Real Estate Investing – Where Should I Invest

When it comes to deciding where to invest in real estate, there are a lot of places you could choose. This article will give you a few ideas you may not have thought of before, and one that may shock you!

When new investors are first starting out, they almost always start investing in their own hometown – their backyard, so to speak. There’s nothing wrong with this, and it’s really quite natural. After all, why not invest in neighborhoods and communities you are familiar with? this helps keep the initial learning curve from being any steeper than it already is.

Not only that, but when you first start out, you really should look at a lot of properties – hundreds even – and that’s obviously much easier if you only need to drive over a couple of streets, instead of a couple of states!

For those investors with a little more experience under their belts, spreading their wings is a real possibility, and presents several opportunities not available to the real estate investor who only invests in his own hometown. One such opportunity is vacation property.

You may not live in a tourist mecca, so if you want to buy vacation property – like beach or mountain real estate – you may have little choice but to go outside your own familiar terrain. Fear not, though. Get the right kind of help, like trustworthy Realtors and property managers, and buying property in a distant city or town doesn’t need to be a problem. There’s tons of money to be made to. Why not consider vacation property for your next investment?

Another possibility is choosing an investment city or town based on a high probability of success. For instance, why not invest in a city where real estate is less expensive and more readily available than it is in your town?

Here’s an example… many investors in expensive areas like Southern California or Connecticut look at smaller, second-tier cities like Rochester, NY, or Greenville, SC. That’s right, I said Greenville, SC! Real estate in Greenville has actually become very popular with investors from every state, and many other countries as well.

Why? Because Greenville, and cities like it, have low real estate prices, so the cost of entry is accessible for lots of investors. Greenville also has a stable economy, with plenty of high-quality jobs, and excellent schools, all of which attracts a ton of potential tenants for your rental properties. I personally know investors from as far away as Ireland and Australia (and some in Greenville, such as Paragon Investment Properties)who come to Greenville just to invest in the residential real estate!

So, as you can see, it’s a great idea for a new investor to start investing in their own hometown. You just don’t need to get stuck there forever. There are many other opportunities out there – like vacation property and second-tier cities – and some of them will even surprise you. Happy investing!

Investment Property – What to Repair When Flipping a Rehab Investment

One of the most common forms of real estate flipping occurs when the investor finds a good deal on a property that needs repair, fixes the issues, and resells the home at its retail value for a (hopefully) substantial profit. As with anything, rehabbers come in all shapes and varieties, and the degree to which they are involved in repairing the property varies accordingly. Some will make minimal repairs, spending practically no money at all, while others may spend $50,000 updating systems, installing hardware, and so forth. So how does the investor know how much effort to put into repairs?

The answer is not a simple one. Generally speaking, it will depend on the neighborhood in which the property is located. The rule of thumb is: don’t try to make it the nicest home in the neighborhood; just be sure it fits in, and give it the best presentation you can. In other words, if you are in a neighborhood where none of the houses have a garage, don’t spend thousands of dollars building one. Someone looking at a home in that neighborhood is probably not looking for a garage. On the other hand, if all the homes in the neighborhood have central air conditioning, and yours has an old plug-in unit hanging out of the window, you need to consider the cost of having the air conditioning updated.

There are many ways to make any property more presentable, regardless of the neighborhood (in some they are required for success, in others just a bonus). Landscaping is the big one. Generally, you can do this yourself or with the help of very cheap labor, and it is nothing more than mowing a yard, planting some flowers, and maybe installing a fence around a yard. Obviously, you can only do so much with every property, but landscaping is typically inexpensive and makes an enormous impact on the first impression your property delivers. Other cheap updates, such as repainting, installing ceiling fans and light switches, cleaning, are all ways of increasing the value of your property without really increasing the cost. A ceiling fan may only cost you $30 to buy and install, but someone will be willing to pay $1,000 more for a home with fans in every room. That’s good business.

While this is by no means a comprehensive list of what to repair and not repair when fixing and flipping a property, the message to take away is to make enough improvements that your property is at-or-above average for the neighborhood. It doesn’t have to be the nicest outlier, and it should never be the worst. Meet the standards of the neighborhood, and provide a neat and clean presentation, and your property will be competitive in the retail market.