Real Estate Investing for Retirement – Safe Choice?

Is Real Estate Investing Safe

Real estate is a great investment. Property typically appreciates in value over time, the only costs incurred are repairs and maintenance. It's not as simple as buying and selling property or renting it out, though. Poor choices can lead to losses. With the right information and understanding of the market, however, it can be a great source of income while working at another job, or after retirement. In fact, retirees can really benefit from the income generated, which can be used to invest in another business, or for personal comfort.

There are a number of advantages to investing in real estate as retirement income:

  • There is income coming in every month.
  • There are tax advantages.
  • Rents usually to go up rather than down, which means rental income will likely increase over time.
  • The returns are good even if the property has been acquired through a mortgage.
  • Returns are not limited by time or demand. There is no high or low season when it comes to property, which is not the case in other businesses. People always need a home and businesses always need properties.
  • Property can be bequeathed to family who can, in turn, pass it on. Your heirs can keep generating income from what you begin.

There are possible negatives to keep in mind as well:

  • Units may remain unoccupied for a long period. If the property is on loan, this can compromise the ability to pay a mortgage on time.
  • Irresponsible tenants may be late with rent, or require eviction.
  • Repairs and maintenance must always be done, even if a property is unoccupied.

Real Estate is still a good investment

While you should consider these risks, investing in real estate is still very viable if the risks are properly managed. The problem of units remaining empty can be avoided by choosing an ideal location for the intended property, commercial or residential. Adding in extras like a swimming pool for residents, high security measures (like electronic entry and exit, or secure parking), and making the most of views, can make tenants opt for your building rather than another one right next door.

The risk of untrustworthy tenants can be contained by doing background checks. The law allows such checks, within reason. This will reveal if a renter has a record or if they are in default on rent or a loan. Private investigators can also conduct such checks, for a price. The costs of repair and maintenance can be mitigated by having a rental agreement that contains clauses making renters culpable for damages they cause. Other repairs like a leaking faucet, painting, and broken tiles don't cost much and can be fixed easily.

Finding renters quickly is a problem that can be assuaged by keeping funds in reserve in anticipation of a time when a unit will be empty. Renters are required to give notice before moving, and that time period can be used to re-organize finances before another occupant moves in.

Jacksonville, Florida investors are seeing good returns

Jacksonville is one city in Florida where property owners are seeing good returns. According to Rent Jungle, the average apartment rent rates have increased by $31 or 7% over the last 6 months. The average rent on one-bedroom apartments has gone up by 9% and for two-bedroom apartments by 10%. Property investors in the area are collecting rent and are laughing all the way to the bank, and to a larger retirement fund!

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