So, before you buy that first investment property, what other information do you need to know?
Let’s step back first and make sure we are comfortable. We know we can swim. We know where to jump. Often with many new experiences we are apprehensive in the beginning since we don’t think we have enough information. This is especially true when you're about to buy an investment property.
There’s a bit of hesitation, although we hope to ease that by providing you all the key information you’ll need: how to choose property, loan and tax advice, how to improve your credit profile, qualities to look for in property, market facts, hot spots and no buy (dead) zones, and more.
TIP: Statistics and numbers are the key underlying factors that should determine if you buy or sell a property, but be aware that statistics can have hidden elements, not telling the whole story. Do your own investigation. Take a closer look and then proceed.
Nowadays, you can use the Internet to do a lot of preliminary research. With sites like Trulia and Zillow, you can get price comparisons for homes in the area and then the actual price of a property. Also, you can see when and for what price the property sold for in the past. This way you can better negotiate with the owner, since you know what they paid for the property.
But again, numbers don't tell the whole story believe it or not. There are other factors at play, from future plans for a city to the state of the market in general. Timing it crucial. It's wise to have a local view of the area, an insiders take on it, this could be from a real estate agent, neighbors in the area, or local real estate bloggers.
For example, what if you bought an investment property without knowing that a busy road was going to be built right next to it. All of a sudden a great investment property becomes a place that nobody wants to live in because there's a busy and loud street right outside their bedroom window. Or at least the price you can charge for rent has gone down quite a bit.
Forums are also another way to get some rough information on real estate. Truila now has a local voices section, where you can ask individuals in the area for their advice or insight.
Furthermore, try scanning the local papers for tidbits of information and check in with community associations for new developments or plans for the area.
Today, every city has a local paper online, so it's easy to find out what's going on in a town you're thinking of buying a property in. Also, keep track of the major companies in the area and whether or not they are growing or cutting back their work force.