What Makes A Good Atlanta Rental House?

Spencer Sutton here with gkhouses. And today I’m going to answer the question, what makes a good Atlanta rental property?

So, we think that is a great question because there are definitely good rental houses and not so good rental houses.

I remember when I first started buying rental houses, I didn’t really have a great strategy about it.

At the time I was wholesaling houses, so I was buying houses and then turning them, selling them to people who are flipping them.

People were who were holding them for rental houses and occasionally sold some to a couple of people who were living in the houses.

At Some Point.

So, as I was doing that, I thought one, I might like to, you know, start collecting some rental houses at some point.

I bought a big package of houses and the ones that I could not sell are the ones that I held for rental.

And that kind of carried out the more houses that I bought, ones that I couldn’t sell, I just kept them as rental inventory.

What I learned was that that is not really a great way to go about building a portfolio of rental houses.

Now, you may not be an investor who’s looking to build a portfolio of rental houses.

Going To Rent Your House.

Maybe you’re just someone who is considering renting their house or you made the decision.

You’re going to rent your house and you want to know what makes for a good and Atlanta rental property.

So, in this short video, I’m just going to walk you through five things that I believe make a good Atlanta rental property.

So, Number One, I Believe, Is Just A Traditional Layout. And What I Mean By That Is That It’s Not Funky.

It’s not a funky layout that is very odd.

There are no pass-through bedrooms. There’s no just strange configuration.

So, there is a reason why these massive homebuilders, nationwide home builders stick to certain plans when they’re building new houses.

And it’s because those are the plans that people want to buy.

Those are the plans that appeal to different people.

Now, certainly over the decades, tastes have changed, layouts have changed, we’re in more of an open space layout and that’s great.

So, it’s not really a penalty if you don’t have this big open space.

But you most definitely want it to be more of a traditional layout and not something just very strange.

The Retail Market Was Around! (What Makes A Good Atlanta Rental House?)

I remember I had a house and this house on the retail market was around an $800,000 or $900,000 house.

Beautiful older home built in the ’30s or ’40s, but in a historic part of town.

And they wanted to, you know, they were asking us, what is our opinion of the rent.

I went over there, walked throughout the house.

I told them I thought it would rent for, you know, X amount.

Much Less Traditional!

But what we came to find out was after we put it on the market, was the feedback we were getting was that it was much less traditional than what somebody wanted to rent at that price point.

And so, one of the big drawbacks was is that the laundry room in the house was in the basement.

And like a lot of them were back at this time, and they had to go outside of the house to access the laundry room.

Well, for someone who was going to pay $3,500 $4,500 in rent, that was not going to cut it.

Ended Up Selling The House!

And eventually, the couple ended up selling the house and did not rent it.

Just because tenants were not really wanting to pay that for such an odd layout of a house.

So, the number one thing that makes a good rental house, just more of a traditional layout.

Number Two Is No White Elephants. (What Makes A Good Atlanta Rental House?)

Now, you may ask yourself, what do you mean by a white elephant?

Well, we think of white elephants as something that you can’t ignore and you really can’t do anything with it, right?

So, if you saw the white elephant, you wouldn’t know what to do.

You couldn’t really move it and you can’t ignore it.

So, these are things such as, so think about this, think about if your house is on a very busy street.

You’re Backed Up!

Think about it, you know, you’re backed up right next to power lines or train tracks.

What about if, let me think of another one, let’s say you have a very steep driveway.

So, these things are going to…doesn’t mean you can’t rent that house because we do rent houses this way that have some of these white elephants.

But it does mean that you’re going to probably have to offer it at a discount.

And that discount is just due to what we’d like to call an irreconcilable defect.

There’s nothing we can really do about it.

That white elephant, we can’t change the road that you’re on.

We Can’t Move!  (What Makes A Good Atlanta Rental House?)

    • We can’t move train tracks.
    • We can’t really change your driveway.

And so, think about things like that as you’re looking around your house, just to make sure that you don’t have any glaring white elephants that might hurt you.

Otherwise, you’re going to need to be a little bit more realistic about the price that you’re setting for your home.

I was just having a conversation with somebody in our office.

A Great Beautiful Home!

There was a house in Denver that we’re looking at renting for a client and the house was a great beautiful home.

But literally backs up to the interstate, like one of Denver’s busiest interstates is right there backing up to it.

And so, most definitely there’s going to have to be a discount on the price of that house or else it will not rent quickly.

