Author Topic: How to find the perfect place!  (Read 3307 times)

Sebastian

  • Stubble
  • **
  • Posts: 209
  • Age: 32
How to find the perfect place!
« on: October 09, 2013, 12:10:34 PM »
Hello All!

I've been looking into a buy/hold strategy for years. I've read a few books, but I'm currently still saving up for a good down payment.

My first real question for this whole process is where to start going to look at property? I'd like some kind of multifamily dwelling. My fiance and I would live in one unit and rent out the others.

So where would I start looking to find good property? When I google places like this in Madison, WI I get some pages that come up that require a subscription to buy. Should I go to a real estate agent to help us find what we are looking for??

I'm looking to purchase this house by end of next year beginning of 2015, and I want to start looking to at least get a year or so under my belt of what my market has to offer.

So what would be some good practices to start turning into habits now so I know when to pounce on the right opportunity like MMM says?? Thanks!

tralfamadorian

  • Handlebar Stache
  • *****
  • Posts: 1213
Re: How to find the perfect place!
« Reply #1 on: October 10, 2013, 02:31:40 PM »
Do you know what neighborhoods/zip codes you are interested in?

I use zillow alerts when I'm actively searching.  I like zillow over the real estate companies email alerts because I can free hand draw where exactly I'm looking and they include foreclosures.  Depending in whether I'm ready to purchase immediately or am just watching the market, I'll have alerts of properties that meet my criteria emailed to me immediately upon listing or daily.

zinethstache

  • Pencil Stache
  • ****
  • Posts: 828
  • Location: Anywhere USA
  • FIREd 1/27/2017
    • My FIRE Hobby and travel blog
Re: How to find the perfect place!
« Reply #2 on: October 10, 2013, 03:44:49 PM »
if you are a first time buyer I just want to advise against analysis paralysis. its hard to know if a property is the one since you dont get the time to formally court it like a potential spouse. however do spend time in the community and visit your potential homes at various times in the day.

I have a quick personal story for you to consider. many moons ago we lived in my absolute favorite community. it was a starter home. 1000 sf 3b/1ba. we outgrew the home so without much analysis we found a 1400 sf 3/2 home 1 block away. we love diy and this late 1970s home needed our skills to get it up to date. we bought it. wow was it a mistake! it was a split lot with the original home in front of this long narrow driveway. the home was surrounded by 5 homes and I felt trapped with no privacy and the neighbors in the font house had twin boys who played baseball in the back yard! we had kids running through and balls landing around us at any time.
In  a year we moved. What a lesson that was. We spent alot more time finding the third home which we are still in today (12 years).

Its a balance and even then you will make discoveries post purchase. good luck!

Seeking the Brass Ring

  • 5 O'Clock Shadow
  • *
  • Posts: 44
  • Location: Madison, WI
Re: How to find the perfect place!
« Reply #3 on: October 13, 2013, 10:53:10 AM »
Seth,

There are a few web sites out there to start checking.  I'd try wisconsinhomes.com to begin with.  It's got a pretty good search tool to let you break things down.  Lots of the realty companies in Madison also have search tools on their web sites that you can use with no commitment.  The Stark Homes site has pretty good information.  I have a realtor that I work with and you can send me a PM for more info about that.

One word of caution, check the laws in whichever area you are going to get into.  Lots of municipalities in the Madison/Dane county area have some regulations that are not Landlord friendly.  The City of Madison itself is one of the worst.  I'm not saying it can't be done, just have a handle on what you are dealing with.

What size property are you planning to start with?

NYD3030

  • 5 O'Clock Shadow
  • *
  • Posts: 76
  • Age: 36
  • Location: Madison, WI
Re: How to find the perfect place!
« Reply #4 on: October 22, 2013, 10:06:45 AM »

One word of caution, check the laws in whichever area you are going to get into.  Lots of municipalities in the Madison/Dane county area have some regulations that are not Landlord friendly.  The City of Madison itself is one of the worst.  I'm not saying it can't be done, just have a handle on what you are dealing with.


It's funny, my landlord seems just as lazy and uninvolved, and his property just as dilapidated and potentially dangerous, as everywhere else I've ever lived ;)

Good luck searching though!  My wife and I are renters who are just starting to look into purchasing in the Madison area (I prefer Madison itself, she's more willing to live in a burb).  We have no idea what we are doing, so any advice from someone who knows this area would be awesome!

monarda

  • Pencil Stache
  • ****
  • Posts: 550
  • Age: 59
Re: How to find the perfect place!
« Reply #5 on: October 22, 2013, 01:08:19 PM »
I'm a landlord in Madison. We've got two pretty nice 2 family houses we bought in 2001. Let me know what specific questions I can answer to help you out, either here on the board or through PM. Or come to the meetup on Friday (if we can ever decide where to meet!) :-D

Seeking the Brass Ring

  • 5 O'Clock Shadow
  • *
  • Posts: 44
  • Location: Madison, WI
Re: How to find the perfect place!
« Reply #6 on: October 23, 2013, 07:48:02 AM »
NYD3030,

If your place is truly a hazard, I'd contact the tenant resource center.  They can give you a hand with what your rights as a tenant are.  Otherwise you could read the state statutes and city ordinances.  They are actually fairly readable and not too jumbled up with lawyer speak.  I'm sure they'll fix that soon but it's pretty good for now :)

One thing about house buying in the Madison area is that the property taxes can vary a lot from one place to another.  Make sure you are checking the mill rates in the various municipalities.  I've been in Madison for the last 20 years and I can recommend a good realtor if you are interested.  Feel free to send me a PM.

Good luck!