Choua- Most contracters will give you free estimates. The main thing to focus on when selecting those contracters is not only price but also if they have references that prove that they get the job done when they say they will and how they said they would. If a contractor gives you the lowest price but never shows up to finish or runs weeks behind in finishing this will cost you way more money than if you would have paid more to start with. Another thing you will want to screen for is to make sure that the contractors you pick are experienced in renovation. Everyone may say that they can do them but not all of them can. Teaming with a experienced real estate professional can also help with this process. This individual should have experience with spotting properties that will not be endless projects requiring vast amounts of cash to repair. This real estate professional should also have contractors that they have used or could recommend. Teaming with a professional realtor should be #1 on your list! Good luck with your investing.
Coldwell Banker The Real Estate Group, Inc.
#1 in NorthEast Wisconsin
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Don't forget to ask for references from several investors who purchased deals with them.
Also check out some of the REI clubs in your area (or in the areas where you plan to invest), and network with some of the agents that show up there. You need to make sure that you're working with someone who understands what you're trying to do. Most agents aren't trained to work with investors, and they don't understand how to analyze deals the way an investor would. I agree wholeheartedly with Darin: the best agents to work with are ones who also invest.... more