How Do You Choose The Right Investment Property in Boston?
Thinking of investing in real estate? You’re not alone. While real estate has been one of the best investments throughout Boston’s history, for most people the process never went beyond “living in a house, paying the mortgage for 30 years, and selling it when you downsize.” Today, thanks to the ubiquity of property managers who will care for the rental property for you, anyone can make good money with real estate investment in Boston and the surrounding area. Investing in multi-family properties, apartments, and even single-family homes has never been easier.
But what makes a good investment property? It can be difficult going it alone, which is why you should consult with a real estate agent who knows the housing market and invests in real estate him or herself. I’m happy to say that that’s exactly what I do, and I’d love to help you navigate the real estate market in Boston, Worcester, Sommerville, Cambridge, and all of the areas in between.
Let’s take a look at some of the biggest ways to identify a good investment property for sale when you see it.
In this article, I’m going to go beyond the old real estate maxim that the most important aspect of a good investment property is location, location, location. That being said, we absolutely have to talk about location!
Never underestimate the importance of where your particular investment property is. It’s important to remember that what you’re looking for isn’t always what everyone else is looking for. Sure, good schools might be one of the most important factors in determining where you purchase your own home. But other people are looking for a rental property in Boston that’s close to shopping and bars!
Here’s something to remember when investing in real estate in Boston: the colleges and universities. On one hand, this can be an excellent opportunity because you’ll have a perpetual supply of potential tenants. But school is out in the summer, which means you might have no renters in the summer. Maybe a property farther from campus would be better? You won’t know until you talk to a trained professional.
The House Itself
The amenities the house offers can also help you determine if it’s a good investment property. For instance, what attracted you to this potential rental property in the first place? Did it have great curb appeal? Mature landscaping? Maybe it’s has a particular style that could draw a potential renter in?
Always try to look at a rental property from the perspective of a potential renter. Anything that your property can give them that others can’t could be the determining factor in which property they choose to rent from.
(Lack of) Crime
No one wants to live in a high crime area, that’s pretty obvious. You don’t want to, and neither will potential renters.
It’s important to do a thorough search at the local library or police station on crime statistics in the neighborhood in which you’re considering investing in real estate. The type of crime is also important, but no type of crime should be ignored. Check on vandalism rates as well as violent crime rates, because an uptick in one could lead to an uptick in the other over the course of years. Remember, you’re not just buying this property for the neighborhood it’s in today but also the neighborhood it could become.
Speaking of the future, keep an eye on…
When you’re considering real estate development in Boston or the surrounding area, it’s important to know where the neighborhood is going. In general, purchasing an investment property in a growing area will be a very good thing, especially if that area is bringing in shopping and entertainment (and not a rendering plant! ).
Talk with the municipal planning department of the particular area to find out what might be going up near your potential investment property. While growth is usually good, a high-rise that’s going up in front of your property and taking away its view could make your property less appealing to potential tenants.
Surrounding Rental Properties Aren’t Vacant
When you find a potential investment property for sales, take a look at the other properties in the neighborhood. Are there a high percentage of “For Rent” signs around? If so, that could mean that a once-hot neighborhood — one that people used to be buying up rental properties in — has become a less desirable place to live. If you’re considering multi-family homes for sale, check listings to see how many duplexes and fourplexes are up for rent. How desperate are the apartments to get tenants to rent? Now only might the neighborhood be on it’s way out, but you’ll also have a lot of competition with surrounding properties who keep lowering their price just to get renters.
Do The Math
Investing in property in the Boston area might be a great idea, but it’s important to find the property that can actually give you a return on your investment. After all, you’re not just looking for the property to appreciate in value — you’d probably like to take home a little at the end of the month as well! Consider the following when determining which investment property to buy.
Property Taxes – Property taxes aren’t the same from city to city, so you’ll want to make sure to investigate them before you buy that investment property for sale.
Insurance – You’ll be paying the insurance on the property, and houses that are in higher risk areas (such as those more likely to suffer flood damage) will incur a higher premium.
Property Managers – What’s a property manager going to cost you? The type of house you purchase might determine how much upkeep is foreseeable.
Contact Me Today!
As you can see, there’s a lot that goes into choosing which investment property in Boston or the surrounding area is best for you. What we’ve detailed above is just the tip of the iceberg, and having someone to help you choose the right property can save you time and prevent you from making common mistakes. Contact me when you’re ready to go looking for that perfect property investment!