So once you have gotten your real estate business started, it’s time to search for that first investment property. So I want to quickly give you several ways that you can look for and find the perfect beginning investment property. But before I do that, make sure you know what type of properties you are going to be targetting. When you are just starting out, you want to make sure to look for smaller properties in good areas, so look for small single family homes or duplexes in neighborhoods that you have previously farmed. Duplexes tend have produced better for me in the past, however, they may be harder to find, and I know you are looking to get into you first deal as soon as possible. Being eager can quickly lead to impulsiveness, and being impulsive is one of the worst things you can do in the real estate game. I’ll explain more on this as we go along. So without further ado, here are some simple ways to find available real estate to bid on:
Check the MLS Listings in Your Area
This is probably the weakest of ways to find good real estate deals, but there are sometimes gems amongst the trash. Consult with your real estate agent to get access to publicly available real estate listings, or have the agent print off your desired property listings. Listings that have been active for 180 days or longer will prove to be much more willing to bend to your low offer price.
Check the Local Newspaper
This resource can often lead to better results for the investor. Look for properties that appear to be for sale by owner (either they are in the “For Sale by Owner” section of the newspaper, they do not contain a business’ name, nor do they contain any terms like “agent”, “broker”, “realtor”, “realty”). Again, zero in on properties within your farmed market, with prices that seem to be inline with the market, or less than market value. Often, your local newspaper will be published online, and you can view all the classifieds without even buying a subscription. That’s the way I do it here.
Drive Your Farmed Markets
This is one of the best methods to find properties in your targeted areas that are for sale. Just do a little driving in those areas, and look for available properties. If you do this regularly, you may find a property that is just going up for sale, and therefore you can be the first to offer, if it fits the bill.
Check Foreclosure Sites
Going to websites like HUD’s bidselect.com and Ocwen REO Properties are great for finding those foreclosed properties. I have found that purchasing homes through HUD to be the easiest to acquire. Banks may try to negotiate, but HUD doesn’t. Send them a bid, if they don’t like it, they’ll reject it. You can always up your bid and resubmit it.
Extract Deals from Your Backend Network
This is THE BEST WAY to find great real estate deals. I am working on a deal right now that I found out about through an ex-tenant’s background check for a new property. The owner of the tenant’s new dwelling is going through some hard times, needs help, and is willing to sell at a price that would make the deal work. There was no for sale sign, no ad in the paper, therefore I am the only one trying to make a deal with her. I cannot stress to you enough the importance of building a strong backend network. If you really want great real estate investments to flow your way, spend time building business relationships, and the deals will come. Start by signing up and attending a local Real Estate Investing Club to begin networking and connecting with other investors. It may not seem like a great idea in the beginning, but it can be tomorrow’s meal ticket for you.
So I have given you some great resources to find your first investment property. So once you have a few properties scoped out, and they look good to bid on, you’ll need to start the process of narrowing down which ones to actually offer on. More on this as we continue the series on Buying Your First Investment Property…