In order to invest and make money, you will need to buy in a strong real estate market. You can invest anywhere you want and knowing the market will be critical to your success. Learn how to find the hottest real estate markets in our latest post.
Before you dive into real estate investment, you should take some time to consider where you want to buy. Your decision shouldn’t only be based on your personal preferences, but rather what the data says about the area and what the future of the area looks like.
Know What A Hot Market Looks Like
The first thing you need to know is what a good real estate market looks like. A hot market will be in high demand, have very low vacancy rates, significant job growth, and planned future development. The more in demand an area is, the higher real estate prices will climb. However, you don’t want to sink all of your money into one area, only to find it is not able to sustain the demand either to bad infrastructure, politics or the like. Take your time to really get a feel for the area before you make your purchase.
You will want to study and analyze as much data as possible for your chosen area, Most property information is public record, so you will be able to get a good idea of sales history and market trends. Check with the property appraiser and building departments. You can even get information from websites such as Zillow and Trulia. There are apps in their early stages that allow you to take a photo of a house and receive the property’s information on the spot! Study houses you are interested in and even the ones you aren’t! This will help you paint a clear picture of what is happening in the current market!
The Local Story
Finding the right market takes more than analyzing what’s on paper. Take some time to drive the neighborhood and take note of what’s going on. How many houses have for sale signs out front? Are there rehabs and renovations taking place? What do the houses look like? Do people take pride in their community? You will want to get the real story on the area from people who live there. Consider visiting a local pub, beauty shop or grocery store. Talk to people whenever possible to learn all you can about the neighborhood. There is no greater gauge of a neighborhood than the people who live there, and the best way to get the real scoop is to hear it from the locals.
Consider Major Trends
There are major trends to consider when looking for a hot real estate market. Look at the data of where people are heading. For example, as baby boomers retire, they are heading to places such as Florida and Arizona. While this isn’t new, you should look at communities in these areas that are the most “retirement-friendly.” Millennials are heading to places such as Washington and Texas. Small homes are popular, but not embraced in all areas yet. If this sort of investment appeals to you, make sure you are looking in a community that supports it.
It can be tough to find the hot markets at first glance. Sometimes it takes a little digging and connecting with the right people to help you along your way. Lucas Properties would love to share with you our research on the Columbia area and many other parts of SC!