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I want to successfully invest in real estate. Where do I start?

How to find a profitable investment property, from Guelph REALTOR® Dave Neill

If you’re new to investing in real estate but are keen to get started, top Guelph REALTOR® Dave Neill can help.

Dave gives his advice on how to find an investment property that will be profitable and what to look for to ensure success.

To start, he recommends talking to an agent who has personal experience investing in the market—the same market you are interested in. This person should have gone through the process of advertising for and screening tenants, knows what the market rent rates are and will help ensure you get the most out of your rental income.

Neill has over 20 years of personal experience buying, selling, renting and managing his own investment portfolio in the Guelph area, and it is that experience that provides the most value for his clients. “Your agent should also have a network of contacts who can solve problems that may come up, and the experience to help you solve them when they do,” he says.

He doesn’t think you need to worry about finding a good tenant. “The easiest guarantee we can provide to clients is that their home will rent and there will be a strong supply of quality tenants who will happily pay their rent in exchange for a comfortable place to live,” says the REALTOR®.

What to look for

Savvy investors should look for properties that have the potential for revenue growth, or price appreciation.

“I’ve always been drawn to the uniqueness of real estate,” says Neill. “Cool living spaces, large yards, sun exposure, Walk Scores, etc., are all unique aspects of real estate that can provide long-term value, both in attracting great tenants and obtaining top dollar when it is time to sell.”

But how can you tell if an investment property will be profitable? You have to crunch the numbers. According to Neill, you should have a good handle on the prospective rental income, as well as your fixed costs for ownership, such as mortgage, insurance, tax and utilities.

He also advises that you take a good, close look at the condition of both the interior and the exterior of the home to help you budget for future expenses; this can give you an idea of what might come up down the road. “There will always be something unexpected that comes up, so having a financial plan to cover those expenses is something you should prepare for. If those numbers don’t show a profit on a monthly, annual or a 5-year cycle, then you may want to look at a different opportunity,” says the REALTOR®.

Helpful property investment services

Companies like his not only help investors get started, they are available to assist throughout the ownership of the property. His business provides all of the services and information needed to get started, so you’re never going it alone. They stick around throughout the length of the ownership to ensure everything goes smoothly.

Says Neill, “If you have a problem, then so do we—and we get to work to help you solve it.”

Different levels of service are available.  Those interested in turnkey investment services are totally hands-off for clients; they own the property, but LIVEHERE deals with leasing, maintenance and tenant communication. “We have clients whose tenants think that we own the property, since we are their only point of contact,” notes Neill.

The Leasing-only services focus on finding and qualifying suitable tenants and handing them off to the landlord. For clients who want to save some money or be more hands-on in the process, they can take advantage of the guidance and support the team offers. Whenever you have a question, for as long as you own the property, that service is covered by the commission on the sale of the property.

You can have the help of professionals who are on-call 24 hours a day to ensure that your investment continues to grow—for as long as you own it.

Tips for success

Neill’s best piece of advice for clients is “Don’t sell!” The investors who have the most success tend to be the ones who invest for the long term.

He also cautions new investors not to spend money on a weekend seminar or a book series to learn how to invest. Neither are necessary for successful real estate investing.

Says Neill, “Owning real estate can be frustrating at times, but it’s rare you will see someone who regrets making a purchase or investment 10 years later. We’re here to manage those frustrations for you and get you to that 10-year horizon—or longer—and make sure you’re glad you did.”

The process starts with a conversation, which is always free. 

For more information on finding homes for sale in Guelph, Brantford, Elora, Fergus and Puslinch, including student rentals in and around the University of Guelph, visit him online here, Coldwell Banker Neumann Real Estate Brokerage or call 519-760-9619.