More Real Estate Investor Tips
By Steve Gillman - 2008
The following real estate investor tips are a continuation
of the page Real Estate
Investment Tips. Links to other relevant pages can be found
at the bottom.
Is the house in an area that is at high risk for floods? You
can find out at the FEMA website, www.floodsmart.gov/floodsmart/pages/index.jsp
(follow the links to the Flood Map Center - or just enter that
term in a search engine). Banks will often require a flood hazard
assessment (and will charge you up to $50 for it) before loaning
on a property.
Your Home as an Investment
Flipping your own home can be one of the most profitable real
estate investments. This is partly because you get to keep capital
gains tax free if you live in the home for two years (ask your
accountant for the specific rules on this). Also, because you
have two years to improve the home, you can take the time to
shop for the best prices on materials and contractors. Lower
costs mean higher profits.
Don't over-improve a house. Renovations can only push up the
value of a property just so far. To use an extreme example, putting
$30,000 in custom cabinets into a mobile home may not raise its
value at all. Generally, you should do those improvements that
bring a home up to the standards of the neighborhood and perhaps
a little beyond. Don't think you can make a house worth $400,000
if it is surrounded by $200,000 homes.
For an easy and fun real estate education, try visiting open
houses every Sunday (or whenever they are most common in your
area). If possible, try to guess the price before you learn what
it is, to see how good you are getting at estimating value. Concentrate
on the types of houses that you are thinking of investing in.
Choosing a Real Estate Broker
One way to decide which broker to list your property with
is to visit several and note what type of buyers they have coming
and going. Are they the type that would be interested in your
house? Is there a fair amount of traffic in and out of the office.
Ideally, you want a real estate office that works with many buyers
and many of the type that are likely to be looking for a property
like yours. You also should find an agent that normally works
with real estate investors.
Preparing for the Sale
Selling tips: Make sure that your property is clean, neat
and smells nice. You might be able to look past the post-renovation
clutter or dust or bad odors, but your prospective buyers may
not. Even a perfectly renovated house has to meet these basic
criteria if you expect to have an easy sale at a decent price.
Marketing a Home
Selling tip: Get your neighbors to help you sell that property.
Tell all of them that you are selling. They may have already
heard a friend mention that he likes the neighborhood. They also
will be motivated to talk up your house to good dependable buyers
who will make good neighbors, since they have to live near them.
Take a digital camera with you when you go to see a property.
It is a good way to remember what the house looks like, and to
document problems that you spot. You can review the photos as
you decide what improvements and repairs need to be made.
Other Relevant Pages:
Three Real Estate
Investment Ideas - Specifically for tough markets.
How To Get
An Education In Real Estate Investing - Five steps.
Is Real Estate
A Good Investment Now? - Written in 2009.
Cash Flow Makes It Safe - When
market value is less relevant.
The Benefits Of The
Housing Slump? - Yes, there are some.
Unusual Real Estate
Investments - Hunting lodges, flea markets and more.
Real Estate Tips - A half
dozen real estate investor tips.