My smart idea to make $400 a month as a landlord ending up costing me instead. Here's what I wish I'd known before I rented out my house.

Business Insider | 1/12/2020 | Ashley Abramson
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When we became landlords, we expected to make $400 a month above our mortgage payment, but we ended up losing money. Our tenants were frequently late on their rent, which meant we couldn't pay our mortgage and got hit with fees.

Looking back, I wish I'd done a few things differently — including hiring a property-management company and doing a background check on my tenants.

Landlord - Money - Move - Money

I learned being a landlord can bring in extra money, but it isn't necessarily a smart move if you need the money.

Read more personal finance coverage.

Home - Way - Money - €? - Risks

Renting out your home can be an effective way to make some extra money — but if you're not aware of the risks and potential costs involved with being a landlord, your efforts to bulk up your bank account might be counterproductive.

I learned this the hard way.

Husband - Baby - Job - Home - Decision

When my husband and I had our first baby in 2014, I decided to quit my job and stay home. This last-minute decision tightened up our budget, and it also made paying our $1,200 mortgage difficult.

We decided to move out of our house and into a smaller, cheaper apartment — our rent was $1,090 — to save money. Renting out our house seemed like a smart idea: It was in a popular neighborhood where rentals were in demand, and we would live close by to take care of any issues that came up.

Three-bedroom - House - Minnesota - Month - Mortgage

We planned to charge $1,600 for the three-bedroom, one-bathroom house in Minnesota, which should have left us with an extra $400 per month after the mortgage payment. Unfortunately, our "smart idea" ended up costing us money in the long run.

Looking back, there are a few things I would tell myself before jumping into becoming a landlord.

House - Mortgage - Rent

When we moved out of our house, we really couldn't afford to pay our mortgage and our new rent...
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