4 Tips to Financially Prepare for Buying Your First Investment Property

Single-family American craftsman house with blue sky background




Whether you are purchasing commercial real estate, a multi-family dwelling, or another kind of property, earning a return on your investment requires a great deal of planning. From your initial decision to buy to your review of interested renters, you must ensure that every step of the process is a wise move financially.

Consider four things you can do to maximize your investment’s profits while minimizing your risk, presented by The Progressive Investor.

  1. Accurately Estimate Property Value

Determining the current and future value of a property or piece of land is often a challenging, multifaceted process. Experienced investors use a number of different approaches, including capital asset pricing, gross rent multiplier, income, and sales comparison methods. Each strategy uses different variables, such as the rent you can reasonably charge and the price of other nearby properties, to gauge the profitability of an investment.

Many investors aim to find undervalued buildings that they can then restore and sell for a much higher price. These fixer-upper projects work best when a property is structurally sound and surrounded by other constructions that are considered much more valuable.

  1. Satisfy Lenders’ Requirements

After identifying a smart investment opportunity, most investors must then apply for a loan. For investment property, conventional loans are the easiest to apply for, and typically offer the best adjustable and fixed-rate options. Experts also recommend making a down payment of at least 20%. This may increase your chances of approval, lower your interest rate, and help you avoid paying for mortgage insurance

Lenders will want to evaluate your personal credit and the property itself before approving your application. To make the best possible impression on lenders, be sure to come prepared with recent bank statements, a business plan, and as many details as possible about the property you wish to purchase. Review your FICO score, and do what you can to improve it.

  1. Save for Extra Expenses

Even if you are approved for a sizable loan, it is wise to have some cash saved up for unexpected circumstances. For instance, if you have trouble selling or renting out your property, you must be able to pay property taxes and landlord insurance while you wait. Additionally, you may need to make repairs that were not evident when you first viewed the building.

Also, take lawn care into consideration, as well. For example, if a tree on your property needs to be removed following a severe storm, calling a tree service to remove it will require money. Consider saving for years until you can safely make your real estate investment.

  1. Effectively Evaluate Potential Tenants

If you plan to rent out your property to one or more tenants, your ability to make a profit largely depends on whether your renters keep up with their payments. For this reason, it is essential that you carefully consider each applicant to determine which candidates will be the most reliable. Make sure a prospective tenant’s financial or criminal history does not indicate that he or she may harm your investment. Additionally, remember to seek legal advice when creating contracts that renters must sign so they meet all legal requirements.

Purchasing real estate as a source of future income is a decision that can come with many financial consequences. By meticulously choosing your property and tenants, as well as securing the funds you need, your investment has greater odds of being financially rewarding over time.

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Chuck Epstein has managed marketing communications and public relations departments for major global financial institutions and participated in the launch of industry-changing financial products. He also has written by-lined articles for over 50 publications, five books and served as editor and publisher of nation’s first newsletter on the topic of using the PC for personal investing and trading. (“Investing Online, 1994-1999). He also is a marketing consultant, writer and speaker on topics related to investor protection and opportunities in the very dynamic cannabis industry. He has held senior-level marketing, PR and communications positions at the New York Futures Exchange, Chicago Mercantile Exchange, Lind-Waldock, Zacks Investment Research, Russell Investments and Principal Financial. He has won national awards from the Mutual Fund Education Alliance (MFEA) and his web site, www.mutualfundreform.com, was named best small blog in 2009 by the Society of American Business Editors and Writers (SABEW).


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