When you’re just starting in real estate investing, it can be daunting to consider the entirety of your home town (or nearest urban area). But it doesn’t have to be. You can get started by simply getting to know your neighborhood better!
Real estate investing has an equation. Like any bit of “mastery” where the general populace thinks “easy” but never gets close enough to try (because really, where to begin?), real estate bargain hunting is an art (sales/negotiation) and a formula.
How To Farm Your Neighborhood For The Most Perfect Fix and Flip Investment
Part of doing your first deal right (so you maximize your profit, minimize your upfront costs) is educating yourself about your market. Too many in real estate are proactive and experienced for you to disregard qualifying yourself and extending your local knowledge. The following information will give you a solid foundation to build upon until you get in your groove and can assess a property’s value without even seeing it.
Drive the Area (Driving For Dollars)
Spend a few weeks looking around at homes in the area. Look at their construction, learn the average prices. GET TO KNOW YOUR MARKET.
Attend Open Houses
When you visit open houses on the weekend, you get a chance to network with the real estate agents (have you partnered with one yet?) and owners (bring your business cards-word of mouth referrals are the most powerful). You will become familiar with the typical architecture, pricing and property features in the neighborhood. You will better understand property values and house styles.
Find Vacant and Ugly Properties
When you are driving around, look for places with no window shades, newspaper piled up, garbage, overgrown grass, etc. If you are unsure whether a property is vacant, knock on the door or ask a neighbor. Ask the owner if he is interested in selling, and if he is not the owner (rental property), ask for the owner’s number.
Get In Touch with Absent Owners
If you find a vacant property, ask neighbors if they know the owner. Usually, they will be helpful because ugly houses hurt their home’s property value. You can also ask the mailman (ask for forwarding address), and if you still have no luck, leave a business card. Take down the address and when you get home, look up the owner’s address and name. Call your local tax assessor’s office or by looking up the recorded deed filed with County land records.
Other public databases like infousa.com will search through the Driver’s License Bureau and the Department of Motor Vehicles.
Look for Tagged Properties
Some counties will “tag” a house that has code violations. These violations often reflect the vacant or neglected property. You can ask your city for a list of tagged properties or find out where it is publicly recorded.