6 Easy Ways to Find and Choose Investment Properties

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Whether you’re looking for your first rental property or fifth, you’re always looking for a good deal. You want the hidden gem that no one else has noticed. Some investors are looking for properties that need a little fixing up, while others are looking for homes that are immediately ready to rent out the day they purchase them. Luckily, there are many ways to find real estate investment properties that fit your budget and condition requirements. 

How to Identify a Good Investment Deal

You like the house and the neighborhood, and it seems like a good investment. But how do you know it’s a good deal? Here are some things to consider:

  1. Are there zoning issues or liens on the home? If yes, it isn’t a good deal.
  2. Price is less than 100 times the monthly rent signifies it’s a good deal.
  3. The One Percent Rule states the monthly rent should be at least one percent of the amount you need to borrow for the mortgage to be a good investment. 
  4. Check out the roofline. Is it clean and simple? Does it look sturdy? You can tell a lot about the structure of the home from the roofline. 
  5. Check out the purchase price vs. the county appraisal value. If the purchase price is significantly less than the appraisal value than it’s probably a good deal. 

Online Resources for Finding Good Investment Properties

Finding hidden gems and good investment properties online is easy if you know where to look. You can find investment properties of all sorts at varied price points and in various conditions. Here are a few online resources that you need to know and review frequently while searching for a good investment property. 

  • Craigslist
  • Trulia.com
  • LoopNet
  • Realtor.com
  • RealtyTrac.com
  • Auction.com
6 Ways to Find Investment Properties

1. Craigslist

You can find more than a lost pet on Craigslist. It’s important to note that there isn’t anyone certifying that the listings are real and reputable. This online resource allows you to look for properties all over the country and the world. Once you select an area and country, you can use a variety of attributes to filter your results.

You can even enter terms, such as “as is,” “foreclosure.” or “short sale” to limit your results. Most of the properties listed on the website are offered up by the homeowner with a few of the distressed properties listed by real estate agents. Some listings have pictures included while others don’t. You might be able to find a rental property at a discounted price but you might need to put a little work into getting the property rental ready. 

2. Trulia.com

This user-friendly website makes searching for properties a cinch. If you want to start with a basic search, you just enter an area of the country, and the website shows you the available. On Trulia, you can search in your price range, or use the filters to locate homes or commercial properties that are in foreclosure. 

One of the best features is the ability to see school and crime statistics for the area that you’re searching in. Once you select a price range and start looking at a particular home, the website shows you comparable properties, so you get a better grasp on offerings in the area within your price point. You can also read articles on market trends and recent real estate news. 

3. LoopNet

When you’re searching for commercial properties for sale, LoopNet should be your first website visit. You can add attributes that you’re looking for in a commercial property, including price, square footage, and date of sale. If you know the area you want to invest in, you have the option of entering a street address to see available properties. 

When you’re looking at a targeted area, you can search the property records of specific properties. These records include essential information, such as owner information, tenant information, or tax information. This information can really help you determine if the property is a good investment opportunity or one you should skip. 

4. Realtor.com

As the official site of the National Association of Realtors, Realtor.com offers millions of listing throughout the United States for you to search. These listing come from 800 Multiple Listing Services (MLS) databases, where individual real estate agents add homes that they’re listing for sale in their local area. 

When you type in a street address or zip code, you can receive a report covering the value of homes in the area. However, you must provide your name and email address to get the report. SearchAssist allows you to sign up for emails of new property listings that meet your criteria. 

5. RealtyTrac.com

At RealtyTrac, you find a huge database of properties that are currently in foreclosure. In some cases, a foreclosure property makes a really good investment property although you have to be careful about the current condition of the home. Some homeowners trash the house when it goes into foreclosure, and they face eviction. 

The website also offers listings that include MLS listings, auctions, and bank-owned homes. You can find a wealth of information on the foreclosure market and articles that help you understand how foreclosures make a good investment. There are statistics available on the foreclosure market to help you see the overall picture. 

6. Auction.com

You guessed it! You can find all sorts of properties that are going to an auction on this website. Auction.com includes offerings from REOs and short sales to commercial real estate and luxury real estate. These auctions take place at a variety of places, and you can even find online auctions that you can participate in online. Some other auctions are done at a courthouse and require an in-person visit. 

Before You Begin Searching For an Investment Property

Search options include looking at specific areas or types of properties. Each property shows the first and current bids along with the type of auction it is. You can view the auction calendar that shows the number of properties available at each event. 

At Nomadic Real Estate, we understand how important it is to you to find the right investment property and then manage it properly. We can help you with property management so that you can make the most of your investment. Contact us today for more information. 

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Enhanced Reporting

Your portal includes a selection of extremely useful reports. Reports are available in the “Reports” section, and are distinct from the financial statements. Unlike financial statements which are static records, Reports are dynamic real-time records that will update with current data every time you view them. 

