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The 9 Best Tips on How to Find a Property for Profitable Investing

Over the years real estate has proven to be one of the most profitable investing strategies. Unfortunately, this doesn’t mean that just any investment property will bring high return and success to its owner. The secret to making money in real estate is finding profitable rental properties. If you are a new real estate investor with no experience in the business, don’t worry because you’ve come to the right place. In this article we will provide you with the best tips on how to find a property for profitable investing.

Tip #1: Buy a Property in a Top Real Estate Market
Anyone in the real estate industry will tell you that location is the first and foremost factor for a profitable investment. Where your rental property is located will determine the price you have to pay for it, the rental demand, the best rental strategy, the type of tenants you can expect, the rental rate, the occupancy rate and vacancy rate, and ultimately the return on investment. Thus, the first thing which any investor preparing to buy a property should do is to read about and research the best places for real estate investing in the US housing market. Don’t make the mistake of many beginners who focus on large cities only. Sometimes small towns and even villages offer a much higher return than major cities. For example, according to data from Mashvisor, a real estate data analytics company, the census-designated area with a population of about 7,000 people, Joshua Tree, has been one of the top locations for Airbnb rentals in the past few years.

Tip #2: Don’t Spend More Than What You Can Afford
As a beginner investor, you should always start with a small, cheap, easy-to-manage property. After all, the best investment property is the one which you can afford and which you can manage. To find such a property, you should prepare a budget. On the one hand, factor in your savings, the income from your full-time job and other sources, and the money you expect to make from your rental property. On the other hand, make a list of all the one-time and recurrent costs associated with buying, owning, and managing an investment property such as the property price, appraisal cost, home inspection fee, closing fees, fixes and repairs, monthly mortgage payments, property tax, insurance, property management, maintenance, and others. In this way you will be able to figure out exactly how much you can afford to spend on a property without risking a foreclosure.

Tip #3: Find the Best Financing Method
One of the great things about real estate investing is that you have many financing options to choose from. You can go for a conventional mortgage, a hard money loan, a private money loan, a syndication, or a partnership, to mention a few possible choices. You should study each option carefully and decide on the best one for your particular case, based on their pros and cons and your specific situation.

Most probably, as a first-time investor, you will end up taking a mortgage loan. In this case, it is advisable to make the down payment as big as possible, without overspending on it of course. The higher your down payment is, the faster you will be able to repay your loan and the less money you will end up spending on repayment. Figuring out the best financing method is crucially important for profitable real estate investing.

Tip #4: Use Different Sources for Your Property Search
To find a property for profitable investing, you should put efforts into searching for properties for sale far and wide. Now that you know where you want to buy an investment property and how much you can afford to spend on it, start checking out local newspapers and real estate websites with both MLS listings and off market properties, talk to your friends and acquaintances, network with other investors in the area who might be selling a property, and connect with a local real estate agent. Each one of these sources will have access to a different kind of properties, and you should check them all out before deciding on the best type of investment property for you and narrowing down your choice.

Tip #5: Consider Investing in a Foreclosure
The most lucrative investments in real estate are those properties which you can buy below market value. Thus, you should consider investing in a foreclosed property. Forget the popular myth that foreclosures are always houses in a dire situation which makes them bad real estate investments. To the contrary, it is feasible to find a foreclosed property in a good shape which will bring you high return on investment. The reason is that you will most likely pay only a fraction of the fair market value of the property as the bank or other financial institution is trying to get rid of it quickly, while you can still charge full market value rental rate.

To find foreclosed properties to invest in, talk to the banks in the area, search for specialized real estate websites with foreclosed property listings (including government agencies’ websites), and look for agents who work with foreclosures.

Tip #6: Hire a Real Estate Agent
Avoid the mistake of many first-time real estate investors who think they can manage the whole process of finding and buying a property on their own. It is recommended to look for an agent who works mostly with property investors and hire him/her to help you along. Your agent will be able to help you find lucrative properties for sale, connect you with lenders, prepare the offer, negotiate the best price, and close the deal quickly and smoothly. Moreover, you don’t have to worry about inflating your budget as agent fees are usually covered by the property seller and not the property buyer.

Tip #7: Conduct Thorough Property Analysis
An indispensable step in the process of making the most profitable real estate investments is performing an investment property analysis. Once you have narrowed down your choice to a few top properties, you should study them in detail to calculate exactly how much return on investment you can expect from them, based on your preferred rental strategy. Find out the cash flow, the cash on cash return, and the capitalization rate which you can expect. To beat the competition in the local real estate market and find the best property for profitable investing, make sure to use real estate investment tools such as a rental property calculator. This will save you a lot of time in analyzing properties and allow you to make an offer before the other investors in the area.

