The Do’s and Don’ts for Investing in Real Estate

Are you thinking about investing in real estate in 2021? It may be the perfect year to purchase a rental property, a vacation home, or to flip houses. I would be happy to help you find the perfect investment property, and I’ve put together this list of tips to help you get the best return on your investment.

First, consider what type of investment property is best for you and your family.

If you are thinking about a rental property, such as a vacation condo or rental home, consider how much time will be needed for things like maintenance, managing a website or rental listings, and vetting potential tenants. For rental homes, make sure the areas you are searching are attractive to tenants in terms of proximity to nearby business centers and transportation hubs, and in good school districts for family tenants.

Is a family vacation property more to your liking? Make sure you read any and all rules pertaining to owners and guests, as well as rules on renting your property out when you are not using it, if that is something you plan to do. Also be sure that your vacation property is somewhere you foresee your family wanting to travel to often enough to make it worthwhile.

For new house flippers, you want to find out what return you can expect to get in your market area and talk to contractors and suppliers to get realistic estimates on renovations, both in terms of price and time to completion.

Here are some additional Do’s and Don’ts for investing in real estate:

Do aim for at least a 15% return on investment.

Do look for homes priced in the low end of the median price range.

Do look for 3-bedroom, 2-bath single family homes for rentals or flipping.

Do focus on one neighborhood or area.

Do purchase rental properties close to your home if you plan to manage them yourself.

Do use one real estate agent to help with all your buying and selling needs.

Don’t purchase a second property until the first is earning revenue.

Don’t buy properties that you wouldn’t want to manage, even if you plan to use a property manager.

Don’t buy a home that you cannot afford to carry for several months in case of a slow market.

Don’t buy a home or condo without having inspections performed.

Don’t buy without title insurance.

Don’t buy more properties than you are able to manage.

As I said, I can help you search for investment properties. Sometimes buyers make the mistake of searching on their own and contacting the sellers or listing agents directly. Working with several different people wastes your time and increases the chances that you will miss out on a deal. Also, working with one agent allows that agent to learn your tastes, needs, and parameters, so I can be out looking for the right property while you are busy doing other things.

Why should you check for RADON?

What is Radon gas and why is it important to you, the homeowner?  Taken from the TN.gov website, “Radon is a naturally occurring radioactive gas produced by the breakdown of uranium in rocks and soils. Radon gas is tasteless, colorless and odorless. The only way to know if it is in your home is to test for it.”  The geological landscape of Tennessee makes radon gas a common enough issue that we recommend testing before purchasing your home. Some homes even have radon mitigation systems installed.

Again, from the TN.gov website, “The Tennessee Department of Environment and Conservation (TDEC) considers radon to be a very serious problem in our state.  No matter where you live in Tennessee, there is the potential for radon to enter your home. Radon gas has been identified as the second leading cause of lung cancer, second only to cigarette smoking. Radon is responsible for about 21,000 lung cancer deaths every year.  About 2,900 of these deaths occur among people who have never smoked. As radon gas breaks down, it emits high-energy alpha particles. These particles are in the air we breathe, and once inhaled, they can be deposited in our lungs. The energy associated with these particles can alter cell DNA, thus increasing the risk of lung cancer. Persons who smoke and live in a home with elevated radon levels are at a very high risk to develop lung cancer.”

Do you have questions regarding radon in your area?  There are several businesses that can help you, and if you are looking for a home in East Tennessee, let me help you through this process. I’ve been selling real estate here for over 20 years, and have the experience and knowledge to guide you.

Tips for Virtual Home Shopping During COVID-19

The COVID-19 pandemic has changed so much of the way we live right now, home shopping included. Although Stay at Home mandates are starting to lift, we certainly can’t be going in and out of strangers’ homes touching doorknobs, light switches, and appliances.
If you are needing to move soon, however, don’t despair! I can help you find a home and stay safely within the health guidelines. Here are some tips for home shopping during the pandemic.

  1.  Be selective about the homes you choose to visit.  If you are the type of buyer that likes to cast a wide net and see everything in your price range, you may have to change your methodology. Try to narrow down your list of homes to visit to your very top choices.
  2. Start with a virtual tour.  Many sellers are making virtual home tours available for buyers. The technology for virtual has improved greatly in the last couple of years, from simple videos to 3-D tours with floor plans that help you feel what it is really like to walk through the rooms.
  3. Take a Facetime tour with me. If the seller doesn’t offer a virtual tour, I can do one for you. The seller may be more comfortable allowing one person to come in rather than a group of people.  I will be happy to take a video for you or Facetime with you while you tour the home, following proper protocol to limit exposure, of course.
  4. Schedule a live showing. When you find a home you really must see in person, don’t bring anyone with you that isn’t vital to the decision-making process. Besides the fact that sellers probably don’t want a family of six parading around, with fewer distractions you can get a better look and eliminate the need to come back a second time.  Take lots of pictures and measurements so you don’t miss anything.
  5. Put safety first when touring.  You want to safeguard your own heath, and you want the sellers to appreciate the you safeguard theirs as well. Generally, sellers leave the home during tours, but if they are unable to leave, I can work with them to stay in one area of the home, or in the yard, while you look.  Also, ask the sellers to open all the doors, cabinets, and closets so you don’t have to touch anything. Wear a mask and use hand sanitizer before and after you enter the home.

I am still showing and selling houses during the pandemic, so don’t let it discourage you from looking. Most of the process can be handled online now, and what cannot be done digitally, I am taking care of with your health and safety in mind.