We have managed to put together this selection of the top five websites to analyze investment property. Have you considered these platforms?
Table of Contents
- Types of Investment Websites
- Use These 5 Websites to Analyze Investment Property
- How to Analyze Investment Property
If you go back a few decades, you’ll notice that analyzing investment properties has almost nothing in common with today’s way of research. Technology has advanced—and now, real estate investors have much more information at their disposal.
Moreover, locating and assessing the property is made easier, which adds to the efficiency of the entire process.
One of the leading contributors to this rapid and efficient development of investment property research methods would be the websites created solely for this purpose.
You certainly had the opportunity to come across multiple sources and websites during your investing career. That is why, today, we’re going to talk a bit more about these platforms and name the most prominent websites to analyze investment property.
We’ll be talking more about their features, what you can expect as a real estate investor, and even cover some of the steps you should take during your research.
Scroll down to get started.
Types of Investment Websites
First, we should mention the main types of real estate investor websites you might run into these days.
- Listing websites
- Educational websites
- Community websites
- Money management websites
Listing websites represent an online resource where real estate investors can find and invest in properties remotely. These sites give the investor an idea of the availability of properties in a particular area and their prices.
Educational sites, as the name implies, are there to educate and inform real estate investors about the situation in the real estate market. They can also be helpful for newcomers looking to develop a more secure investment strategy and learn from others.
Community sites allow investors to meet and connect with fellow investors in the area—and beyond. The importance of such networks is in the communication and cooperation between professionals in the real estate business.
Finally, money management sites are aimed at freelancers and real estate investors who are looking to keep track of expenses, generate contracts, and commission confirmations.
Use These 5 Websites to Analyze Investment Property
Whether you’ve been in the real estate investing business for a long time now or you’re just starting out, one thing is certain:
You need reliable sources for analyzing potential investment property.
And as we have pointed out already, websites are the go-to source for modern-day investors who value accuracy, convenience, and efficiency.
We’ll provide an overview of the top five websites you should consider using in your analysis below.
As one of the most well-known—and trusted—real estate platforms, Mashvisor definitely takes the lead.
This website is known for its data analytics and spectrum of features that allow investors to analyze different types of investment properties across the entire US housing market based on financing methods.
Most importantly, Mashvisor’s database is regularly updated, so investors don’t have to worry about dealing with outdated or otherwise inaccurate information.
Some of Mashvisor’s most popular tools and features are:
- Property Finder
- Rental Calculator
- Neighborhood analysis
This real estate website is easy to navigate and user-friendly. Even more so, the subscription is affordable to professionals and new investors who want to take their first steps in the world of real estate investing.
To learn more about how Mashvisor can help you find profitable investment properties, schedule a demo.
Realtor.com is a website aimed at people looking to buy or rent a home. It essentially acts as an online marketplace—one known for its accuracy—where licensed real estate agents, who are a part of the National Association of Realtors (NAR), can list properties.
Although this website does not allow you to search for properties for sale by owner, the main feature is the search engine, which lets investors browse the available properties for sale all throughout the US housing market.
You can apply extra filters to narrow down your real estate search. Plus, the results will be presented in map form or as a list containing properties of potential interest.
There’s an app available to download and continue your search while you’re on the go, which is a definite plus for investors.
The third place when it comes to analyzing investment properties goes to a website that you have undoubtedly come across by now—Zillow.
Zillow is a website exclusively aimed at rental properties. It has been around for a long time, and it managed to build quite a reputation, so it certainly earned its spot on our list of the top websites for analyzing investment properties.
Zillow’s features center around buying and selling rental properties, with millions of available listings. However, the site also offers how-to guides, tools, and resources related to financing options available to investors—and more.
On that note, Zillow’s database has 135 million listings, and it’s regularly updated to provide investors with an up-to-date picture of the real estate market.
One advantage is that it’s free. The not-so-great part is that the algorithm would benefit from an update.
Next on the list of top websites for analyzing investment property is Airbnb. You are probably already familiar with how it works, and it’s safe to assume that you’ve visited the site at least once.
Airbnb is a world-renowned website that connects homeowners with guests who are looking for short-term accommodation. However, its main feature doesn’t have to be associated only with research on the guest’s side.
What do we mean by that?
Real estate investors can use this platform to analyze potential vacation rentals. In fact, you can scroll through information regarding:
- Average price per night
- Type of accommodation and its condition
- Occupancy rate
If you are interested, you can message the homeowner directly, which obviously speeds up the communication process. And considering the frequency of use of this website, it can be said that it’s pretty user-friendly, too.
Foreclosure refers to when the lender seizes a property and sells it to new buyers due to the previous owner’s inability to meet their obligations, such as mortgage payments.
Experienced investors know how valuable foreclosures are when it comes to getting a great deal. And that’s why Foreclosures.com earned a spot on this list.
Foreclorures.com is a website aimed at finding and analyzing foreclosures. More precisely, it is possible to find more information about 1.2 million foreclosures, pre-foreclosures, tax liens, and bankruptcy listings across the entire real estate market.
