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.
Be smart. If you are smart, you will select an experienced local real estate agent to list and manage the property on your behalf.