Tip #8: Choose the Best Rental Strategy
You can rent out your investment property on short-term basis as an Airbnb rental or long-term basis as a traditional rental. The optimal strategy in each case depends on the location, the demand, the rental rates, and other factors. So, in your investment property analysis you should see which rental strategy will bring you a higher return on investment. If you decide to go for a short-term rental, don’t forget to study the local regulations carefully as many places have adopted major restrictions on this type of rentals in recent years. Ideally, you should look for a location where both owner-occupied and non-owner occupied properties can be rented out on short-term basis in all residential neighborhoods. For example, the Dallas real estate market is one of the major cities with the least Airbnb legal issues in the US at the moment.

Tip #9: Select the Best Property Management Strategy
Profitable investing in real estate doesn’t end with finding and buying a property with a high potential for return. Afterwards, you have to manage your rental property in the best possible way. If you invest in your local housing market, have some free time, and exhibit the right personality (welcoming and kind but also assertive), you can become a landlord and deal with a rental property and tenants on your own. However, before you decide to manage your property by yourself, you should know that this can take a lot of time and efforts and can turn into a real headache.

If, on the other hand, you invest out of state, have a busy job and a family to take care of, and/or are simply not fit to be a landlord, you can hire a property management company to deal with your investment property. You should be prepared to pay them a monthly rate, but it will be worth it as they will be able to maximize your profit while you can enjoy the positive cash flow in your free time.

How to find a profitable investment property is the first thing you have to learn as a real estate investor in order to make money. The good news is that it is absolutely feasible and doable if you follow our 9 tips above.

Position Realty
Office: 480-213-5251

Four Different Ways To Flip A Property

Flipping real estate is a buzz term that has come screaming into mainstream media in the last few years. Its growing popularity is evident by the magazine articles, TV shows, and Average Joe teams trying to break into the business. Is it easy? What is it? How does it work?

Flipping real estate simply means purchasing or acquiring a property then reselling it quickly while attempting to turn a profit on the sale. Flipping can be handled several different ways and when done properly, each of them can be very profitable for a real estate investor.

Buy it, Fix it, Flip it

Likely the most common form is the tried and true “fix and flip”. This involves a real estate investor picking up a property at a discounted rate, doing the necessary work to get the property up to acceptable standards, and then selling the home on the market – generally to someone who will live in the property. This type of fix and flip can get you anywhere from $15k to $50k on a closure depending on the market and of course how good the bargain was on the home when you bought it. You can set yourself up for failure if you underestimate the cost for remodeling and repairs or do not consider the cost of a real estate agent when listing the property for sale.

The Wholesale Flip

The fix and flip is a very popular method of doing business, and that means there are a large number of real estate investors looking for remodel properties. If you can get a property at a relatively good bargain, you can turn around and immediately sell the home to a real estate investor who is willing to put all the work in and take the project the rest of the way. You can make several thousand in this manner on each sale. While the number is small, you can quickly see how it would add up after quickly reselling multiple houses in this manner.

Buy it & Flip it “As Is”

Fix up work is not for everyone, and some real estate investors want to quickly move a house without sinking money into a professional contractor. If a house is in sellable condition and requires little immediate maintenance work then you can consider just selling it as is. Even if a home is in poor condition, you can make a quick sale if the real estate market is in good shape and the property is in a transitioning neighborhood.

Buy It, Refinance & Lease

Instead of tossing the property for all cash right away, you can try and sell for terms. Once the remodel and refinishing is completed, refinance the property. Provided you were able to punch the math up right, you should not have any money tied up in the deal (or very little at least). You can turn around and sell the real estate investment on a lease, with option to buy. Any rent payment that you make from your renter (buyer, hopefully) can be used to handle the mortgage payments. This way, when the tenant goes for the option to purchase you’ll end up reaping a larger profit – mainly because you don’t have to pay a broker fee.

There Is More Than One Way to Flip a House

I’ve identified the ways to flip a property for virtually every real estate investing scenario. These methods all work extremely well, so it is only a matter of determining what works best for your real estate investment strategy and your overall goal.

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Position Realty
Office: 480-213-5251

How Much Does It Cost To Flip A House?

It’s impossible to put an exact figure on the cost of flipping a house. House flipping comes with so many variables so it’s hard to tell how much it would cost. It can cost you anything from hundreds of dollars to thousands of dollars depending on your market, rehab costs and plenty more factors.

