4 Tips for First-time Champaign-Urbana Real Estate Investors


Owning real estate in Champaign-Urbana is an excellent way to establish financial security and build some long-term wealth. Your investment will appreciate over time, and you’ll also collect monthly rent, which will contribute to the costs of maintaining a rental property. It’s definitely a smart financial move.

While there are a lot of benefits to renting out your property, there are a few challenges as well, and always some unexpected surprises. If you’re investing in real estate for the first time, check out these tips from a local property management company that specializes in residential rental homes. We’re here to help you avoid the expensive and time-consuming mistakes that many first-time investors tend to make.

Pricing Your Rental Property Correctly

New investors are often unsure about how to establish a reliable rental value for their property. It’s a good idea to consult a Champaign-Urbana property management company before you invest. You’ll get a better understanding of what rental values are in the area, and you can project what you’ll earn before you buy.

Maybe you have a vague idea about what you’d like your property to earn every month, based on your mortgage payment and other expenses. However, the rental price is market-driven. It doesn’t matter how much cash flow you’re after or what you’ll need to make your mortgage and tax payments. Evaluate the Champaign-Urbana market thoroughly and check the prices for similar competing properties.

A good Champaign-Urbana property manager will have access to the data you need. Try to stay competitive; vacancy can be costly in real estate.

Prioritize Preventative and Routine Maintenance

Maintenance is always going to cost money and can be difficult to accept. But, you don’t want to risk devaluing your property or allowing its condition to deteriorate. Deferred maintenance will also lead to frustrated tenants unlikely to renew once their lease ends. When a tenant makes a maintenance request, respond to it right away, or at least let the tenants know when you’ll be able to take care of the problem.

Handling problems while they’re small will save you money and avoid headaches. In our years of Champaign-Urbana property management experience, we have never heard of a maintenance issue becoming easier or cheaper with time.

Understand the Illinois Rental Laws

In Champaign-Urbana and throughout Illinois, there are a lot of landlord and tenant laws that need your attention. It’s very easy to violate a law without even realizing it. Fair housing laws, for example, can be extremely confusing, especially since they’re changing all the time. Many first time investors run into trouble with service animals and emotional support animals. It can also be difficult to keep up security deposit laws and understanding when you’re permitted to enter an occupied property. Along with when you can and can’t raise the rent.

Habitability laws are also in place, and it can feel overwhelming to both experienced landlords and investors. Local property management companies are exceptional at keeping their owners in compliance and can be a great resource if you’re unsure of something specific.

Work with a Champaign-Urbana Property Manager

Unless you have the time, knowledge, and experience to manage an income-producing property on your own, hire a professional and local Champaign-Urbana property management company. You need someone who knows the local market and that understands the property management industry.

Find a company that can accurately price the home, market it, and screen for highly qualified residents. A management company that has good relationships with local vendors will almost always have a reputation for helping owners earn more and spend less on their investment.

Consider our team when you’re looking for great property management. We have a deep knowledge of the local market, and we can help you have a more successful investment experience now and in the future. Contact us at Ramshaw Real Estate.