Research before you look. Decide what features you most want to have in an investment property, what neighborhoods you prefer, and how much youâ€™d be willing to rent will you be able to get for the proeprty.
Be realistic. It's OK to be picky, but donâ€™t be unrealistic with your expectations. Thereâ€™s no such thing as a perfect property. Use your list of priorities as a guide to evaluate each property.
Get your finances in order. Review your credit report and be sure you have enough money to cover your down payment and closing costs. Then, talk to a lender and get prequalified for a mortgage. This will save you the heartache later of falling in love with an investment property you canâ€™t afford.
Donâ€™t ask too many people for opinions. It will drive you crazy. Select one or two people to turn to if you feel you need a second opinion, but be ready to make the final decision on your own.
Insist on a home inspection. If possible, get a warranty from the seller to cover defects for one year.
Get help from a real estate agent. Hire a real estate professional who specializes in investor/ buyer representation. Unlike a listing agent, whose first duty is to the seller, a buyerâ€™s representative is working only for you. Buyerâ€™s reps are usually paid out of the sellerâ€™s commission payment.
Fred Yancy, Broker