You should always make sure that your home financials are taken care of first before you think about buying another property. Things like, paying off your high interest debts, do you have enough saved in an emergency fund, do you have enough steady income, do you have anything lined up for retirement. Those are important things to review and make sure are in order before you even think of purchasing another property. It is also good to contact or have a financial advisor when making big decisions like this, they will always tell you what you can and cannot afford and overall give you the best advice for you future.
You should make sure that you find the RIGHT real estate agent to help you find the best income property for you. Sometimes agents can look at you just as a potential commission opportunity, find someone who is interested in developing a relationship with you, someone who maybe owns income properties themselves! If they do you can bet they will be very knowledgeable about this way of investing and can most likely answer any questions or reservations you may be having.
Always remember that your investment property is not your home sweet home! You don’t need the must haves such as hardwood floors, granite counter tops, garages, remodeled ANYTHING, double sinks, ensuite bathrooms. These types of things could potentially drive up your price, and if you are using this property as a rental then there is no need to go above and beyond as your renters will bring their own flare and dress it up the way they want. I think the biggest thing you should consider is the location of the property! Will it attract good tenants, is their schools, what type of tenants will want to live in the area things like that!
Remember that finding your income property is just the first step! You then need to find good, respectful tenants to fill your home! You definitely do a tenant screening process before you give them the keys! You can research and get forms online for these types of screenings. You should also keep in mind that you will be a landlord as well, just remember you will always get calls any day at any time for thinks like a broken toilet or cracked window, or leaky tap. Will this bother you? Will it cut into your family time? Will it interrupt your work schedule to much? There is a lot of things to consider when making this type of decision. Just don’t take it lightly, talk to professionals, do your research and talk to people who are in this type of business and see what their experiences have been!
Hope this helps and I hope that all your decisions and choices better your lives and the lives of others!