“Hire a professional home inspector, plus specialized inspectors to handle the roof, mold, pests and other inspections,” says Durkin, “and to make sure that the property doesn’t require any major repairs.”
The financial aspect of the “non-traditional” real estate deal can also be challenging, says Durkin, who advises buyers to work with their real estate agents to fully understand any counter-offers provided by the lenders, particularly in the case of a short sale.
“Many of these contracts are worded in ways that find the buyer paying for costs (such as property transfer taxes and other fees that the seller normally covers) that may not seem obvious at first glance,” Durkin warns. “Careful attention should be paid to what closing costs are going to be paid and timelines associated with the transaction closing.”
As with any type of investment, it’s best to speak with a financial planner, accountant or other professional before jumping into the real estate market, particularly if this is your first time around. If you’re buying distressed properties, be sure to educate yourself on the process, paying particular interest to the nuances of such sales. Go into the market with a long-term view (the days of “flipping” properties for a quick profit are a thing of the past), and your chances of success will be that much greater.
5 Tips for Real Estate Investment Success in 2009
Don’t try to time the market. Forget about “flipping” properties for a quick sale, and instead take a long-term approach to the market
Deal with a professional agent that knows the market and knows how to handle inspections and contract negotiations
Be patient. You may have to make several offers on homes before you are successful in obtaining an acceptance.
Obtain a letter from a nationally-recognized bank stating you are qualified to buy, or have proof of funds in writing if you are cash buyer
Be able to act fast when it comes to being notified of a good value.