What You Need to Know Before Investing in Real Estate

Are you planning to invest in real estate? Are you buying your dream house? What are the most important factors? This article covers the nine things you should know before investing in real estate.

Photo of homes in Indian Springs Louisville KY

Buying a home is not only limited to mental satisfaction, but it gives financial stability also. The property becomes an asset for you. Real estate is a tricky business with many ins and outs that can be difficult to navigate. Therefore investing in real estate is a big life decision.  

If you end up making a mistake, you will suffer in the future. A wrong investment decision can haunt you for a long, long time—both mentally and financially. 

While location is always a key consideration, numerous other factors help determine if an investment is suitable for you when you plan to invest in the real estate market. If you are a first-time investor, consider these factors when looking for properties to put money into so that you can enjoy a happy, peaceful life. 

1. Do Your Research

Depending on your needs, you need to do some serious research before investing in real estate. It’s essential to do a thorough analysis of all the factors that could determine whether your investment earns a profit or not. It includes, but is not limited to:

  • Your Financial Situation
  • Location
  • Neighborhood
  • Rental Incomes in the Area
  • Property Attributes
  • Level of Finish
  • Property Taxes
  • Leverage

All the factors help you decide whether you’re ready to make such a sizable investment.  

You want your property to be a great investment. So, do the proper research. Use an analytical approach logically based on the financial factors. Do not focus more on your personal likes or dislikes. After all, investment isn’t about emotions; it’s about economics.

2. Dig Deep 

Narrow down the three best available deals and compare them. Be realistic in costs, your expected return, and the holding time frame. Check the areas, go to city departments, and make sure there are no road changes or new developments. 

And definitely get as many expert opinions as possible, including your experienced real estate agent.

3. Establish Your Budget 

Frame a budget that you are willing to pay before starting your search. Sticking to your planned budget is vital. 

Do not get carried away with emotional or aesthetic attachments when looking at homes or picking out details for the renovations. Also, think about choosing a property that’s close to where you live so that you can easily keep an eye out and work on it. You will also be aware of the happening in the neighborhood and local property trends.

4. Keep Your Eyes Open 

While real estate is an excellent investment. You still need to be fully prepared for what you’re getting into. Be aware of the unforeseen costs involved like city, and possibly country, taxes. Obviously, property maintenance is a must.

Lastly, when the time comes to file income taxes, speak with your CPA to better understand how capital gains work.

5. Study and Learn the Market

If you are a first-time investor, do not rely blindly on a real estate agent, lender, or friend to tell you what deal is good for you. To have the most significant real estate advantage, you need to know market values better than anyone.  

For apartment investments, don’t confuse where you would want to live with where you should invest. Don’t confuse where you would live personally with where you should invest in apartments. 

6. Find an Expert Real Estate Agent

Take your time and understand the market. Finding an expert agent helps a great deal in this area.

Make a list of local agents first. It is always advisable to compare local agents to have better insight for investment. You need a local trusted agent who can give you an unbiased assessment of the rent and the property. Be careful, and don’t trust blindly. Verify with an expert who doesn’t have a stake in the deal. 

7. Don’t Spend All Your Liquid Assets. 

Do not lay down all your liquid assets when it comes to investing in real estate. Utilize loans instead.

Having said that, you should also be careful while taking a loan. Many have had bad experiences because of bad loans. Take all your time to review every option before deciding which loan to take. Analyze the interest rates, the term being offered, extra charges, turnaround time, etc., before you make up your mind. 

8. Clean up Your Credit Score

It will be difficult for you to get a loan with a bad credit score. If you score around 700 or higher, that’s a good credit score number. If you need to raise a lower credit score, you will be able to get a better deal on your loan.

9. Follow the Proper Legal Procedures

Real estate investments can be quite sizable. You need plenty of capital, which you might not have on hand. You may choose to become co-owners of the property by getting another person to share the cost. Before taking this decision, you should keep legal ramifications in mind and follow the proper procedure to avoid future complications.

The bottom line is that you should stick to your principles and don’t overbid to get your first deal done. If you get in a bidding war, all the analysis in the world becomes meaningless. Know when to pass, and keep searching for the right deal to set you up for future success.

Tre Pryor, Realtor

Tre Pryor is the leading real estate expert in the city of Louisville. He is a multi-million dollar producer and consistently ranks in the top 1% of Louisville Realtors for homes sold. Tre Pryor has the highest possible rating—5.0 stars on Google—by his clients and is routinely interviewed by the local NBC news. Tre Pryor is a member of the RE/MAX Hall of Fame.