If you are ready to add a new rental property to your investment portfolio, you might want to acquire one in a market that is far from where you live. There are a lot of reasons to do so, especially if you know a certain market is ideal for owning a rental home in Tampa. You may even be thinking of purchasing your new rental property sight unseen. After all, a lot of rental property investors do it without any problems. Buying rental properties sight unseen, however, has some potential pitfalls that you definitely want to avoid. To help you acquire a profitable rental property sight unseen, here are a few of the top tips from real estate experts.
Get a good real estate agent.
The most vital decision you can make to successfully buy a property sight unseen is getting the right real estate agent. It is crucial that you find 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 get the right person, ask for references, check their experience, and conduct interviews. You will be working closely with this person, so it is very important to find a good fit.
Ask the right questions.
Whether or not you plan to tour a listed property, you need to ask a lot of questions and collect as much information as you can. This is vital especially if you can’t be on-site to see certain things yourself. For instance, you should ask your real estate agent to send you a floor plan, or 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 things a photo cannot tell you.
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. Request a walking tour of the area from your real estate agent as part of the video tour of the house so you can get a better idea of the surroundings.
Request video tours at different times of the day.
Looking at a potential property at different times of the day will tell you a lot about it. A property that appears to be on a serene neighborhood lot in the morning can have rowdy neighbors, late-night train sounds, or other nuisances occurring after dark that your daytime tour would have missed. Things can look very different in the daylight and at night.
Enlist friends and family to help.
If you know anyone living near the rental property you want to buy, consider asking them to tour the property and drive around the neighborhood in your place. The second set of eyes is helpful in pointing out details your real estate agent missed (or didn’t want to report). As a resident, they also have a better sense of the characteristics of the different parts of town and the property’s neighborhood.
Get an appraisal and a home inspection.
Finally, you must 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. The inspection and appraisal can raise issues such as serious structural problems with the property itself to significant elements that could affect your property’s value. These are important things you have to know before committing to the purchase.
Of course, one of the best ways to buy a property sight unseen is to purchase one that Real Property Management Freedom manages. Our Tampa 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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