Real estate investors have their hands full in today's housing market - they must navigate tricky economic conditions, find affordable properties and outbid large corporations in order to succeed. While this may sound daunting, it is often much easier with access to high-quality information and the Internet.
Thankfully for budding real estate investors, resources online provide many opportunities to find the great deals, whether the goal is to flip it quickly for a profit, become a landlord or sit on the home and wait for the market to improve. Regardless of strategy, understanding the housing market is the first step toward success.
With that being said, here are a few tips and tricks for any real estate investor to start off right in this profession:
Take advantage of the Internet
For real estate investors, a lack of knowledge about the housing market will cripple an operation before it even begins. This is because a misunderstanding about a neighborhood or property can be the difference between making a major profit or losing money right away. So, all professionals will want to turn to the Internet before buying a house.
Seth Williams, a real estate investor and guest contributor to Inman News, wrote that one of the best tools out there is Google Earth. Believe it or not, but this free website can provide some serious help for investors. For example, users can check out a home's exterior, the neighborhood, nearby structures and land features and even the condition of the roads. All of this valuable information will allow investors to make more educated decisions about a property, without ever taking the time to drive out there and see it in person.
In addition, real estate investors will also need access to more in-depth information. With CRS Data, this is fast, reliable and affordable. Instead of traveling to the local courthouse, look at mortgage records, property data and much more right online.
Search for foreclosures
Real estate investors have a lot of options when it comes to finding affordable deals. They can choose from distressed properties, or they can even go bold and target new construction. However, the best strategy is often the former, with a focus on foreclosed houses.
According to Money Magazine, investors love to snatch up foreclosures across the country. Anywhere there is a large amount of this type of property, there is a good chance there will be interested professionals nearby. This is both good and bad. For one, it can lead to more competition, increasing the chance of losing out on a great deal, but on the other hand foreclosures are often as cheap as properties are going to get.
In addition, Money Magazine explained that $200,000 or less for a home tends to be the cut-off point for real estate investors. Any houses over this price point become harder to turn profitable, so that figure could be a good starting place for budding professionals to get into the market.