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Investment Property Research Notes
Before You Invest Tips:
  Know how long you plan to own rental property before buying. This will help you determine how much money to invest, keeping upkeep of the property in mind. If you only plan on owning for a short period of time, you should avoid major work on the property unless you are positive you can recoup your money.
  Join a landlord or property investment organization to form a personal network of contacts.

Cut down your debt as much as possible and get your credit in good shape before investing; this will help you get a better loan. Make sure you have money in reserve as well, to help with any unexpected costs.
  Make sure all of your other financial bases are covered before investing in real estate. Do you have money for retirement?
  Research your market to avoid overpaying for your investment property.
  Get a very thorough inspection before you purchase.
Choosing Your Investment Property
  Get to know your area. Talk to the locals and find out where the hot spots are.
  Read ads. Know what's in demand. If you see a lot of places offering a particular feature, this is probably in high demand.
  Location, location, location! Pick a property close to local attractions, and shopping centers. Even if the property is very nice, if the location is not desirable, your property won’t be either. Cosmetic inferiorities can always be fixed. Location cannot.
  If you are choosing a home within a development, make sure they allow the homes to be rented. Decide if the property will be for short term or long term rentals.
Short Term Investment vs. Long Term Investment
Long Term
  Ideal for buyers who do not have a huge amount of start-up capital.
  Always make sure there is a predicted steady rate of value appreciation.
  Be prepared for a larger commitment to maintenance of the property.
  Be prepared to deal with renters, long-term.
Short Term
  Make sure you have the ability to get any repairs or cosmetic changes done to the property quickly and for a good price, while maintaining quality.
  Property values should be increasing steadily at the time of purchase.
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