Find a real estate agent. If you choose to work with a real estate agent in your rental property search, choose one that has a good reputation in the community. You do not want to get involved with a real estate agent that does not have your best interest in mind. Choose a real estate agent that you are comfortable talking to, not one that intimidates you. Tell your real estate agent exactly what you are looking for in purchasing a rental property and your spending budget.
Find a money source. Depending on the individual bank's policies, some banks will not loan money to you for purchasing a rental property. The reason? Because you may not be guaranteed a tenant each month. If you cannot get a loan from a bank, ask a trusted friend or relative who might be interested in partnering with you in this new business venture.
Search until you find. Even if you find a house for a great price, it may not be the best deal. Hire a professional building and pest inspector to check the property from top to bottom, inside and out. If it is built on a firm foundation, you have yourself a possible deal, but if the foundation is not sturdy, do not even bother with it. For your first rental purchase, avoid buying a house in need of major renovations.
Prepare for repairs. In the world of rental properties, repairs are a major part of the game. Before moving in your first tenants, repair and replace anything that needs a major overhaul, such as flooring or appliances.