Investing in real estate can be a lucrative experience, but it doesn’t come without its share of risks. Before you invest your savings in any real estate venture, it’s important to do enough research to help you feel confident that the risk is small compared to the potential gains. Even then, employing certain tactics, such as those listed here, can help you determine if you’re taking a good risk.
Follow the 1% Rule
The 1% rule states that you should be able to rent the property out for 1% of the purchase price. Following this rule means that you can expect to generate a positive cash flow, which will make the investment profitable and worthwhile. If you can’t reasonably expect tenants to pay rent equivalent to 1% of the property’s value, you’re better off looking for a more promising investment.
Ignore the Media Hype
There are a number of television shows that push the idea that you’ll make a fortune off every investment. Instead of buying into that, concentrate on turning a profit. Even a small profit is better than nothing. The best way to do this is to buy the worst property in a good neighborhood and fix it up as cheaply as possible. Go for the less expensive countertops and appliances. After all, these items are easily replaced.
Calculate the Cap Rate
This is an equation investors use to determine the profitability of any investment. It compares the purchase price to the potential income. The cap rate helps you determine if you will be able to earn back your investment within one year of owning the property. If not, this would be considered a bad or high-risk investment.
Look at the Listing
If there’s a noticeable lack of photos and information in the listing, you can expect to do more work on the property. That doesn’t necessarily mean it’s a bad risk, if you’re willing to do the work. In many cases, these types of properties are priced to sell and the seller just wants to get rid of it. This is an opportunity to save money on the purchase price and maximize your investment, although the location of the property should still be considered.
There are many more strategies for identifying the risk of investment properties. As you become more experienced, you’ll develop your own ability to identify good and bad risks. Even when you estimate something to be a good risk, you may still misjudge the opportunity. Mistakes will happen, but perseverance will help you turn those bad investments into profitable learning experiences.