Relatively speaking, that’s more than enough information and space for real estate investors to locate a profitable investment spot. On this website, you can research relevant information about a specific house—and even see checklists for foreclosure processes.
Unlike other sites, Foreclosure.com has several flaws—it’s not exactly budget-friendly and does not undergo updates as frequently as most users feel it should be.
Still, it’s an excellent chance for investors to find new foreclosed properties.
How to Analyze Investment Property
Finding a property of interest is only part of the job. So, when you manage to find something you like, you still need to do a proper analysis to determine if continuing with your investment makes sense or not.
The property might seem promising on paper—but you still need to do your research and run the numbers.
Luckily, you have us in your corner. We’re here to help investors navigate the process of analyzing an investment property with this step-by-step guide.
With that said, here are the crucial steps you should take to assess your potential investment property—and see if it is, indeed, a good deal.
1. Research the Rental Market
The US housing market is incredibly vast. Why are we telling you that? We want to show you that sticking to traditional methods of research will not cut it. It’d be best if you had some reliable tools—and, more importantly, information about the rental market of interest.
Then, do an in-depth analysis of the particular market by checking vital pieces of information. Here, we are mainly referring to:
- Economic situation and growth
- Population growth
- Job growth
- Price-to-rent ratio
- Property takes
Of course, these are only a few parameters that you should include in your research. You will also need to adapt your analysis to the type of investment property you’re interested in, such as multi-family homes, single-family homes, and the like.
2. Research the Location
Once you have decided on the rental market, you can move on to a more detailed analysis. And by that, we mean—looking into the property’s location.
When it comes to doing a location analysis, it is imperative that you pay attention to even the smallest of details. You must analyze everything, from property taxes, crime rates, access to public transportation, and job opportunities, to nearby amenities.
Here’s an example:
If your focus is on investing in single-family homes, you should aim at locations or neighborhoods with low crime rates and several nearby amenities that would be crucial for tenants—parks, schools, theaters, and the like.
Property taxes are a critical point to consider, as well. Some states charge a more expensive property tax, which could ultimately affect your profits.
If you’re attempting to figure out the right way to do taxes as a real estate investor, check out our article here.
3. Calculate Cash Flow
The first significant parameter that you should include in your investment analysis is cash flow.
As you might be aware, your investment property will generate either a positive or negative cash flow.
In simple words, cash flow represents the amount of money circulating as you pay off the expenses related to your investment property.
Here’s the formula you should stick to:
Cash Flow = Income – Expenses
Mashvisor’s tools can help you determine if your investment property will generate a positive or negative cash flow faster and more efficiently than doing the math by hand.
4. Determine the Cap Rate
The next parameter you should focus on is the capitalization rate.
The cap rate, as it is also referred to, is a key real estate metric. It represents the rate of the return on your investment property—provided that you purchased it in cash.
It’s not the same as the financing costs, and it helps the investor see the property’s potential return.
The formula for calculating the cap rate goes like this:
Cap Rate = NOI / Property Price
Now, here’s the thing:
There’s no unanimous answer to “What is a good cap rate” because it depends on so many factors. However, the percentage you should be aiming for is 8% to 10%.
5. Conduct a Comparative Analysis
After you’ve taken care of the major calculations that we’ve mentioned, you will have a more comprehensible picture of whether your investment will generate profit or not. The one thing you should turn to here is a comparative analysis.
Why is this crucial to your investment?
The answer is simple:
A comparative market analysis helps the investor see the situation from a larger angle. So, in essence, they can determine whether an ongoing deal is worth it and whether it is under or over-priced based on similar properties in the area.
The more information you have on your property, the easier it will be to analyze comps and see where you stand with this investment opportunity.
CMA is an extensive analysis, and Mashvisor’s tools can help you in that process. With just one click, Mashvisor can provide the real estate investor with a comprehensive list of comps, which—as we’re sure other investors would agree—beats doing it manually.
Top Websites to Analyze Investment Property: Conclusion
By now, you’re likely aware of the advances in technology and how it has made the process of analyzing investment property more time-efficient and detailed than ever. Nowadays, you can do most of the analysis with the help of websites created solely for that purpose.
You are likely to come across many different sources when researching these sites. There are countless options out there—and the amount of information available can sometimes be a bit overwhelming.
The fact that there are different kinds of these websites—listing, community, educational, and money management websites—doesn’t make things any easier.
So, with that in mind, choosing the most reliable ones should be your top priority.
At the moment, Mashvisor, Realtor.com, Zillow, Airbnb, and Foreclosures.com seem to lead the way, ranking as the top five websites to analyze investment property.
Let’s say you’ve found the website that fits your investment plans. What’s next?
You must do an in-depth and detailed analysis of the property and determine whether you can actually expect a profit or not.
You can accomplish this by calculating the cash flow and capitalization rate and taking the external factors—such as the rental market and the property’s location—into account.
Investing in real estate property is a very complex process. However, it can be simple with the right tools.
If you’re interested in researching potential investment properties, use Mashvisor’s Property Finder. This tool helps investors locate a profitable investment property across the entire US housing market.
Start your free 7-day trial today.