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Real Estate Hunting 101

Aug 17, 2007
The real estate market today has never been better, but even in a healthy market, with new tools to find and evaluate potentially profitable properties, you can lose a lot of money. Finding a diamond in the rough has been revolutionized by online real estate listings. Photos, prices, and even full 3-D video tours are available but you still have to be careful when selecting an investment property

1. Finding The Property

There are many ways to find investment properties to buy. You can look online, you can get your real estate agent to find properties for you, you can try to find foreclosed properties etc... The important thing to remember is that the property you find must meet certain criteria for it to be a profitable investment

2. Consider The Neighbourhood

When selecting a property, you will want to consider not only the property itself but its neighbours. Be prepared to make more than one visit, in different kinds of weather and at different times of day, if possible. This is where a knowledgeable real estate agent can come in handy who has good insights into the neighbourhood.

3. Check For Leaks

One of the most expensive problems with a home are leaks! If you can try to visit the house when it is raining and always make sure to get an inspector to evaluate the property for possible water damage. Information is power, and if you do find something wrong with the property you can certainly use that as a bargaining chip to lower the price.

4. Strike Your Deal

After you have the inspection completed, if you feel the house is a winner, strike a deal. Find an agent that is experienced and reliable. Even if you have to pay more for their services, the money they can potentially save you by negotiating a price will be worth it.

5. Review The Report Carefully

It's almost impossible to find a house that has everything working 100%. Most minor flaws should be recorded. The most important being leaky plumbing, stained carpets, leaky roofs, damaged walls or floors, or inoperative air conditioning systems. If there are pools of water in the basement or near foundations that can substantially lower the price.

6. Everything Is Negotiable

There's no point in offering the asking price because the asking price is always just that - the price that the sellers would like to get. It is likely higher than the actual value of the home. Very few properties, even newly constructed ones, are perfect.
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