Investing in real estate in an unfamiliar area? My advice: Do your homework!

Real Estate Broker/Owner with Richard Weisser Realty

Investing in real estate in an unfamiliar area? My advice: Do your homework!I get several calls a week from investors around the country that are attracted to our low house prices.

When you are getting about one percent interest on savings, the notion of 20-30% return on investment is pretty enticing.

Unfortunately, most of these callers are basing their interest solely on the price of the home and not any other factors. There are many reasons that a house is priced under $25K, and none of them are usually good.

And the occasional good house that slips in is gobbled up by an owner-occupant that lives in the area and is ready to move quickly.

Just because a house is priced at or below $20,000 does not necessarily mean it’s a good investment property. Our recommendations are usually foreclosure homes that are in relatively good shape in the $75-125K range that will produce good rental income and at least have a chance of future appreciation.

Before buying anything in an unfamiliar area, do your homework. Study trends and look at location, schools and amenities. The key is to purchase a home that people will want to live in and enjoy,

Because that is what determines the true intrinsic value of the house!


Re-Blogged 2 times:

Re-Blogged By Re-Blogged At
  1. Robert L. Brown 12/10/2011 12:16 AM
  2. James Lyon 12/10/2011 06:56 AM
  3. Eric Proulx 12/15/2011 12:48 PM
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Lisa Wetzel
RE/MAX Realty Affiliates - Carson City, NV

Richard ... we are experiencing very much the same thing!  Prices can be deceiving ... looking at the overall market is very important!

Dec 09, 2011 03:09 AM #8
Doug Rogers
Bayou Properties - Alexandria, LA
Your Alexandria Louisiana Agent

But the guy on TV said I can buy nice homes for pennies on the dollar?

Dec 09, 2011 03:20 AM #9
Cheryl Dickson
Wichita Falls Association of Realtors - Staff - Wichita Falls, TX
Retired Realtor, GRI / Retired Home Inspector

Such great advice Richard! I know first hand! I moved from California to Colorado, to Oklahoma, to Colorado. I discovered I did not know values, neighborhoods, or economics of the areas. Thank goodness I had the sense to get a Realtor, and that saved me from several mistakes I could have made.

Dec 09, 2011 04:20 AM #10
Tammy Lankford,
Lane Realty Eatonton, GA Lake Sinclair, Milledgeville, 706-485-9668 - Eatonton, GA
Broker GA Lake Sinclair/Eatonton/Milledgeville

pays to do your homework or hire someone who has already done it.

Dec 09, 2011 02:21 PM #11
Brian Madigan
RE/MAX West Realty Inc., Brokerage (Toronto) - Toronto, ON
LL.B., Broker


That's true everywhere!

What appears intially to be a bargain oftentimes turns out just to be the right price.


Dec 09, 2011 03:11 PM #12
Maria Morton
Chartwell Kansas City Realty - Kansas City, MO
Kansas City Real Estate 816-560-3758

Richard, you are so right! Investors really need to learn about an area and also consider the costs of rehab before investing in real estate. It helps to have an expert to advise you. (such as yourself, for instance)

Dec 09, 2011 04:52 PM #13
Rosalie Evans
Meritus Group Real Estate - Sioux Falls, SD
The Evans Group, Sioux Falls, SD Homes For Sale

Richard you need another collumn on your porch there! lol. We also have the bargain hunters here! If you have to put in 50k to make something look decent and then it is still in a unpopular location it has then ceased to be a good buy anymore! 

Dec 09, 2011 07:37 PM #14
Robert L. Brown - Grand Rapids, MI
Grand Rapids Real Estate Bellabay Realty, West Mic

Very good pont(s) and a very timely post. Investors need to find good agents in those particular areas who will work for THEIR best interest.

Dec 10, 2011 12:10 AM #15
Michael Setunsky
Woodbridge, VA
Your Commercial Real Estate Link to Northern VA

Richard, due diligence is a major factor when buying a property for an investment. Although, a low price does attract a lot of inquiries.

