8 Investment Tips from the Real Estate Pros

Keep location, contractor talent, and size foremost in mind when you buy investment property.

August 1, 2001

REALTOR® Magazine print this month takes a look at the ways practitioners invest in real estate. Whether you’re a new real estate investor or a seasoned buyer, take a few tips from these experienced owners in this online exclusive to “Build Your Real Estate Portfolio.”

  1. Pay for good talent to do your renovations. Your property is no place for someone to learn how to hold a hammer.--Marianne McDonough, GRI, Marianne McDonough and Associates, Williamstown, Mass. Investor since 1976.
  2. Buy in the best location you can afford. If the area turns around, you may be able to make more money in a lesser location, but it’s a lot more work and you increase your risks that the area may deteriorate.--Dick Royer, Kohr, Royer Griffith, Inc. Columbus, Ohio. Investor since 1962.
  3. Buy small and stay small. Stick with the small units, and don’t go overboard on the upgrades or your properties won’t be affordable for tenants.--A. Grant Noble III, Keller Williams, Houston. Investor since 1992.
  4. Look at a building not for what it is, but for what it can be. If you take a contrarian view of possible uses, you can sometimes find a bargain no one else recognizes.--Glenn M. Gardner, Prudential Gertrude Gardner REALTORS®, New Orleans. Investor since 1972.
  5. Don’t get hung up by the cap rate. The money coming in and the money going out, along with the depreciation, are the items to focus on.--Dave Osborn, AAAAA Realty &Investment, Colorado Springs, Colo. Investor since 1982.
  6. Consider buying a building to house your brokerage office. You can generate income by renting out extra space until you need it for expansion and benefit from the property’s long-term appreciation.--Hal Kahn, Kahn REALTORS®Better Homes and Gardens, Newburgh, N.Y. Investor since 1970.
  7. Enlist a cadre of repair people you can count on so you can get the property market-ready fast when a tenant moves out. Every day the property is vacant costs you money.--June Feltman, Ebby Halliday Real Estate, Dallas. Investor since 1974.
  8. Don’t buy the unique property. Choose houses that will appeal to the average family so you will always be able to sell easily if you need an escape hatch.--Bob Ward, HUNTERS, the Professionals, Terrigal, New South Wales. Investor since 1995.
Mariwyn Evans

Mariwyn Evans is a former REALTOR® Magazine writer and editor, covering both residential brokerage and commercial real estate topics.

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