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Pretty much this. I rent rooms/board. I assess the market using Kijiji and it works out to about an even split of the operating expenses of the house for each room.

When I rented the entire house including utilities, I took the average expenses and mortgage for the year plus 3%. I didn't include a a ROI on the down payment, but I should have. This number was on par with the market. I also thought the low ROI was me doing them a favour as the previous owners did me a favour.

I was only renting the entire house to give the previous owner as much time as they needed to find a suitable replacement as they allowed me to close extremely early so I could secure a lower mortgage rate with my lender. So I am not exactly experienced with renting houses in their entirety.
 

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I prefer Craigslist as they show the square footage, making it easier to compare your place to others.

Also, and this is probably different depending on where you're located, but out here more people use Craiglist in my experience.
 

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The most important thing for me is to use more than one website. Kijiji is not always the best. Just last month I was doing a market survey and I got a really low price of $1250 from kijiji and it turned out to be fake ad to get traffic for a website and the real price was $1600.

When I did market pricing for buildings I always discarded the highest & lowest result. You can also use median pricing as a valuable indicator.

It depends on the property, how many are available, and how fast you want to rent it. An intangible is always the uniqueness of the property.

So recently I did a market survey on a one bedroom loft... market survey said around $1600 was a fair price but because of the unique space, I put the price at $1795.
2016-04-20 15.06.11.jpg It rented pretty much right away.

Today I went and saw a lovely place, gorgeous condo, but there are lots of surrounding properties at $1250, but obviously a different level. I already know, it's going to be a hard slog just to get people to come.

But for god's sake people do not overimprove basement apartments. No matter how much "lipstick" you put on that pig, it's not going to fly.

The real kicker is... how many calls/showing do you get. If you're not getting any calls, the price is too high for the market, if you get calls but people cancel price is on the verge of being too high lower $50 or $100. If people come but you get no applications, your place is not showing well compared to other places. In a spring market which is rising hold tight, in a November descending market drop fast. If you get application but they are all high risk, your price is again just a hair too high. If your phone rings off the hook, you're priced way too low.
 

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I also use Kijiji as well. I have data for the (local) areas and the types of dwellings I am interested in, going back 3 years.

I priced my rental slightly below market value to generate interest and I have not been disappointed.
 

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Based on 40 years as a landlord:

1) Be sure your rental is clean and in good repair

2) Find out what the going rate is for similar accommodations (check ads, go and look at other rentals if necessary)

3) Price yours on the low side. Everyone is a hanging judge of rent. If your place is $50 cheaper you will get lots of applicants

4) Do not be too anxious to rent. The only thing worse than trying to get someone in, is trying to get someone out. Have lots of applicants (see (3) above) and be choosy.

5) Be proactive, don't dally. Your best tenants are looking 30 to 60 days ahead of time. Someone who has to have a place right away is a MAJOR red flag. I have never had one of those work out.

6) We've all trusted people and we've all paid. When this no longer sounds mean and cynical you have paid your dues.
 

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Discussion Starter #11
Great tips, thanks! Also, some investors have the 1% minimum rule, so 1 months rent has to be at least 1% of the house value. I guess that's good just for a quick estimation of rent.
 

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It's not the house value in this market, it's 1% of the cost of the place, there is a difference. It also doesn't have to be "at least", some properties can cash flow for less.

The 1% rule is used more for evaluating properties to buy, not to determine rents.
 
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