Are Rentals An Asset? 4 Guide Questions Before Buying a Rental Home

Are Rentals An Asset?

For decades, financial experts have claimed that owning a rental is a lucrative investment and one of the best ways to build wealth. Well, today we’re going to answer the question, is real estate an asset? We’ll also discuss 4 critical questions to ask yourself before buying a rental home. So stick around till the end!

Are Rentals an Asset?

Legally speaking, an asset is any resource a company or individual owns that can provide economic value in the future. Since rental properties benefit from appreciating with time, hedging inflation, and earning steady income with proper management, many financial experts consider them an asset. To go into further details, here’s why rentals are an asset:

Income Generation

Earn money consistently by becoming a landlord. Whether you manage it yourself or outsource the work to an expert, rental properties can guarantee monthly rental payments. As a result, they can be a means to keep your lifestyle going during retirement or act as capital for other business ventures.


When you own a property, you can grow your wealth over time without lifting a finger. Unlike other assets, such as vehicles, land tends to appreciate over the years, particularly in high-rise neighborhoods. Thus, with careful consideration, your rental could double or even triple its original cost in a decade.


Improve your financial health by diversifying your investments. Financial experts agree that spreading out risk across ventures can significantly reduce your risk and the volatility of your portfolio. In other words, you can enjoy more stability even in the face of inflation. Besides, if you understand real estate asset classes, you can diversify your rental property portfolio without dabbling in stocks and bonds.

Tax Benefits

Enjoy tax cuts from running your rental like a business. Managing a rental property is no small feat; thankfully, the IRS recognizes that. Besides requiring a lot of time and effort to keep the house standing and your tenants happy, it can also cost quite a penny. That’s why keeping proper records of your expenses is essential so you can write them off as deductions, reducing your taxable income and saving you more money in the long run.

What are Rentals as an Expense?

Despite being an asset, rentals are expensive and don’t run on air. Here are just a few of the expenses property owners can expect to incur:


Keep your property habitable by paying your utility bills. When a property is tenant-occupied, these costs may be passed on, but landlords still must ensure all utilities are available. If the property is vacant, landlords are responsible for covering expenses such as electricity, water, gas, and garbage removal every month.

Property Taxes

Another expense landlords have to account for is property taxes. These fees are often determined by your property type and location, which is why it’s vital to consider where you want to buy.

Repairs and Maintenance

Keep a list of reliable contractors, such as electricians and plumbers on standby because you’ll need them one day. Rentals aren’t immune to wear and tear or even tenant damage. At some point, you’ll need to replace a dead battery in your fire alarm, repaint an old wall, or replace a broken water heater. Discuss with a knowledgeable property manager in Chester County the potential challenges of managing a rental, and they can help you schedule routine maintenance and anticipate repair costs.

Travel Fees

Contrary to popular belief, owning a rental is a very hands-on business. You have to attend to tenant complaints, resolve disputes, and tend to repairs quickly to keep your renters happy. Besides the maintenance expenses, you’ll also have to commute to the location, meaning you’ll have to spend money on transportation through gas or airfare if you are a long-distance landlord. You may even have to consider the cost of hotel rooms and meals for out-of-state visits to your property.

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Questions to Ask Yourself Before Buying a Rental Home

1. What’s Your Budget?

Determine how much money you’re willing to put toward acquiring a real estate asset. Buying a house is an expensive decision, and you have to be financially ready to bear the burden of ongoing mortgage payments and the cost of renovation and upgrades. Thus, it would be best for investors to do an in-depth financial evaluation and a thorough market analysis. That way, you can ensure you have a solid understanding of the playing field before you get off the bench and start looking for a potential investment.

2. Where’s the Location?

Think carefully about where you want to buy your rental property. That is why conducting a financial analysis first is necessary so your budget aligns with the neighborhood you have in mind. While high-end properties often mean more profit, they typically require a bigger down payment and incur more costs which can be crippling without proper planning. Rather than biting off more than you can chew, opt for more middle ground with high demand from working professionals, young families, or students. Remember, the property’s walkability score matters too, so the closer the house is to amenities that attract tenants, the better.

3. What’s the Condition of the Property?

Evaluate the condition of a property before seeking a loan. Just because a house is in a promising neighborhood doesn’t mean it’s worth the price tag. Older buildings can hide many defects, such as crumbling foundations, outdated fittings, and roofs long due for replacement. In such scenarios, property owners can spend a ridiculous amount on rehabilitation projects with little ROI. Instead, save yourself the trouble by opting for a more modern building with fewer blemishes.

4. What’s Your Strategy?

Decide on your investment strategy before choosing a property. Your financial goals and level of involvement should play a big part in determining what real estate strategy you adopt. Do you want a long-term agreement that guarantees steady cash flow and minimal tenancy turnover, or would you rather go for higher returns with the risk of longer vacancies with a vacation rental? Your choice should influence your location and the type of property you buy to ensure you get the most out of your investment.


In summary, when potential investors ask if rentals are an asset, The answer is often a resounding yes. Owning a rental property can be a pathway to financial freedom because it is a means to earn a steady income, diversify your portfolio, and claim multiple tax benefits. Besides, they also appreciate in the long run, which can help you mitigate the downsides of inflation. However, rentals come with utilities, property taxes, and travel expenses. As a result, landlords must constantly juggle the cost of running a rental with its benefits.

If you decide you’re up for the challenge, there are some questions you should undoubtedly ask first. Knowing your budget and aligning your financial strength with the property’s location is essential. Also, consider the condition of the house and what strategy works best for you before making a purchase. Hiring a local property management company to help manage your assets can maximize your returns and reduce your workload.

Francis Nwokike

Francis Nwokike is the Founder and Chief Editor of The Total Entrepreneurs. A Social Entrepreneur and experienced Disaster Manager. He loves researching and discussing business trends and providing startups with valuable insights into running a profitable business. He created TTE to share ideas and tips to help entrepreneurs run and grow their businesses.

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