Many people in the landlord business find themselves renting out a home that they used to live in. This is easy to do because it can occur in a number of ways. Maybe you were able to buy a second, better home and simply moved out, leaving you with a new investment property that was too perfect not to start renting. Or maybe you bought the home as a flip and lived in it during at least some of the renovations period. Some landlords even buy investment property in desirable areas as vacation homes and rent when they don't plan on visiting for a while. Whatever the reason, If you have lived in and loved a property, it's important to take the right steps to ensure that your renters feel welcome and are able to enjoy the residence as much as you have.
Step 1) Clear Out Your Old Things
Stuff has a way of accumulating in homes, especially large ones with lots of garage, closet, and attic space. Holiday decorations, old clothes, and even boxed up unused appliances can pile up in places you haven't thought about in years. That said, in order for the property to become someone else's home, it needs to stop being treated like your spare closet. Do your best to hunt down every single item you left and take it with you when you leave this time. Be prepared to enlist the help of younger and more lively neighbors and relatives if necessary to make room in the closets, garage, and attic for someone else to store their old Holiday decorations and unused appliances. After all, isn't that essentially what a home is for?
Step 2) Take Pictures, They Last Longer
If you have fond memories of the property, you don't have to leave them behind when you turn the home over to somebody new. Before they move in and change the way you see each room, take a few personal snapshots. The kitchen where you've enjoyed many a steamy cup of tea or the living room where your family used to gather, these memories are meaningful and worth keeping. A few sentimental pictures will ensure that no matter how the property changes from here, you'll never forget the experiences you had here.
Step 3) Repaint, Refinish, Refurbish
Now that you've taken your photos, it's time to remake the property like new. Repaint the walls in complementary colors and refinish the floors. Replace aging materials and refinish those that are still good but just need a new coat of sealant. With sentimentality taken care of, you can go wild with the enjoyment of flipping a home you already own. Redecorate if you want or preserve valuable old fixtures if you'd rather. Make sure to get the home inspected by plumber and electricians during this process as well to make sure you're not leaving anyone with a lurking safety issue.
Step 4) Make a List of Property Quirks
The last time you moved in somewhere, didn't you wish the previous tenant had left you a note enumerating all the little quirks about the property? Make a list of all the tips and tricks you can think of that make living in your old residence easier. How long do you have to wait until the water gets hot? Which burner works the best for simmering? Are there any doors that take a little extra effort to latch? Only you know these special techniques for the property, and you can leave that knowledge as a special gift to both your new tenants and your property manager.
Step 5) Say Goodbye For Now
With the house clean, polished, and ready to receive a new family, your job as the landlord and previous resident is complete. It's time to say goodbye to this place that you loved but have since moved away from. There was a reason you left and no doubt you love your new house just as much, if not more. It is now safe for you to leave this old residence of yours in the caring hands of your property manager and wait for the new tenants to arrive.