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Saturday, October 24, 2009

Buying Rental Homes: What Are Your Options?

By Mark Knowles

Buying investment houses can be a great way to earn a profit but you will need to find viable properties to choose from before you can invest in them. There are three main kinds of investment properties to choose from and you may need to use different search methods to locate them.

The kind of investment homes you look at can be influenced by a number of different things. People who love doing renovations and home improvements may be interested in a flip: a home which is purchased at a low price, renovated and then resold at a higher price. There are also rental properties, and vacant land that can be resold or developed.

You can find flips by using the MLS, an online multiple listings service that realtors use. It lists the properties and their specifications and will also sometimes show you images of the properties as well. It is a good rule of thumb to look for the worst house in the best neighborhood you can afford, and begin working from there. Consider looking at bank foreclosure lists and real estate listings in newspapers. Properties that are for sale by owners can also be a great source of properties to flip. Just remember to budget for the cost of the home and the renovations, as well as real estate commissions on the resale.

Another thing to consider is the time lines you will be operating within. How long do you want the renovations on a flip to take? Are you planning on keeping your rental properties indefinitely or do you think that this is a limited duration idea. Keep in mind that while you may have definite time lines in mind, you may not be able to stick to them as you had hoped. You should think about whether you can afford the mortgage on the properties if it takes longer to resell or rent out the property than you had expected.

Vacant land or land that may have derelict buildings on it is another potential type of investment property. You can find these kinds of properties online. You may not find as many of them on the MLS however. If you are looking at investing in a large city, you may want to check out that city's website. There will often be properties you can select in the industrial park and you can also see what incentives there are for investors. As well, you can become familiar with any bylaws that may affect the use of your investment real estate.

One of the best tips is to have good legal advice. Real estate law is complex and you don't want to find out that there is a clause you have misunderstood that can cause problems down the road. As well, rental and other investment properties will require different financing than what you would be eligible for with a primary residence. You will also need a good accountant to help you with the intricacies of income from investment properties.

You may also want to hire a book keeper or accountant who can give you financial advice. There can be regulations surrounding the income gained from investment properties. A good accountant can also advise you on whether or not a particular investment is going to offer a good return

If you want to buy investment homes you will need more than your wallet and an okay from the bank. By knowing how to search smart, you can find the best properties for good prices and make getting a better return on your investment much easier. - 23212

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