When you’re looking to find good deals on real estate for investing in US property, there are a number of places savvy investors turn besides websites that pull from the Multiple Listing Service (MLS). While this database is certainly an important resource, it’s not the most direct route to the best-priced properties with strong revenue potential through rentals or flipping.
Shopping around for a residential or commercial investment property? Refer to the below sources to find good deals on real estate. They can be especially helpful when you’re looking to buy in a hot real estate market.
How to Find Good Deals on Real Estate
- Bank-foreclosed properties offer some of the best deals in real estate. Ask your buyer’s agent to search for REOs (real estate owned by lenders). Also, drive through distressed areas and look for any for sale signs that say “Foreclosure,” “Bank owned,” or “Bank Repo.” Wells Fargo, Bank of America, Chase, and other banks maintain website listings of foreclosed properties. Some websites, like Foreclosure.com and RealtyTrac, list foreclosed homes, but their services aren’t free.
- Government-seized properties can similarly be a great place to find good deals on real estate. Certain government agencies, like the Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD), the Treasury Department, and the Small Business Association (SBA) list properties seized by the IRS or other agencies that are for sale.
- Auction houses frequently see prices climb due to competitive bidding, but sometimes you’ll find deals on property this way. It’s worth keeping an eye on this source. And speaking of auctions, courthouse steps auctions are another place to pick up foreclosed or seized properties. However, there are usually lots of pros on site, and you typically must buy properties with cash, sight unseen, and are at risk of ending up on the hook for property taxes owed.
- Individuals who rent out property are often open to offers to buy. In particular, absentee owners who advertise their rentals on sites like Craigslist are easy to get in touch with and worth a shot. Since these houses aren’t listed for sale, you don’t face any competition.
- Other off-market opportunities often exist and, again, can lead to profitable deals due to a lack of competition. For example, contact owners of properties you’re interested in, as some landlords prefer to sell off-market to avoid alarming tenants. By reaching out to homeowners, you can find some who want to sell but haven’t started the process—or even realized it yet.
- The least attractive homes in attractive neighborhoods frequently have lots of potential. Bring them up to par for their surroundings in a desirable location, and you may greatly increase their value. Of course, as with anything, there are possible pitfalls that can eat into or eliminate the profit, so proceed with caution—and the advice of a trusted contractor.
- Outside your target area, you may find far more opportunity and more attractive options. Sticking to too limited a region when looking for investment properties is one of the most common mistakes new real estate investors make. If your local or chosen market isn’t friendly enough to your investment strategy, find one that is; in this day and age, you really don’t have to stay geographically limited.