Own Your First Rental in Orange County: A Checklist

Are you thinking about buying your first rental property? Being a landlord can be a challenging experience. There are many things to keep track of, and one mistake can cost you.

In our latest post, we have put together a checklist for the process of buying a rental property, the process of screening your tenants, and a list on how to manage once you are officially a landlord!

When You’re Ready To Buy:

  • Have Your Finances In Order – You should know your credit score and tend to any negative marks before you apply for a loan. You don’t want to find out after finding your dream home that you aren’t able to afford it.
  • Set Your Limits – What can you afford to spend? Don’t compromise here. Struggling to make your mortgage payments will take the joy out of owning a home.
  • Research – Talk to investors, read as much as much as you can, study your market’s trends, and consider buying a course. The best investors never stop learning.
  • Take Notes – Take detailed noted of each property you see. Many people will use a chart to easily compare bedrooms, bathrooms, price and other variable features of a home.
  • Hire Professionals to Help – A first-time investor should never navigate the process alone. Enlist the help of professionals to help you along the way.
  • Buy Below Market Value – To help guarantee a return on the property, you should try to only purchase properties that are listed under market value. If you aren’t able to get the lease payments you are after, at least you will be able to sell the home for more than what you bought it for.
  • Calculate a Property’s ROI – To calculate ROI, the net profit of your investment is divided by the amount of money you have invested. The results are expressed as a percentage or ratio.

When You Are Screening Tenants:

  • Advertise – Utilize the most popular sites, and make sure you have excellent photography and accurate property descriptions.
  • Provide Application Forms – Hopefully, you will get tenants who want to apply on the spot. Make it easy on them by having application forms readily available.
  • Background Check – Running a background check on prospective tenants is crucial. There are many services that can assist with this.
  • Credit Check – In addition, running a credit check will help make sure your tenant will be able to pay you!
  • References – Thoroughly check all references provided.
  • Sign an Agreement – The agreement, or lease,  should be very detailed and leave no room for disagreements. Include your process for conflict resolution.
  • Conduct an Inspection –  Both you and the tenant should inspect the property (together if possible.)
  • Clean & Repair the Property – Any repairs noticed during the inspection should be made before the tenant moves into the home.
  • Change Locks – To reduce your liability and keep everyone secure, you should change the locks with each new tenant.
  • Final Steps – Collect deposits, rent, and provide keys.

After Your Tenants Have Moved In:

  • Tenant File – Create a tenant file with all the pertinent information. Keep track of all tenant issues.
  • Calendar – Keep track of important dates, lease terms, maintenance schedule. If you own many properties, property management software will help to keep you organized.
  • Stay on Top of Things – Keep the house in good shape and exercise a proper maintenance schedule.
  • Master Vendor List – You will inevitably have to pay repair costs and maintenance fees. Work with vendors you trust for maintenance, plumbing, AC repair, etc. Keep their contact info readily available.

Do you want to purchase a house for investment purposes? We can help! Send us a message or give us a call at the office! 949-625-4533


Broker/Realtor/Investor/Mentor (41 years experience) Specialties: Buyer's Agent, Listing Agent, Foreclosure, Short-Sale, Property Management, Landlord I'm a Full Time Real Estate Professional, house flipper and mentor to many of my clients. I am here to help you get top dollar for your home or get you the best price for a home that you are going to live in. I have over 40 years of real estate experience for you to draw on and actively list and sell over 20 homes a year. I have sold over 600+ homes in the last ten years alone. I am a very skillful negotiator and will work diligently to help you realize the best possible price when buying or selling your home. With my Exclusive Home Acquisition & Sales System, I can find the Right Home for You! I have access to homes no other Realtor will show you. I can show you how to save an average of $10,000.00 on the purchase price. We will find a home that fits your needs, in a neighborhood that suits your style. If you are selling your home then I can bring all the professionals to you. I always include professional photos in ALL my listings. I have contractors standing by to assist with those upgrades if needed. I can also quickly get you ALL CASH offers for your home if you desire. My marketing surpasses all other agents. It begins with extensive internet advertising to hundreds of websites throughout the world. I do direct mail marketing for you home and also knock on doors in your neighborhood when I am holding an open house. I hold you home open to expose it to as many buyers as possible. My Exclusive program is designed to sell your home for Top Dollar in Any market. I am an experienced flipper here in Orange County and therefore can offer you my over 40 years of real estate experience. The information is available to you at no charge! If you like what you see, please call me and setup Your Free Consultation.

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