9 things to consider before becoming a landlord

  • Understand the time and financial commitment involved

    Photo courtesy of Shutterstock

    Before you start looking at properties or take other steps, make sure you're willing and able to commit the time and financial resources necessary to be successful, said John Nuzzolese, an East Meadow, New York-based landlord, real estate broker and president of the Landlord Protection Agency.

    "People need to understand that this is a business, not a hobby," he said. "You need to take it seriously. The people who make it a hobby usually run into problems because it's not their top priority."

    Beyond committing the time and money required to maintain homes, you must be ready to deal with tenants' needs.

    If you don't have the time to dedicate to the role, or want to save yourself some stress, you may want to consider hiring a property management company to do some of it for you. Although this is an added expense -- roughly 10 percent of each month's rent, plus a potential finder's fee for new tenants -- the company will take over most of the duties associated with being a landlord, from finding new tenants and collecting rent to mowing the lawn and maintaining the property.

    Take the time to do your homework and evaluate your financial resources before taking the plunge and becoming a landlord.

  • Ilyce Glink On Twitter»

    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.