While investing in real estate definitely sounds like a good plan, there are a lot of people who make the mistake of believing that buying an investment property is an experience similar to buying a family home. Nothing could be further from the truth. You see, when it comes to an investment property, your primary concern is the ROI, whereas, when buying a home, you also have to think about non-quantifiable features like the lifestyle and the general vibe of the area. In other words, it requires a completely different mindset and a different approach to the issue as a whole. With that in mind and without further ado, here are several things to consider when buying an investment property.
1. Do you really want to buy an investment property?
The first thing you need to be aware of is the fact that there are several ways for you to invest money in real estate without buying property. For instance, you can invest in real estate ETFs, mutual funds or real estate loans. You also have an option to make an investment in construction companies or hard loans, thus helping others make their own investment property purchases. All in all, your options are numerous and it’s up to you to decide what to do with your money. Still, there’s a reason why so many people (especially newcomers to the industry) still decide to just go for the property.
2. How much money can you borrow from a bank?
The first thing you need to know is what kind of capital you’re working with. This is decided based on your financial history, your employment and any collateral that you own. However, this is something you need to inquire about long before actually making a purchase or closing a deal. This is why you should contact your mortgage broker right away. You don’t necessarily have to talk to a single broker or inquire in a bank where you’ll get the loan in question. In fact, for the time being, you just need to know how much money you’re working with. The issue of deposit is also something worth considering. With all of this in mind, hiring an investment advisor would be a good idea.
3. Know your goals
The next vital step here is knowing what your investment goals are. The problem with this lies in the fact that a lot of people prefer to take a less direct approach, often believing that saying “I want to make money” is an answer that’s good enough. In order to be adequate, goals need to be measurable, attainable (possible) and timed. The reason why all of these are important is so that you can make a timely assessment of whether you’re going in the right direction. This means that, with their help, you won’t have to wait a couple of years to see if things are working out.
4. Hire a buyer’s agent
Unless you have a lot of experience in the industry, chances are that you won’t have all the tools necessary to recognize a suitable investment property. This is why you need some expert assistance on the case. By hiring a buyer’s agent, you’ll get someone who knows the local market inside and out. First, of course, you need to check their reputation and have a long and earnest conversation about your investment budget and goals (something we’ve discussed in the previous two sections). This will also make your job a lot easier, seeing as how such a professional will be much better suited to negotiate with a real estate agent than a layman could.
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5. Develop a network of contacts
Just hiring a buyer’s agent is a great start but it’s definitely not enough. When buying any kind of property, you need to have a couple of experts on your side. For instance, you need a professional plumber to check the place’s pipes and fixtures, you need an electrician to check the grid and you need a contractor to check the integrity of the structure. There are so many things that can’t be seen with a naked eye and so many flaws that are easy to hide from a layman. Also, keep in mind that these three fields aren’t the only ones that require some professional inspection. Prior to buying an investment property, you should also perform some asbestos air monitoring of the property, just in case.
6. Checking the neighborhood
Depending on the type of investment property that you intend to buy, you need to look for different things in the neighborhood. For instance, when buying a residential property, you should look for educational institutions in the area, whereas industrial properties depend on the local infrastructure. As for the commercial properties, they are usually the most effective when in high-traffic areas. Overall, learning as much as you can about the neighborhood will drastically increase your chances of making the right choice.
7. Have an investment strategy
One of the biggest mistakes that a lot of first-time real estate investors make is focusing too much on the issue of real estate that they completely forget about the investment aspect of the whole deal. This is only natural, seeing as how they try to look at something familiar (chances are that they’ve already bought one piece of real estate property, which makes them overconfident here). In reality, there are so many ways in which you can invest. For instance, there’s the positive cash flow property, negative gearing for capital growth, buying units, buying and holding or doing larger developments. Needless to say, every single one of these investment options deserves a post of its own. It’s essential that you thoroughly study all of them before making up your mind. Start by reading: Top 6 Real Estate Investment Strategies.
At the end of the day, you need to keep in mind that the reliability of your investment depends on your strategy, the amount of research that you’re willing to invest and the expertise of your team. No matter how much you dislike the idea of having to pay these additional fees, this is something that you simply won’t be able to do on your own. Fortunately, once you develop a reliable network of contacts, you’ll be able to handle all of this quite effortlessly.
This article has been contributed by Amelia Atkins.