If you want to find your first rental property or expand your portfolio with high-profitability units, you’ll need to keep your eyes peeled for good real estate deals in Houston. You’re looking for valuable, high-growth properties that are being sold for reasonable, if not downright cheap prices.
The problem is, you have a lot of competition. Buyers from all over the country are hoping to get their hands on valuable Houston real estate. Accordingly, they’re driving prices up and making it harder to find excellent properties.
So what are the best ways to find better real estate deals in Houston?
Get a Real Estate Agent
First, if you haven’t yet, start working with a real estate agent. A buyer’s real estate agent will be able to guide you on your journey. They’ll work with you from the outset to discuss and nail down your property needs, and will connect you on dozens, if not hundreds of potential properties to buy. Your real estate agent will be “tapped in” to the local real estate network in Houston and will likely be able to show you more properties than are currently available on public listing sites. Additionally, they’ll be able to provide you with stellar advice so you end up making the best possible purchasing decision.
Best of all, working with a buyer’s agent is free – at least on the surface. You won’t owe any fees directly, though their fees are usually baked into the price of a home. In other words, you’re sort of paying for one whether you use it or not, so you might as well use one.
Know the Neighborhoods
Next, get to know the neighborhoods in Houston. There are many of them, and they all offer some advantages and disadvantages. For example, you might consider West University, which is a great place to raise a family thanks to its amazing schools and low crime rate. It’s also been ranked as the best city to live in America in 2018 and 2019 – with the flip side being that homes tend to be more expensive there.
You could also consider living in Memorial if you want something in between a city and a suburb, Spring Branch if you want some extra land, or River Oaks if you want to be close to prestigious shopping and dining options. There are pros and cons to each area, so it’s important to get your goals sorted out and familiarize yourself with all of them.
Set Your Price Targets in Advance
Before you get much further in the process, consider setting your price targets in advance. In other words, what makes a property purchase a “good deal” in the first place? Are you hoping to pay a certain price per square foot? Do you want a good purchase price when compared to the rental income you’ll collect?
Be Open to Homes That Need Work
Some homes need some work before they become fully functional; they need to be cleared out, cleaned from top to bottom, and/or fixed and upgraded before they can be considered livable. These homes often get skipped over when buyers don’t want to put in work – but they tend to sell for much lower prices.
Search Across Multiple Channels
This should go without saying, but make sure you look for homes across multiple channels. Don’t stick to just one platform or website; there are many places where you can discover new real estate deals and they’re all worth exploring.
Get There First
You’ll have a much better chance of placing a winning bid on a home if you get there first. If a homeowner receives multiple offers, the first one is going to stand out. And if your offer comes in first, with no other offers on the table, they’ll be much more inclined to accept it – even if you bid under list price.
Make Offers on Unlisted Homes
Don’t just limit yourself to houses that are already on the market. These are publicly visible, so you’ll be faced with a ton of competition to buy them. Instead, consider making offers on unlisted homes. Find houses that meet all your criteria and will help you reach your goals, then reach out to the homeowners directly to see if they’re interested in selling. You can score outstanding deals this way.
Move In With All Cash
One of the easiest ways to make your offer stand out is to offer “all cash,” skipping the possibility of financing. For homeowners, this can save a lot of time, stress, and worry. It also means you can afford to offer a little less – homeowners will often accept an “all cash” offer even if it’s a lower dollar value. The catch is, of course, that you’ll have to have the cash available to make this move.
Consider Waiving Contingencies
You can also make your bid more appealing by waiving contingencies, or possibly waiving your right to a home inspection. This is a risky move, since you might have to deal with some construction or functionality issues after moving in. However, it can sometimes give you the edge you need to get a home for a good deal.
Finally, try to network as much as you can. If you’re working with a real estate agent, you’ll already be tapping into the local real estate network in Houston. But it also pays to meet people on your own. If a thousand people all know you’re looking to buy a home in Houston, you’ll have a thousand people keeping an ear out for friends, family members, and other contacts looking to sell. It’s a great way to get first dibs on a property before it gets publicly listed.
Getting started with a property investment strategy in Houston doesn’t have to be a headache. Nor should you feel resigned that it’s nearly impossible to find a great deal on a new addition to your property portfolio. If you need help finding your next property, we can help you. Contact Green Residential today, and find out how!