Rick Ahmann and Associates Helena MT real estate

Renting Your Home for the Summer

What Home Sellers Need to Know to Be Successful

Schools out! And as summer approaches you may be considering renting your home out for the summer.

There are many benefits to renting your home, along with lots of risks.

Renting while trying to sell, is unpredictable in some cases, but it can be very profitable when done correctly. Not to mention, you may end up with much more money that you would ever have dreamed of by simply selling.  

Now, that doesn’t mean that renting is fit for everyone. There are many factors that go into renting your home, particularly for those with real estate for sale in Helena, MT. It is important to fully understand what you’re getting yourself into before you dive into the world of renting and real estate.

So how do you know if you’re capable of becoming a landlord? Should you stick with selling your home, and avoid all the chaos that comes with renting? Or are you dedicated to investing in the rental process?

Before you decide, ask yourself the following questions...

Will This Property be Profitable? Do the Math.

The very first thing you want to look into when deciding whether or not to rent your home is the profitability level. Determine how much you plan on charging for rent, and then deduct all of your real estate expenses, including

Will your property produce cash flow? Even after all of the expenses associated with the home and property have been deducted? Cash flow refers to the money left over after all of your expenses have been paid.

When determining cash flow, remember to include hidden fees that could be applied to your property and home in the future. Will you need septic services? Or lawn care during the fall? Call local businesses and get quotes for such expenses. Incorporate any and all fees that could be applied to your property, and determine if these costs could be covered by rental income.

What is my Return on Investment if were to sell TODAY?

Now that you know how much you will profit off of a rental property, consider how much money you would make if you were to sell your home today.

Right off the top, assume you will lose around 10% to closing costs, agents fees, and normal sales expenses like property taxes and transfer taxes. If you are apart of a homeowners association, you may have to incorporate additionals costs. Does that leave you with any profit?

Compare the ROI of your home, with your cash flow. Is your home appreciating? If the value of your home is depreciating, you’ll want to sell sooner rather than later.

Analyze the local real estate market and determine exactly when you want to sell. Then determine if you are ready to dive into the rental side of Helena realestate. You can search for terms like “rent apartments near me” to give you an idea of how competitive the local rental market will be.

What about Taxes?

If you are fortunate enough to have steady cash flow from rental revenue, don’t forget about the tax increases you will face! As with any other income-producing asset, you will be taxed on the income you receive from your rental.

With that in mind, remember that you can write off a lot of the costs associated with converting and maintaining the property. Be sure to hold onto any receipts you accumulate for purchases and repairs surrounding the rental. This will be helpful when it comes time to do your taxes.

In addition to this, there are other tax deductions that can be applied to certain rental properties. You may be able to claim a deduction for depreciation of the property. Talk to a real estate attorney about what tax increases you will face, and what options you have to help alleviate some of those costs.  

Do you want the responsibility of becoming a Landlord?

Last but not least, ask yourself, do you really want to be a landlord? Do you feel comfortable taking on the risks?

Rental ownership often means you have to trust your home to someone you barely know. You may get lucky and end up with tenants who are lifelong friends, that are dedicated to paying rent on time and maintaining the place as you would. But in this day in age, it is more than likely that you will have to trust your home to strangers, who are more than likely to do some damage to your Helena, Montana property.

Even if you end up with angels for tenants, there is a lot of responsibility involved in owning a rental, and it takes a lot of attention, time, and money.

Third party rental management companies relieve a lot of that responsibility,  but they generally cost around 10% of your rental income.

What Type of Lease?

Since you are selling your home, you will have to be very clear with your tenants about the length of the lease and the details surrounding.

Make sure to clarify with your tenants exactly what would happen if your property were to sell. If you plan on showing your home while they are living there, make sure your tenant fully understands the arrangement.

Incorporate all of these details, and all of the rights and responsibilities of both parties, into a legally binding lease. This contract will act as a safety blanket for you if you run into any problems down the line.


If you need any advice to drafting up a lease or any questions regarding rentals and real estate in Helena, Montana contact us right away! Check out our facebook page for more!