Scroll down to learn more about Reports:

Navigate to the "Reports" module in your portal:

  • Keep in mind, these reports are dynamic records. They will refresh to display current information every time you view them. 

Enhanced Rent Roll Report:

  • The Enhanced Rent Roll Report will show the rent amount, last payment date, move-in date, lease expiration date, and security deposit amount for each of your tenants. 
  • It will also show a portfolio summary with occupancy percentage, vacancy loss, and more!

Unit Comparison Report:

  • If you own multiple units (or buildings) with Nomadic, you’ll get access to the Unit Comparison Report. 
  • This report enables you to quickly compare financial performance between your units at a glance without toggling between individual reports. 

Income Statement Month-Over-Month:

  • The Income Statement Detail – Monthly Report serves as a month-over-month record of portfolio performance. You’ll see itemized income and expense categories and can track monthly. This report will update with fresh data every time you view it. 

Financial Statements

Financial statements will be published to your portal on a monthly basis. The statements are found in your Documents library, and provide a historical record of all financial performance. The statements serve as a snapshot of financial performance over a given period, and are static documents (unlike Reports, the statements do not update/change in real-time). 

Scroll down for more info about the Financial Statements in your Documents library:

The Documents area contains monthly financial statements:

  • The statements in the Documents are are static documents. They are posted to the portal once a month to serve as a historical record of financial performance. 

Download a statement to see month and YTD financials:

You'll also find a month-over-month operating statement:

Portal Communication Tool

You can use your owner portal to communicate with our team. Any messages you send through the portal will go straight to your Account Manager. When we reply, you’ll get an email notification and you’ll also see the message in your portal next time you log in. 

Here’s an overview of using the communication platform:

Click "Communications" and navigate to "Conversations":

  • The communications module will contain a record of all messages that you create through the portal. 

Click the "New Message" button and send your message:

Responses will show up in the conversation ticket:

  • You’ll get an email notification whenever you get a response, and you’ll also see the message in your portal next time you log in. 

You can reply in-line using the comment box:

Each conversation will be logged in its entirety:

Understanding the Ledger

Your portal includes a ledger with all transactions. The ledger is populated with data in real-time as transactions flow through our accounting software. Much of this information is also available in the Reports area, as well as the Statements in your Documents library, but the ledger is the most comprehensive resource for diving into the details. 

Please scroll through the sections below to get a better understanding of how to interpret the ledger. 

By default, transactions are sorted chronologically:

  • The date reflected in the lefthand column is the actual transaction date, not the “bill date”. This is the date the transaction was actually processed. 

If you have multiple properties with Nomadic, you'll see the address for each transaction in the "Location" column:

  • You can filter the ledger to look at just one property, all properties, or specific sets of properties. 
  • If you only have one property with us, you’ll just see the ledger for that property. 

The Description column displays the transaction type:

  • BILL: this is an expense transaction, such as for repair costs or management fees.
  • CHARGE: this is a transaction  billed to the tenant, most typically a rent payment. 
  • NACHA EXPORT: this is a credit we processed to your distribution account. This type of transaction is how you get paid! 

The Amount column shows the dollar value of each transaction:

  • Positive Amounts: if an amount is positive, it reflects a transaction that is payable to you. Typically, this will be a rent payment that we collected from your tenants. On occasion, a positive number could also signify a journal entry or credit adjustment. 
  • Negative Amounts:  if an amount is negative, this is a transaction that is either payable to Nomadic or is an amount that has already been paid to you. Typically this will be for repair costs or management/leasing fees. Owner draws (net distributions into your checking/savings account) also reflect as negative amounts, since they have already been paid to you. 

The Account Balance column shows a sum of positive/negative transactions at a given point in time:

  • Account Balance should always equal zero after a net distribution has been processed. When the balance is zero, this means that all expenses have been paid and you’ve received the remainder as net operating income, leaving a balance of zero (meaning: no one is due any money, as all funds have been distributed appropriately). 

Navigating the Propertyware Owner Portal

Your portal includes some extremely useful features that help you understand your property’s financial performance at a new level, with real-time transparency into every transaction.

Scroll through the snapshots below for an overview of portal navigation! If you need more help or have specific questions about using the portal, you can reach out to your Account Manager any time for a screen share. 

You can filter all info by date range or property:

View a snapshot of income and expenses on your dashboard:

See every transaction in real-time on your ledger:

Statements and forms will be posted to your documents library:

View a suite of real-time financial reports:

See a running list of all bills, and drill down for more detail:

Under Bill Details, you'll find dates/descriptions/amounts and more:

You can also communicate with your Account Manager through the portal:

How do net distributions work?

Net distributions keep your accounting clean and simple. Each month we’ll collect rent from the tenants, deduct any repair expenses for the previous month and any management/leasing fees for the current month, and credit the remaining net operating income to your account. 

You’ll receive a statement via email each time a net distribution is processed, and can view all transaction details in your Propertyware owner portal.