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Investing in Real Estate: Location Questions

Where is the property located that you are thinking about buying...? Is it in a city or a small town? Do you know the area or do you live out of town?

Don't think just because you watched a few shows about flipping houses or buying rental properties you can get rich quick through owning an investment property, investing in real estate is hard and it takes time to make money.

Remember, location, location, location, isn't just a cliche that can be discounted, it's the foundation to a good real estate investment. Would you rather own a property that has a view or one right next to a freeway? Sure, the one near the freeway won't be as expensive but in the long run the one with a view will be a lot easier to rent out and appreciate over time.

  • On a street that is highly visible to renters?
  • Within 15 minutes of job centers?
  • Has a unique aspect: a view, proximity to public transportation or parks, large windows, split levels, top floor units...?
  • Is it close to shopping centers...?
  • Is there quick access to freeways or a fast route to business centers?
  • Is there area growing and expanding? What's the current state of the local economy?
  • Are there new companies coming into the area or leaving? For example, you're better off buying near the tech sector rather than say old technology facorites - auto industry and so forth.
  • Is the property and surrounding area safe and secure? Seems like an obvious question, but explore not just the property but the neighborhood around your property.
  • Funny enough, if there's a Whole Foods or a Starbucks nearby then it's propably a good income property to buy.

And there was this from Zillow about buying property near Whole Foods or Trader Joe's:

"Zillow found that homes grow more rapidly in value if they are closer to a Trader Joe's or Whole Foods," the company said in a release.

Between 1997 and 2014, homes near the two grocery chains were consistently worth more than the median U.S. home. By the end of 2014, homes within a mile of either store were worth more than twice as much as the median home in the rest of the country."

Questions you should ask in specific areas:

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