Dec 10, 2011 12:43 AM #16
Charlie Dresen
Steamboat Sotheby's International Realty - Steamboat Springs, CO
Steamboat Springs, CO e-Pro

If it looks too good to be true, it probably is. I see it as my job to steer people away from listings that may seem like great deals on the surface, but really aren't if you know the area, have done your homework and dig in a little further.

Dec 10, 2011 12:58 AM #17
Morgan Evans
Douglas Elliman Real Estate - Manhattan, NY

It's enticing to be able to purchase a house for that amount of money, but like you mention there is a clear "catch" somewhere along the way as far as who would rent it, what kind of condition, where it's at, long term growth.

Dec 10, 2011 01:00 AM #18
Chuck Carstensen
RE/MAX Results - Elk River, MN
Minnesota Real Estate Expert

I agree that for most investors they are best getting a house in good shape but priced well assuming your rental market has the cash flow like we do here now.

Dec 10, 2011 01:23 AM #19
Richard Bazinet /MBA, CRS, ABR
AZuRE Team - Realty ONE Group - Scottsdale, AZ
Phoenix Scottsdale. Sellers, Buyers & Relocations

Richard, I echo as well other comments that indeed clients need to be encouraged to do their homework and research very carefully.

Had a recent situation like this where my client wanted to invest into a multiplex property. I was unsure how to convey my sentiments about this property without breaking any rules. Thank god a police car was driving by. I flagged the police car, and voila, the police officer was gracious enough to provide my client with a full report about the area.

Dec 10, 2011 02:32 AM #20
Sandy Acevedo
951-290-8588 - Chino Hills, CA
RE/MAX Masters, Inland Empire Homes for Sale

Hi Richard, yes so important to know an area to answer those questions of why a house is priced so low. You definitely don't want someone else's headache. (Seriously though, under $25 K??).

Dec 10, 2011 03:32 AM #21
Sussie Sutton
UTR Texas Realtors - Pearland, TX
UTR TEXAS Realtors - Rep for buyers and sellers.

I too have people calling for those rock bottom priced homes. When they get to the showing then they realize it is a little more work than they anticipated.

Dec 10, 2011 04:27 AM #22
Tara Skinner at Keller Williams Advantage Realty
Keller Williams Advantage Realty - Golden, CO
- Connect with us!

This seems to be a trend all over the country, Richard. I also think it is in everyone's best interest to do as much homework as they can but this should be more so for those buying out-of-state. 

Dec 10, 2011 10:21 AM #23
Kathy Clulow
RE/MAX All-Stars Realty Inc. Brokerage - Uxbridge, ON
Trusted For Experience - Respected For Results

Richard while doing ones own due diligence is important it also helps to have a competent, knowledgeable Realtor® working for you in the area you are considering investing in ..... I suspect you might know one in Coweta Fayette, Georgia.

Dec 10, 2011 11:07 AM #24
Anthony Daniels
Coldwell Banker - San Francisco, CA
SF Bay Area REO Specialist

Anybody investing in real estate, without first doing their homework, is usually the guy left holding the bag.

Good post, thanks for sharing it.

Dec 10, 2011 12:36 PM #25
Vanessa Saunders
Global Property Systems Real Estate - White Plains, NY
From Manhattan to the Catskills of New York

Most of my investors are coming in from overseas and are interested in purchasing a home within 1.5hrs of Manhattan. Their average price range is $700k with a couple at over 1M, and they aren't looking for Foreclosures or Short Sales, just aggressively priced homes in good condition. All of them do their homework as to area, schools, resale etc. Most buy with cash and ALL have not one but 2 or 3 appraisals. Smart buyers and great for business!

Dec 11, 2011 05:30 AM #26
Wayne Turner
Turner Real Estate Group - Mandeville, LA
"The Only Name You'll Ever Need for Real Estate"

Great advice Richard!

Dec 14, 2011 05:00 AM #27
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Richard Weisser

Richard Weisser Retired Real Estate Professional
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