Getting on the Property Ladder: 7 Tips from Property Investors

You would be surprised at the everyday people who are property investors. That nice looking grandmother who volunteers at you son’s school, the bearded young man in the checkout line at the supermarket; property investors come in all shapes and sizes.

The one trait these investors all share is the belief that owning property is the way to financial independence. Maybe they’re there already, maybe they’re just starting out; here are nine tips that these low-key, would-be, property tycoons have shared.

  1. Buy the worst house in the best neighborhood you can. With a bit of work, you will always be able to sell for more than what you paid.
  2. Buy a home you can easily pay for. People often buy homes at the top of their range, struggle to afford them and find themselves only a paycheck away from foreclosure.
  3. Buy the “bones,” not the steak. A sound house with skin-deep faults inside; badly presented, ugly paint, awful carpeting, can offer great returns. When the roofing, electrical and plumbing systems are good, the surface elements can be fixed, adding direct value.
  4. Make friends with the best home inspector you can afford. Be there when your prospective home is inspected and follow the inspector around with a notebook. Ask questions and write down everything – even the small stuff. This list, along with the inspectors report, is the basis for negotiations, and your own list of things to take care of later.
  5. Prepare yourself to “see” clearly. Don’t let appearances deceive you; professional staging companies are there for a reason. They are in the business of marketing houses by making them more appealing. Conversely, some great homes have trouble selling because hoarders or slobs live there. Look past the glitz or grime.
  6. Don’t be scared off by renovations. For a completely finished or upgraded property in move-in condition, you’ll be paying top-dollar. If you’re willing to put in some sweat equity, you can usually have everything you want, for a price you can afford.
  7. That winding driveway and huge backyard may call your name but stop and consider the maintenance. Think about the different seasons and what they will bring. Snow in winter means plowing and a big lawn will need mowing and trimming every week during the growing season.

If you’re just beginning your property journey, knowledge is key and tips like these, from people who’ve been there are good. But nothing can beat experience. If you have a friend in real estate, or know an experienced property investor – take them with you when house hunting – they’ll often point out things you wouldn’t have seen otherwise.

If you don’t know someone with real estate experience, nothing can substitute for the help of an experienced agent. This property professional comes equipped with a wealth of knowledge and will be able to guide you to suitable homes within your price range, helping you realize your homeownership goals.

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