Drum roll please!
Hear are some key things to look for when buying a Real Estate property to add to your investment portfolio:
Gentrifying is just a fancy term for “is the area getting richer?” Are there art galleries suddenly opening up? Are there pet-grooming / pet hotels popping up? Is there a recent application for a planned development? Are there signs of income getting higher or have a significant jump in census income stats? Has there been a drastic or noticeable drop in crime rates? If so, then you’re probably looking at a good area.
Companies hire armies of Geo-statisticians to scope out the next best location for a profitable storefront. They have minimum foot-traffic forecast threshold they want to meet. Not enough potential traffic, not a good place to put up a store. The Big Boys play this really well. Are there retailers opening up in the area e.g. Starbucks, McDonald’s, Walmart, etc? These companies are good at finding areas for development. It’s good to keep an ear to the ground.
Treed lanes or well-kept lawns
Nothing beats a street wow-factor. If the area is well trimmed, chances are you’re looking at a mature street in a great community. Possibly mostly owner-occupied who care enough to water the garden.
Those who do well financially tend to be disciplined … this carries into their daily routine. If you see many people jogging in the area, chances are the area is gentrified.
Another good sign the area has gentrified. Keeping pets can be expensive so those who have them say a lot: they can afford leisure time because they don’t have to work and therefore must have mula.
Streets with house demolitions and re-builds popping up
Check-out for well executed demolitions and signs of houses going upscale. This tends to be a domino effect. So when the tide rises in your area so does your house value.
Cheapest on the block
At The Intelligent Dollar we think there is value in buying the largest and biggest house on the lot because you can command the price. There is also something to be said at buying the cheapest on the block because you can work on the property to get it to the average house price in the area, therefore giving you more mula.
You want to look for properties in areas with not much by-laws and street restrictions. The more restrictions there are, the more hassle there is later on when it’s time to reno or sell.
If you’re the flipping type you probably already know what to look for. Does the house have solid foundations? If you want a money-losing pull-your-hair nightmare, flip a house with structural issues.
Subway/Metro/Streetcar lanes being planned within a 1 KM radius
This is part of gentrification we talked about earlier. So long as the city is not forcing you out because they want to run a mass transit right through your house, a mass transit corridor leads to economic activity. And if you want to be a landlord, then you’ll have more access to greater amount of tenants who wish to be near a mass transit system.
Away from direct traffic arteries
Unless you’re looking for an upscale property in a busy downtown neighborhood, you’d want close to a Feng shui type home, were you’re not at risk of being hit by a wayward 20-wheeler rig anytime soon. Plus many people cannot stand the thought of living in a street where their kids may get run-over, or they’ll wake-up to onrushing traffic by very irate folks who are running late for their nine-o-clock appointment with the Boss.
Away from Gas stations … Away from Train tracks … Away from Prison … Away from Slaughterhouses … Away from the Zoo
OK we’re being silly, but you get the point.
Finally, do the numbers and trust your gut
Numbers won’t lie regardless how seemingly nice the new paint smells. If you don’t have a good feel or something feels odd about the house … walk away.
Not all properties will get a hit on all the above tips, but chances are, if you check-mark many of the above, then you’ve found a gem worth keeping for the long-term.
So that’s how you find the perfect real estate investment gem!