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If you are thinking of purchasing a rental property in the near future in the Arlington area, now is definitely not a bad time.

selling-home-300x199Arlington is fast becoming a renter’s market. As of the latest figures per Sperling’s BestPlaces, the vacancy rate here is only 5.49%, compared to the national average of 10.37%. Housing prices too are roughly $40,000 below the national average. The median value of an Arlington home is $134,000. And Arlington already has 40% of its homes as rental properties.

So if you have the wherewithal, purchasing a rental property may not be a bad investment.

But do you really want to be a landlord? The allure of having your mortgage paid by rental income is a large one. But contrary to perception perhaps, being a landlord is not an easy, part-time job. In fact, it is a major job and can easily eat up most of your time and also provide you with some serious concerns.

Let’s take a look at just a few factors that have been thrown into the mix recently:

Qualifying tenants
This is no longer an easy job. In fact, the benchmarks of the past no longer apply.

As reports, “A credit check is a central element of the tenant screening process, and most applications have a question about foreclosures, bankruptcies and previous evictions. In the past, answering “yes” to any of these questions would automatically disqualify a prospective tenant. Not anymore.

“In the old days, if you had a foreclosure, we wouldn’t even talk to you. Today, it’s a whole market segment we want to talk to,” says Jeffrey I. Friedman, chairman and CEO of Associated Estates Realty Corp., a national rental-property company based in Richmond Heights, Ohio. If an applicant lost a home to foreclosure but had a job and good credit otherwise, that applicant probably would get approved. Associated Estate Realty also has started including unemployment benefits in an applicant’s income, which it never used to do.”

Evictions are harder
While on the front end, things have changed. So have things on the back end.

Because of the spate of foreclosures and unemployment, evictions have been way up and the process has slowed or even stopped in some areas. As Dan Page of the American Apartment Owners Association told, “They’re taking far longer than they used to. Some sheriff’s departments are refusing to serve eviction notices. People need to take that into account.”

Those are just two points that make being a landlord tougher these days.

But this is where the expertise of property management firms such as Herman Boswell Property Management shine. Herman Boswell has been successfully managing the ups and downs of rental properties for over 37 years. They can help you make the most out of your rental properties even in today’s market.

Photo credit: vichie81