A great real estate agent can help you locate properties in your area that would be valuable as rental properties. Once you've found something you like, go through these questions with your agent to determine if the property will meet your needs.
How Can I Split It?
Before you buy the property, consider how you will rent it out. If you hope to get multiple tenants in the property, look for something that will be easy to divide. A multi-level property may lend itself well to splitting the rental unit into several different floors, with each tenant getting one floor. You may need to add amenities, such as kitchens or bathrooms on each floor. If you choose to go this route, it can be valuable to spring for a place with a finished basement; this can constitute its own rental unit as long as you are able to put windows in the space. You can also consider renting the home by room or renting the entire home. Ask your real estate agent for advice on what would be viable.
No matter what you choose, consider if the rent will be reasonable. If your mortgage payments will be high, you might have a hard time charging the full amount to a single family or tenant. With several rooms for rent, you can charge collectively more rent while placing less burden on any one tenant. And, you'll also split up your risk; a non-paying tenant in a single room will hit your wallet much less than a non-paying tenant in the whole house.
Is there Enough Parking?
Once you know what type of rental you are considering, make sure that you are happy with the amount of parking you are offering. If you have multiple tenants, will you be able to offer each person a covered garage space or at least ample street parking?
How Much Will it Cost to Fix Up?
Finally, your property might not be completely ready to serve as a rental property. As mentioned before, adding parking space or dividing up the space into multiple units may require a little bit of renovation. You should also look at your local codes to see what kinds of safety features are required for rental units in your area. Knowing these added costs up front will help you to evaluate the total cost of the property to make sure that you're getting a good deal.