- Personal Finance»
- Investing in Stocks, Bonds, Real Estate, More
Investing/ Buying in Real Estate
Investing in Real Estate
Selecting rental property
• Compare prices of similar homes to make certain the property isn't overpriced. Be skeptical of a seller's assurance that you can raise the rent once you take over. If it's so easy, why didn't he do it? Compare rents for similar units nearby.
• Put everything you and the seller agree upon in writing.
• Make sure the agreement requires the seller to turn over tenants' damage deposits on closing title.
• Examine existing leases before closing.
• Keep loan payments affordable so you won't get hurt by occasional vacancies.
• Be wary of investing in property on which maintenance has been put off. The seller's income and expense statements could show a handsome return because he hasn't spent enough for repairs.
Buying undeveloped property
• Ask one or more independent brokers in the area whether they would be willing to list the property and what its selling price would be.
• Visit the property; don't buy anything sight unseen.
• Make sure that any representations about property improvements and the services that will be provided are added to the sales contract and signed by the sales manager. If he won't sign it, you shouldn't either.
• Find out whether the land can actually be used as a home site. Write, phone, or visit the appropriate offices of the local government. Ask what kinds of permits must be obtained before you can build on the property, and whether sewer and water hookups are available.
• Determine whether the developer's bonds for improvements are the surety kind so that if he goes bankrupt the money will still be available. Escrow accounts can also be used for this purpose. A corporate bond for further improvements is only as good as the corporation itself.
• Understand clearly what will happen if you default on your payments. You could lose everything."
• Read the property report, the sales contract and all other papers thoroughly. Then take them to an attorney who deals in land transactions for his evaluation before you sign anything.
Investing in farmland.
A land's ability to produce high crop yields is important. But even less-abundant farmland should increase in value if it is located near growing cities and thus has potential for development.