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The ARV

First, you need to know how much the property will be worth when you are done rehabbing. Once you know the value, all other costs that come with the rehab will start to make sense. This is what is known as the ARV or the After Repair Value.

The best way to get an estimate of the ARV is to compare prices of similar properties in the same area of your target market in the past three months. Get a local realtor to help you determine the ARV faster or alternatively, you can do the research yourself by visiting websites such as Realtor.com.

Keep in mind the following things when determining ARV:

Only look at sold houses and not those still on sale
Only look for recently sold houses. They should have been sold within the last three to six months.
If there are no recent sales then this could be a sign that perhaps properties in the area are not on demand.

You can square footage to determine ARV. All you have to do is divide the sales price of property in the area by the square footage of the house. From there, use the square footage in your house and multiply it by the price of per square foot. Although this is effective, it’s not as great as doing a price comparison of the homes in the area.

You can adjust the price accordingly depending on the number of bedrooms and bathrooms in the property.

Factor in water views and look at other properties that have similar size lots

Factor in updated features such as new baths or new roofs, heating systems, kitchens, etc then adjust your price accordingly.

A List Of Things That Determine How Much A House Flip Costs

Rehab Costs

The amount of money you will spend on rehab will depend on how much work needs to be done. If you do not have extensive experience in rehabbing, I would advise you to first start with projects that do not require extensive repairs. Here’s a formula that you can easily follow:

Set A Budget

First, you have to get a budget repair form. It’s not a complicated document and is basically an Excel document that itemizes all the repairs that need to be done within the property. From there, request your contractor to fill out the form before you begin the rehab process.

If you plan on using a general contractor, ask them to get an estimate from other subcontractors like painters, finish carpenters, roofers, framers, plumbers and electricians.

Set A Time Line

Once you have a budget, you must do everything with your contractor to ensure that your subcontractors are held accountable for the cost estimates they gave you. If issues that you had not anticipated come up, (and they do so a lot) get a second estimate as soon as possible to ensure that you do not go over and beyond your budget.

The idea here is to ensure that you avoid running into unexpected issues by having a solid budget that can accommodate them whenever they arise.

Use A Scope Of Work

To ensure that your project goes as smoothly as possible, organize a meeting with all your subcontractors and the contractor and discuss the entire project. Your discussion should mention which is the best logical order for doing the work.

Everyone should agree to a certain timeline that they expect to get the work done on time. all your subcontractors should have each other’s cell phone numbers so that they can communicate with each other. Ensure that everyone in your team is updated of any delays or changes in the project. All changes should be pre-approved by your contractor before they are implemented.

House Flipping Financing Costs

To avoid incurring extra costs, try as much as possible to ensure that your rehab goes as smoothly as possible. This will reduce the amount of time that you hold the property. To get an estimate of how much your financing costs will be, just look at the average number of days other properties in the area have been in the market.

The best way to sell a house quickly is to set the price slightly below market price. Your financing costs will also depend on your lender.

Banks

If you have excellent credit and you finance your flip through a bank, your financing cost will be much less than if you sourced for funds from a hard or private lender. You might just pay with 4-6% on the money you borrowed if you get financing through a bank.

Private Money

Most hard money lenders ask for a 14-20% and four to six points on top of the money you borrow from them. Hard money lenders are great sources of financing for beginners but there are many risks to be aware of.

For instance, if it takes you six months from close to close on a $100k loan at 18% and five points, your interest would be $9k to $5k for five points. That is over $14, 000 in financing costs. It will also cost you an extra $1500 for every month you hold the property above 6 months.

This may seem like a lot of money but if you factor in these costs into your house flipping formula, you will still make a profit.

Carrying Costs

You may need to figure out other costs such as:

Association fees and condo fees
Insurance
Water, gas, electricity
Property tax
The longer you hold on to this property, the higher your costs will be.

Realtor Fees

You will have to pay realtor fees once the property provides the market. This is about 5-6% of the income from the purchase of the house. So if you flip your house for $250,000 at a 5% commission, you will pay the realtor $12,500. Although this seems like a large amount of money to pay a realtor, you should not cheap out. Find a good realtor who will help you sell your flips much faster.

How To Determine Your House Flipping Financing Costs Summary

All the costs in this post will account for 95% of your financing costs but bear in mind that they may vary from one project to another. But provided you can factor in all the costs into your formulas and stick to the 70% rule, you shouldn’t have a problem making a profit.

Position Realty
Office: 480-213-5251

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