9 things to consider before becoming a landlord

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    Investing in a rental property and becoming a landlord could be a smart move in 2016 -- but it's important to understand the commitment first.

    Late last year, real estate website Zillow predicted that the U.S. would see "the highest median rents ever." At the same time, many lower-income Americans may be priced out of homeownership as home prices rise faster than incomes, Zillow said.

    Becoming a landlord might sound like an easy way to make money: Buy a property, find tenants and watch the rent checks roll in. But it can be a costly undertaking that requires a lot of time and shouldn't be taken on without consideration and research, said Lucas Hall, a Washington, D.C.-area landlord and founder of Landlordology.com.

    Is becoming a landlord a good option for you? Click ahead for 9 things experts say you should think about and plan for before investing in rental properties.

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    Ilyce R. Glink is an award-winning, nationally-syndicated columnist, best-selling book author and founder of Best Money Moves, an employee benefit program that helps reduce financial stress. She also owns ThinkGlink.com, where readers can find real estate and personal finance resources.