This is absolutely a necessary step when it comes to finding properties with excellent potential as flipped properties. Bargains are often sold at bargain prices for a reason. The good news is that many of these reasons are purely cosmetic and quite simple to fix. Finding a realtor that is willing to work with you for lower prices, bargain properties offer an excellent place to begin. If he or she is a knowledgeable professional you should have access to properties that would have been unavailable to you had you continued the search without the assistance of a professional.
Another great place to find bargains of this nature is to search through foreclosures, auctions, and homes that are preparing to enter into foreclosure. While not always the case, there are many in these situations that are willing to be a bit more flexible with the price. Never offer full asking price first. Start low and negotiate up. This may lose some properties but in the end it will be a much more profitable venture if you can get the properties you want for a smaller investment.
Know the Neighborhood
Before placing a bid on a potential property for flipping you need to learn as much about the neighborhood as possible. You do not want to place a family home in the middle of a retirement neighborhood, nor do you want to place a potential bachelor pad in that type of area. You also want to avoid areas that are entering a state of decline, as the rehab efforts are unlikely to achieve the profits you are hoping to receive. Instead, look for bargains in areas that are approaching some sort of renewal or have very low crime and excellent growth potential.
If you are rehabbing a home that is meant to appeal to families make sure the neighborhood is safe, has a relatively low crime rate, access to good schools, and entertainment opportunities that may appeal to families. These things will affect the price you are likely to be able to expect once the rehab efforts have been completed as well as the type of renovations you will need to perform on the property. Buying a property in an area that you know nothing about is like buying a property without an inspection-which brings me to my next point.
Get a Thorough Inspection
This is one of the most important steps in the process of selecting the perfect property for your real estate investment needs. A qualified inspection will prepare you for any problems that may arise during the course of your work on the home. These are things that will affect the amount of money you should offer on the home, the amount of money you will need to invest in repairs, and the amount of money you can expect once all is said and done.
Failing to have a complete and proper inspection can lead to disaster when the renovations begin costing extra money and time as efforts are undone in order to get to the root of the problems as you go. There are very few things that can save you the time or money that having a decent inspection can manage to save. Inspections can also make you aware of any structural problems, code problems, and other problems that may mean the difference between this property offering a possible profit or a probable loss. It is much better to be armed with this knowledge before ever making an offer on the property in question.
Realize That You do not Need to Buy the First Property You See
This is an important thing to remember. If the first property doesn't speak to you, move on until you find one that does. This process is part science and part inspiration. If you are uninspired by a property it is unlikely that this property will suddenly take on a life of its own in order to suit your real estate investment needs. Keep searching until you find the property that meets all of your needs in order to find the perfect property for your first or your fiftieth flip.