The Third Thing That Makes A Good Atlanta A Rental Property Is Just When You Walked Out Of The House Were There Pretty Neutral Colors?

I think neutral colors are the way to go.

Right now in, you know, 2019, 2020 what is selling in homes today is more of a light gray, just lighter colors throughout the home.

And so, we’re not necessarily…we’re not saying you have to paint your entire house, but neutral typically works better.

So, if you have a kid’s room that’s painted bright pink or bright yellow, whatever, with rainbows all over it, I would consider repainting that room.

That Would Be Our Suggestion.

Repainting that room to be more of a neutral color, it will more than likely help your home to rent quicker.

So, just think as you walk throughout the house, neutral colors, is the home set up, does it have a lot of neutral colors versus these, just kind of odd, not as popular colors in a house?

The Fourth Thing That Makes A Great Atlanta Rental Property Is Just That You’re Very Realistic About The Price That You’re Going To Ask. (What Makes A Good Atlanta Rental House?)

You know, what we find is that it’s kind of a mixed viewpoint of people’s houses.

Some owners of their houses, you know, they’re very…they think of it subjectively.

Maybe their emotions are involved in it and so they want to ask a higher number.

Maybe it’s because while their mortgage is a certain amount.

And they want to make more than their mortgage, a certain amount above their mortgage.

The Goal Of Renting Your House.

It could be some other reason, but ultimately, the goal of renting your house is to rent it as quickly as possible to a great tenant at market rate.

Because when you rent it at market rate, then you’re most…you know…

What you’re going to do is you’re going to have a happier tenant for a longer period of time.

If you’re able to rent it for more than market rate to somebody.

I would say, just be aware, there’s a caution here because there’s a tendency to, you know, you might be tempted to rent it to somebody who’s less qualified if they’re willing to pay you more money.

Strong Suggestion!

And I’m going to strongly suggest that you don’t do that, that you most definitely do not neglect the underwriting process.

    • Be very, very serious.
    • Be very firm
    • And be Fair

About your screening criteria and don’t lease it to somebody just because they’re going to give you a little bit more money.

What you want to do is provide that market rate.

The Second Thing!  (What Makes A Good Atlanta Rental House?)

The second thing I would say about that is if somebody is a really good tenant and they rent it for the above market rate, more than likely they’re going to move at some point.

Because they’re going to see, they’re going to realize after being in your home for 12 months.

So, that they can have maybe a bigger house or a more modern house for the same amount of money than what they’re renting your house for.

So, the market rate. Just remember,  be very

    • Very objective.
    • Pull as many comps as you can.

Looking At The Things!

Look at…these are the things that I most definitely that I look at when I’m looking at comps for a rental house, is I’m looking at square footage, I’m looking at year built, I’m looking at bedrooms and bathrooms.

So, you can pull those things up on Zillow.

You can look at pictures of the house just to make sure that your house is comparable in those different ways.

Lastly, So The Fifth Thing That Is Going To Make A Great Atlanta Rental Property Is Really The Service You Provide After The Tenant Moves In.

Now, if you do a great job of getting all of this stuff in order, all these things in order and you are spots on and you’ve got a great rental house and you rent your home to well-qualified tenant and then you don’t provide good service, well it’s not going to make for a good relationship.

Trust us on this. We have learned this the hard way.

We have made mistakes, we have screwed this thing up more times than we care to admit.

But, you know, one thing that we did know, if we screw something up at the beginning of this relationship, like the move in, if somebody moves into the house and there’s something that’s not working right, it sets the tone for the rest of the relationship.

The Trust Factor! (What Makes A Good Atlanta Rental House?)

It’s hard for us to recover from that because there’s a trust factor.

So, I say all that to say if you’re considering renting your house out on your own, just make sure that you’ve thought through all of the things that you need to prepare for when managing your own rental house.

Things like maintenance requests.

Do you have a system for taking maintenance requests and getting them handled in a timely manner?

Communication with the tenant, collecting rent.

Do you have just a very good way to collect the rent and make sure that they’re aware when rent is due?

So, These Things Absolutely Are Going To Have A Big Impact On Your Landlording Experience.

If you ever want help with that, then, you know, we’re here to help.

We would love to speak with you more about your Atlanta rental house.

So, look us up online if you’re not already on our website now at gkhouses.com.

You can go and find all of the places that we manage rental property and select Atlanta and we would love to talk to you.

Give us a call, shoot us an email, whichever one works for you.

And we look forward to hearing from you.