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Finding a Good Deal on Properties For Sale

Posted Wednesday, December 5, 2012

The real estate market has had its shares of ups and downs with the economic roller coaster the country has been on, but right now, in most areas it is primarily a buyer's market. A lot of homeowners with upside-down mortgages are being forced into foreclosures, making properties which might normally be out of the buyer's range a possibility.

A lot depends on the intent of the buyer. Are you looking for a family home to occupy yourself? If so, a fantastic deal on a property located a 90-minute commute from your workplace, or situated in a mediocre school district where your children will attend, suddenly may not seem like such a great opportunity. Is proximity to cultural hubs and state-of-the-art medical centers one of your requirements? Then a centuries-old farmhouse located in a rural community might also be a deal for you to pass. You have to first determine your priorities, and then find the property that best fits your needs.

Sometimes people look for properties to renovate and then rent out, giving them a little extra monthly income. This can be lucrative if the purchase price and the interest rate on the loan is low enough. However, keep in mind that in this situation, profit depends on the ability of the purchaser to make repairs and renovations himself, or to secure the services of a very dependable and reasonably priced contractor. There can also be hassles involved with finding and dealing with tenants -- screening, checking references, keeping up with bookkeeping and the complaints or demands of renters. It is often easier to engage the services of a property manager, whose cost also will cut into your profit margin.

Finally, there are groups of investors who often place "We Buy Houses" ads in the classified sections of newspapers. If you are an investor seeking to buy properties to flip for profit, you can be a bit more flexible on requirements. Here you are looking for a quick deal: find a property owner desperate to sell at a low price, make the purchase and some renovations, price to sell, and move on to another deal. These "We Buy Houses" deals are probably the most lucrative of all in the present market. Factors to consider still include location and market value, but by studying local market trends and engaging the services of a local realtor, you can alleviate many problems before you even begin searching for properties. Know your budget, and be wary of properties that will require extensive remodeling or repairs. If the neighborhood is run-down, you will not want to invest a great deal in your refurbishment.