2 Great Ways To Find Investment Properties

Thanks to the Internet and plenty of online resources, your next investment property may be just a click away. I’m not suggesting that you should invest in properties in other states or other countries. If you’re just beginning, keep it simple and invest in the markets you know best – in your own backyard. A quick search online can yield a goldmine of properties in your own market.

Top Online Sources For Finding Investment Deals

Here is a list of the site that I use personally in finding investment property deals:

Craigslist.com – just click on “real estate for sale” and type in your city and you’ll get a listing of all the properties listed each day. This is also a great source for finding buyers and tenants; just click on “housing wanted” on the home page.

Zillow.com – although a terrific tool for researching values on specific properties, it’s also a valuable tool for finding properties for sale in the markets that interest you.

Backpage.com – another great resource for sellers as well as buyers. Just click on your metro area to get started.

Kijiji.com – this is just like the old-fashioned classifieds section in the newspaper. Owned by eBay you simply click on your city and then select what you’re looking for: homes for sale, room & roommates, etc.

Cheap Local Guerrilla Marketing Technique

Here’s another great way to find investment properties. It involves using a “guerilla marketing” tactic that I was doing long before it was even called “guerilla marketing” and is still one of the best tools to find properties: Bandit Signs.

These are the 18 x 24 corrugated plastic signs you see along the sides of the road at major intersections or on poles.

Believe it or not these work fantastic. In fact, the simpler you make the sign the better. Some of our best signs are made with a white background and we handprint in black marker any of the following messages along with a phone number:

“Cash in 7 days for your house”

“Don’t let those other guys steal your house”

“If you don’t sell me your house I’ll cry”

“I buy junk property”

“Cash for clunker properties”

One of our best signs simply says, “I love to buy hood houses.” We posted that sign at several major intersections on a Friday and we had one man who owned 2 properties called us right away and we had a deal on those 2 properties the next day.

The key is to handwrite the message. It sounds crazy but people have told us that they were embarrassed by their property and didn’t want to deal with a large corporation who has better looking signs. They want to deal with regular people who are local.

WARNING: City and county laws may prohibit posting signs so check with your local government before posting the signs.

I know some investors who wait to put the signs out on Fridays after 5 pm knowing that municipal workers won’t pick them up over the weekends. And then the investors pick them back up by Monday mornings. But be careful they are getting wise to that.

Try it. It’s cheap. Easy to do. Best of all it’s proven again and again to work! Again, I only pass along what’s worked so you can start making money fast.

We buy houses Port Orange Florida

Guidelines for Moving On Up to Commercial Property

Most real estate investors get started buying single-family houses, probably because it’s what we’re the most familiar with. But whether you’re going straight to the big time or are ready to advance from houses to larger (and more profitable) deals, here are 10 time-tested guidelines to follow that will help you have more success.

Think Big

If buying a 5-unit apartment requires you to get commercial financing, which is more of a hassle, then why bother? I would recommend buying properties with at least 10 units. Remember that the more units you buy, the cheaper they are per unit. Also, Dave Lindahl has been quoted as saying, “It’s no harder to manage 50 units than it is 10.”

Take Your Time

Commercial deals take longer than single-family houses do. They take longer to purchase, renovate, and get sold. This is not necessarily a bad thing, but something to keep in mind so that you don’t get impatient or rush into a bad decision. Think of commercial deals as big bonuses or your retirement vehicle, not a way to create quick cash to pay the bills.

Don’t Choose Apartments By Default

There’s nothing wrong with investing in residential apartments per se. I’m just pointing out that since most investors are already comfortable with residential property, they tend to look for apartments without considering the other types of commercial property, such as office buildings, industrial, mobile home parks, land, etc. Weigh all of these property types and choose your own niche based on whatever will help you reach your unique goals, regardless of your comfort zone.

Be Prepared to Spend a Lot of Time at First

Fight the temptation to get discouraged if you haven’t done your first deal yet, or if you are spending more time per deal than your previous ones. Houses are so similar that it’s easy to make a cookie-cutter system for buying and selling them. When I begn looking for commercial properties, I was surprised at how long it took me in the beginning to screen deals and make offers. Just remember that there is a learning curve, like with anything else, and that things will go faster over time.

Learn the new formulas

If you’re buying houses, you may use certain formulas, like buying at 75% of After-Repaired Value, minus estimated repairs. Commercial property will have new and different formulas to get used to, such as Net Operating Income and Cap Rates. Learn what is considered good in your area and get familiar with them when making offers.

Relationships Are Even More Important

Relationships with other investors and private lenders are important when buying houses, but they are even moreso when buying commercial properties. For one, properties costing a million dollars or more are probably within the financial wherewithal of most of us individually, so you probably have no choice but to get to know and work with partners. Also, many commercial properties are sold without being listing first, so the more people in your network who know what you’re looking for, the more deals you’ll find.

Find Good Financing In Advance

Commercial loans are a different animal than residential loans, and in some ways better. The down payments needed are usually a higher percentage than loans on single-family houses, which means you’ll have to put more down (or get your partner to put more down). However, there is often no personal liability if the deal goes south, and they are more lenient about letting you borrow the down payment money from someone else. Nevertheless, before making offers, ask around and find out who the best lenders are in your area to use when buying commercial properties, as it may make the difference between qualifying for one or not.

Be Prepared to Lose Due Diligence Money

After your offer is accepted, you have a period of time (just like with houses) to do your due diligence. You should get an appraisal, property inspection, and other tests and inspections required by law. The only problem is that these cost a lot more than they do for smaller deals. You might spend $5,000-10,000 on a deal, only to find out you don’t want to buy it after all. While this is always better than buying a bad deal, you should still be prepared for these kinds of expenses.

Partners Are Your Bridge to Wealth

As I said before, buying million-dollar properties is not something most people can qualify for on their own (in fact, getting a loan to buy a house is hard enough!) So make sure that you spend a lot of time finding private lenders or deal partners to help you out. A partner can provide the cash and/or credit needed to purchase a property, and you can compensate them by paying a fixed interest rate or a percentage of the cash flow or proceeds from the sale.

Know Where to Get Tough Questions Answered

Lastly, it’s imperative that you associate with experienced commercial investors who can answer questions that come up while you are evaluating properties. There’s no sense in losing a deal or buying a bad property because you didn’t understand certain environmental regulations or estimating what trash collection really costs. Know who you can ask to get fast answers when you need them, and make them your new best friends.

Who buys houses in Hialeah

By following these guidelines I can’t promise instant success. However, you will have the right perspective about investing in commercial property that will help you start right and stick with it for the long haul. Good luck to you in “moving on up” from single-family houses to the big time.