While a typical buyer may look at five to 10 homes before making an offer, an investor who makes bargain buys usually goes through many more. Most experts agree it takes a lot of determination to find a real “bargain.” There are a number of ways to buy a bargain property:
*Buy a fixer-upper in a transitional neighborhood, improve it and keep it or resell at a higher price.
* Buy a foreclosure property (after doing your research carefully).
* Buy a house due to be torn down and move it to a new lot.
* Buy a partial interest in a piece of real estate, such as part of a tenants-in-common partnership.
* Buy a leftover house in a new-home development.
What are the standard ways of finding out how much a home is worth?
A comparative market analysis and an appraisal are the standard methods for determining a home’s value.
Your real estate agent will be happy to provide a comparative market analysis, an informal estimate of value based on comparable sales in the neighborhood. Be sure you get listing prices of current homes on the market as well as those that have sold. You also can research this yourself by checking on recent sales in public records. Be sure that you are researching properties that are similar in size, construction and location. This information is not only available at your local recorder’s or assessor’s office but also through private companies and on the Internet.
An appraisal, which generally costs $200 to $300 to perform, is a certified appraiser’s opinion of the value of a home at any given time. Appraisers review numerous factors including recent comparable sales, location, square footage and construction quality.
How can I improve the value of my property?
The biggest factor outside of a homeowner?s control is market Instant Online Title Loan conditions. But other issues — including the condition of the property, specific home improvements and neighborhood stability and safety — can influence property values.
The greatest rise in home prices occurs when the economy is strong and the number of home sales is increasing. Though markets vary, that has occurred several times in recent history — including the early 1970s, late 1980s and late 1990s.
Specific home improvements can increase the value above the cost of the improvements. According to Remodeling magazine, which publishes an annual “Cost vs. Value” remodeling report, a remodeled bathroom returns 81 percent to the owner, a bathroom addition, 89 percent and a master bedroom suite, 82 percent. Remember, quality pays. Well-planned and well-executed remodeling jobs are a good investment while bad work seldom enhances value or livability.
The safety and security of a neighborhood can affect property values, too. If you live in a high-crime area, an organized community watch program not only will lower the crime rate but give home values a boost, too.