will you be open to major renovations?
We need to iron out all of these details if you intend on financing this home.
This should seem pretty obvious that you are sharing walls. We are giving you this reminder because we had someone buy a double and then complain that they could hear the tenants next door. This is what you are signing up for.
If you hate where you currently live because you can hear Jenny next door every time she sneezes or comes home drunk and blasts Prince – buying your own double won’t change that much. This is your warning!
Can you afford the note on your house if you don’t have a tenant for a month? What about 2 months? This is the reality of becoming a landlord.
Picture it: tenant moves out and you are stuck with a place that is filthy and needs to be repainted. You may end up spending a week or two getting it back into shape.
Then you either hire a top New Orleans real estate agent to list it or you try to do it yourself. This could take a couple of weeks or more before you find the right tenant.
Take note of this when you’re talking with your lender about the monthly payments.
Rental Prices fluctuating
While you may get $1600/month right now, as the market changes and AirBnB laws change (effective 12/1/19), rental prices will decrease. Are you ready to take $1400/month? If the answer is no, then we need to lower your price range.
Stuff is going to break all the time. You are now the person in charge of fixing it. Are you capable of fixing it yourself? If not, do you have a good handyman? Team Be New Orleans will gladly share some names and numbers.
Do you have a home warranty? If not, think about getting one for the larger items going kaput. It can help cover the costs of appliances breaking and the AC going out.
You’re going to need money put aside for when stuff eventually breaks or needs replacement.
Getting the right tenant
You did a background check. You spoke with their landlord. This person seems sane. And then BOOM – they become crazy. Whether they call you for every tiny thing to be fixed or they are blaring music at all hours of the night – there is no perfect tenant. But, finding one that works well with you is the real goal. Even if all the credentials look good, there are no promises on how they will act later on.
Lagniappe: Other things to consider
These are all the extra things to consider before becoming a landlord. Leases, deposits, credit checks, etc. How do you handle all of this?
You can find a variety of leases online with a quick Google search. As your New Orleans real estate agent, we will provide you with a blank lease to help you out.
Don’t forget if your house was built before 1978, you must sign a lead-based paint disclosure. (We can help you with that too!)
Background, credit, and eviction checks can all be handled via online software.
Deposits must be held in a separate account and cannot be used. It’s the law.
If you want us to list your property and find you a tenant, we are more than happy to do so. We take a percentage from the first full month’s rent. We have professional photos taken, market the heck out of it, handle the background checks, gather your deposit, and get them moved in. Team Be New Orleans does not offer property management – but we are happy to refer you to someone who does.
Ready to buy a double in New Orleans? Message us below or Text us!