Investing in real estate is a tricky game, but one that can be very rewarding if done correctly. It's also a game that you get better at with time. Finding the perfect property to invest in takes a "Keen eye" and some intelligent searching. Ideally you will be able to find an investment property that does not require too much in the way of fixing to make it attractive, Then again, you may have bought a run down home with the intention of fixing it up then flipping it for a nice profit. Either method has shown great potential in many markets around the country, but the fact remains that if you can find a home that needs only a little or no work, then you can concentrate on the cosmetics of the home.
The first thing that a smart investor will take into account is the location. No matter what kind of property you buy, location is incredibly important. It will also dictate what kind of tenants you will have if renting, or what kind of buyers you can expect if flipping the property. Before buying try to get a good idea of the neighborhood that the home is in. Is it mainly families, young professionals, retirees? This may alter the way you choose to fix the house up, understanding the neighborhood is always a good idea.
There are a number of other things that you should keep your eye open for, make sure the house is thoroughly inspected before purchase. Also, take some photos of the home and document the condition of everything, especially if you are planning on renting. Now, no matter whether you are planning on renting or flipping, there are a few things that you can do to increase your ROI. A general clean-up and painting is always a good selling point. Also, replacing any old or outdated appliances can dramatically increase the asking price, no matter if it is for sale or for rent. Perhaps do some landscaping outside if necessary. Make sure that the gardens are tidy and planted with flowers, re-seal the driveway, and trim the lawns and walkway edges. Make sure the yard is as tidy and attractive as possible.
If these things are seen to, you should be able to realize a much higher profit from your investment, and after all, that's the whole point isn't it?