Investment in real estate appears lucrative, but it needs an in-depth understanding of the realty market. A realtor will always encourage prospective investors to buy the properties that are readily available. But it is important to enter the market at the most opportune time, and buy the right location at the right price. Property investments are large-sized, illiquid in nature, and not easily reversible. Therefore, a judicious decision can payoff hugely, while a wrong decision can set back the investor badly.
Clear Goals for Investment
Before the investment exercise may commence, it is critical to have clear investment goals. It is not the kind of investment where just because there are plenty of homes for sale at low prices, so a home should be bought. A person who does not own a house of his own should ideally aim for a residential property. That serves a dual purpose of investment as well as self-use. Where as, a person who is keen on creating a regular income from real estate, should look at a commercial investment. Commercial properties tend to fetch a high return on investment in terms of rental income. Residential properties tend to appreciate more in capital value terms.
Evaluate the Realty Market Prices
It is important to assess the general economic trends, and study the forecasts of analysts regarding the real estate market prices. This is most important particularly when the property is to be purchased purely for investment purposes. When the property prices at their peak, it may not be the best time to buy for a shrewd investor. Real listings and price patterns should be analyzed to make a decision regarding the best time to enter the market.
Location, location, location
The age-old mantra of “location, location, location” still holds true as ever. Realestate is a fixed investment, in the sense that the location cannot be moved once it is made. The basic infrastructure and facilities, quality of neighborhood, availability of public transport and ease of connectivity are external factors that are not in the control of the property owner. This is equally true for commercial and residential investments. In case of built-up properties, the condition of the property should also be a key consideration while deciding on the investment.
Property Management and Maintenance Costs
Whether it is a commercial or residential property, the quality of the property management and the professionalism of the managing agency must be considered. Another crucial factor that tends to get ignored sometimes is the monthly or annual maintenance charges attached to the property. The charges must be reasonable and this point should be carefully evaluated before signing the deal.
Costs of Financing
Just getting attracted by a house for sale opportunity is not enough reason to make the investment. If the investor is going to raise finance from the market to fund the investment, the costs of financing and the terms and conditions must be evaluated judiciously. Even a good investment that will pay off in the long run may cause a loss. This is especially true if the financing is very expensive. It is also true if the investor is forced to sell the investment prematurely due to financial miscalculation.
Scrutiny of the Property Title
In case of a real commercial, residential or land investment, the property title and ownership must be scrutinized carefully. Preferably, the property documents should be reviewed by an experienced real estate attorney. The title should be absolutely clear, and if any liens are attached to it, everything should be transparent and understood before signing on the dotted line.