Real Estate investment continues to be one of the dominent vehicles behind creating wealth amongst some of the richest people in the world. Like all investments, it pays to do your homework before taking the plunge into property. Most importantly take a long-term view and realise that investing in property is usually a long-term strategy.
When you live in an area you become familiar with values and local issues. You can identify properties that are overpriced and those that have genuine potential, you will be aware of new properties as soon as they come on to the market.
Keep up to date with rental values and vacancy rates by scanning the rental section on the Internet or in the newspaper. If similar properties are advertised week after week perhaps the demand for rentals is low or the asking rent is too high.
Calculate the estimated annual return based on the approximate rental and a reasonable purchase price.
The newer the home the less maintenance you should have. However, beware of cheap constructions that will provide you with ongoing problems. If you have any doubt about the structural integrity of the property get a qualified building inspector to check it out for you.
Look for development potential
But be careful. Properties with development potential often catch out unwary buyers - again, do your homework and make sure that you have the financial capability to realize the full potential.
Use professional property management
Whilst we have a vested interest in this area we cannot stress enough the importance of having your investments managed by a competent professional. Too often we see landlords losing money because of poor tenant selection, inadequate record keeping, insufficient knowledge of rights and obligations or lax property inspections. With efficient management you can enhance the value of your investment, with poor property management you can lose thousands of dollars and create endless problems for yourself.
Do your homework
Don't rely on others to provide you with advice on market value. It's your money and the profit (or loss) will be yours and yours alone. Compare properties for sale with others that have sold recently taking into consideration size, construction, location, condition, aspect, age and features.