If you want to add another rental property to your investment portfolio, you may want to buy in a market at a distance from where you live. There are various reasons to do so, especially if you know that a certain market is ideal for owning a rental home in Liberty Lake. You may even want to purchase your new rental property sight unseen. After all, many rental property investors who do it don’t have any problems. But buying a rental property sight-unseen also has a few potential pitfalls you would want to avoid. Here are what some real estate experts say about how to acquire your next profitable rental property sight unseen.
Get a good real estate agent.
The most vital decision you can make to successfully buy a property sight unseen is hiring the right real estate agent. There is no substitute for someone who knows the local market, has expertise in the type of property you want to buy and is willing to send you detailed information about each listing. To make sure you are getting the right person, ask for references, check their experience, and do thorough interviews. It is important to find a good fit since you will be working closely with this person.
Ask the right questions.
Even if you plan to tour a listed property or not, you need to ask a lot of questions and gather as much information as you can. Most especially if you cannot be on-site to see some things for yourself. For example, your real estate agent should be able to provide you with a floor plan or, if that is not available, the dimensions and rough layout of the property. Ask about the visible condition of the property and things like sounds and smells as well. These are the kinds of information you can’t glean from a photo.
Research the area.
Aside from learning the details about the property itself, it is also good to know as much as you can about the potential neighborhood. Google Earth is a good place to start. You can also use Google Maps to view the property’s street. You could also ask your real estate agent to include a walking tour of the area in a video tour of the house so you can get a feel of the surroundings.
Request video tours at different times of the day.
A good way to learn a lot about a potential property is to look at it several times at different times of the day. A property may seem to sit in a serene neighborhood lot in the morning but is actually surrounded by rowdy neighbors, late-night train sounds, or other nuisances that happen at night that your daytime tour would miss. Things can look very different in the daylight and at night.
Enlist friends and family to help.
If you have friends living near the rental property you want to buy, consider asking them to tour the property or go for a drive around the neighborhood in your place. The second set of eyes never hurts, and they can even point out details that your real estate agent may have missed (or didn’t want to report). As a resident, they can also give a better sense of how the different parts of town and the property’s neighborhood feel.
Get an appraisal and a home inspection.
Finally, you should have a professional appraisal and home inspection done. While many lenders require both as part of the financing process, you should still schedule a professional inspection even if it isn’t required. Inspections and appraisals alert you to any number of issues, from serious structural problems with the property itself to other elements that may have a significant impact on your property’s value. These are important to know before you commit to the purchase.
Of course, one of the best ways to buy a property sight unseen is to purchase one that Real Property Management Spokane County manages. Our Liberty Lake property management experts know every detail of the property and can often help you find off-market deals before they’re even listed. To learn more, contact us online.
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