Author Topic: Getting to know an area  (Read 3644 times)

detailoriented

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Getting to know an area
« on: March 15, 2016, 01:28:12 PM »
What do you do to get to know an area when you have no previous personal history to utilize?

In the next 4 years I would like to diversify my assets with a rental property.  With that goal in mind there is much that I still need to learn.  There are many posts that mention buying in areas that you know.   That is an obstacle for me currently because I do not have an area in which I am familiar.  Technically I know my old college town but that knowledge tells me that investing there would be undesirable.

DO

zephyr911

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Re: Getting to know an area
« Reply #1 on: March 15, 2016, 01:56:42 PM »
It just takes time, man.
There are neighborhoods I've been driving through for years, just for that reason.

Tips:
Vary the time and day of the week.
Talk to actual humans.
Read area-specific news.
Look at tax records (usually available online).
Set up alerts on your preferred syndicated real estate site - broad parameters, so you'll see new listings both high and low in the range. Look at all of them, and look at how they sell, relative to list price. You'll start to recognize trends. You'll eventually know, just from list price, if something is a good deal or a ripoff. Put the time in, you'll get there.

BookWorm22

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Re: Getting to know an area
« Reply #2 on: March 19, 2016, 05:23:33 PM »
Thanks for starting this topic.  We will be starting our real estate adventure in another state since that is where we will retire.  So far we have travelled there once and will take a few more trips.  We found the locals to be extremely helpful.  The issue we will have is finding good professionals (agent, property manager etc.).  We have not quite figured out how to make that happen.  Look forward to the other responses.

SwordGuy

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Re: Getting to know an area
« Reply #3 on: March 19, 2016, 05:33:35 PM »
The issue we will have is finding good professionals (agent, property manager etc.).  We have not quite figured out how to make that happen. 

You talk to them, interview them, then make your best guess.  When you find you guessed right, you get recommendations from them for other professionals you need.  If you guess wrong, you start the process over for that job skill.

:) 

not_a_trex

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Re: Getting to know an area
« Reply #4 on: March 20, 2016, 07:44:19 AM »
The issue we will have is finding good professionals (agent, property manager etc.).  We have not quite figured out how to make that happen. 

You talk to them, interview them, then make your best guess.  When you find you guessed right, you get recommendations from them for other professionals you need.  If you guess wrong, you start the process over for that job skill.

:) 

Network with local investors and talk to them about who they use (or don't use). That will help you find good leads. Then do the above to make sure they will work for you.

zephyr911

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Re: Getting to know an area
« Reply #5 on: March 21, 2016, 05:34:24 PM »
Concur with the two comments above.


BookWorm22

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Re: Getting to know an area
« Reply #6 on: March 22, 2016, 06:29:22 PM »
Thanks for the advice.

arebelspy

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Re: Getting to know an area
« Reply #7 on: April 03, 2016, 04:31:28 PM »
Boots on the ground.
We are two former teachers who accumulated a bunch of real estate, retired at 29, spent some time traveling the world full time and are now settled with three kids.
If you want to know more about us, or how we did that, or see lots of pictures, this Business Insider profile tells our story pretty well.
We (rarely) blog at AdventuringAlong.com. Check out our Now page to see what we're up to currently.

BookWorm22

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Re: Getting to know an area
« Reply #8 on: April 03, 2016, 04:44:26 PM »
Thanks for the advice. 

undercover

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Re: Getting to know an area
« Reply #9 on: April 03, 2016, 05:39:35 PM »
That is an obstacle for me currently because I do not have an area in which I am familiar.

Sure you do...you know your own neighborhood. Have you looked for deals in your area? Just because you know an are doesn't mean you'll find deals and just because you find a deal doesn't mean you like or know the area.

In my opinion, the deal is much more important than knowing the area. And yes, I know that taking neighborhood variables like schools/crime/proximity to major employers/etc. are important, but not nearly as much as just getting a damn good deal.

BookWorm22

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Re: Getting to know an area
« Reply #10 on: April 03, 2016, 05:47:17 PM »
I would say getting a deal is of primary importance as well.  I wonder if networking would help in finding such deals since I imagine some get scooped up before ever going on the market.

Primm

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Re: Getting to know an area
« Reply #11 on: April 03, 2016, 05:51:57 PM »
Someone knocked on our door on the weekend and mentioned he was looking at buying a property in the area. We spent a good half an hour talking about the ups and downs and the fact that the house next door (looks abandoned) was actually purchased by a young guy who was going to start doing it up until he ran over his foot with the mower so has been having surgery / on crutches for the past few months.

Try something like that. Some people probably won't give you the time of day, but my new mate got a coffee on the verandah. :)