Sneaky Tip To Uncover A Property’s Secrets Before You Buy

Q: I’m about to go into contract to buy an investment property.  The last rental property I bought turned out to be a disaster.  I want things to work out better this time, do you have any advice for me?  Carlos, Woodbridge, NJ

A: Good question, Carlos.  What you don’t know about a property or any asset that you buy can hurt you, so you definitely should always do all your homework BEFORE you buy.

Most investors, when researching an investment property before they buy focus their attention solely on financial information (i.e. rental income and expenses)–obviously finances are critically important but are only part of the overall picture of a rental property.  At the end of the day, to be successful as a landlord, your rental property must be appealing to good, paying tenants.

One thing I would suggest you do is visit the property at different times during the day and night.  Sometimes a neighborhood may have a very different character at night than during the day and this will affect how marketable your rental property is to good tenants.  One of the most effective ways to discover hidden things about a property or the neighborhood it’s in is to ask the neighbors.  As long as you’re sincere, neighbors will often divulge critical information that only someone living in the area could know.

Remember, to get a complete and accurate picture of a property before you buy, you need both quantitative and qualitative data.

Thanks for your question, Carlos, good luck.

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