Housing MarketWhere and how to invest your money is always a big decision, especially in an unpredictable economy. Investment properties are considered by some experts as a “solid” investment when approached correctly. However, to many first-time investors, putting your savings into real estate can be intimidating. Let’s take a look at some things you should consider before investing in any property.

  1.  After buying an investment home, should I sell it or rent it? 

This will depend on a couple of things A)  How much more are homes selling for in the neighborhood, than the investment property?  If you decide to rent it, what is the rental income potential for the 1st, 2nd, and 3rd year, plus the long term costs in maintaining and managing a property.  Also, talk to your financial advisor about capital gains and how to minimize the impact of the tax.

 2. When should I consider a “Fixer Upper”?

That’s a great question!  It depends on how much of a fixer upper it is?  If renovated homes in the area are selling for a substantially higher price, than sure!  But I always recommend a home inspection, that way you know what your dealing with.  Plus, make sure you team up with a good Home Improvement Contractor that will give you sound pricing on the improvements needed before you buy.

 3. How can I project future value in an Investment home?

It’s hard to project future value, however you should always ask for a Competitive Market Analysis (CMA). A CMA will provide a snapshot of the current value of homes in the area.  Additionally, check with the county or local jurisdictions to discover what else is going on in the area such as schools, shopping, roads, etc.. that will have either a positive or negative effect on home values.

 4. How important is “Location,location,location” when investing in a home?

Location is almost always key, whether you are flipping a property, or renting for a period of time and will want to sell in the future!  Do you have easy access to local and regional public transportation? Is there adequate shopping in the immediate area? What does the local employment picture look like? All these are question you should consider. Think this way: What if you were going to live there? What would be your draw to the home, area, etc?

5. What should I consider when investing in a Condominium?

Low priced condos are not hard to come by!  However, there are a couple of things to think about  A) Whether you are flipping or renting out a condo, many communities have high condo and HOA fees.  Can you get enough in rent money to cover those fees, or if you do flip and resell, are those fees too high to attract a buyer?  B)  On the subject of selling, once you do decide to sell, new FHA guidelines dictate should the community as a whole have a 15% or more delinquency rate on their condo fees, FHA will not insure the loan.  Therefore; reselling might be a challenge at that community!

 Overall it’s a great time to invest, you just have to smart about it!  I am actively working with investors all over the area, and I’ve been discovering some great deals!  One important thing to remember is this: Investing is a team effort. Unless you’re a “Jack of all Trades”, you will need the expertise of a reliable Home Improvement Contractor, a top notch Lender or another resource for investment capital , a reputable Title Company, and of course, the area’s best Realtor, who is on top of the market. – Shannon Hernandez of The Weymouth Group at Keller Williams

Shannon HernandezShannon Hernandez
Shannon Hernandez, Buyer Representative, REALTOR  – As a full-time agent, Shannon’s diverse background in New Homes, leasing and retail brings a different and exciting perceptive to her approach in real estate. Shannon also specializes in expert Buyer Representation and Investment Properties. She also has a unique perspective in design having had experience working in a design center for a large national builder. You can reach Shannon at (443) 745-9505 or email her at  Shannon is also bilingual in Spanish.  “Hablo español y espero conocerles y ayudarles en todo lo que pueda!”

RISMEDIA, January 27, 2011—This unprecedented housing crisis has a flip side—the investment opportunity of a generation. One in four real estate transactions in 2011 will be purchases by investors. Learn how to capture this opportunity: The gold rush is on!

“Remember, anyone can do it–not everyone will. The only question is:  Will you?”  Investing Myth: All the Good Investments are Taken. The Truth: Every Market, in Every Time, Has its Share of Good Investments. Some opportunities are the result of obvious economic forces. Others are the result of local and incidental personal forces. And you’re never too late. – The Millionaire Real Estate Investor(MREI)