The market is beginning to shift a bit, but in San Diego, it’s always a good time to invest in real estate.
If you’re buying your first investment property, prepare for a bit of stress. This is always a competitive market, and you’ll find that everything seems to move very quickly. You’ll need to be prepared.
The best advice we can give you is this: don’t do it alone. Surround yourself with professionals early. You’ll find this helps when it comes to identifying the right opportunities, finding the financing you need, and determining just how much you’ll earn on the property you want to buy.
We know that even experienced investors can feel the pressure when it’s time to buy. As a first-time investor, you may be feeling more stress than most. We’re here to help. Check out these tips, and get in touch with us when you’re ready to talk to a local San Diego property manager.
Start Networking with San Diego Investors
You’ll want all the advice that you can gather, and the best place to find that advice is through people who are doing exactly what you want to do. Talk with real estate investors. Join groups online. Attend local events through your civic organizations, clubs, and associations.
Listen to podcasts and watch webinars. Read books and sign up for emails. The more information you have coming in, the easier it will be to define what you want and where you’re looking. Be especially attentive to mistakes that other investors have made. You can learn from those and avoid them yourself.
It’s easy to get stressed when you don’t know what you’re doing and when you feel like you’re in uncharted waters. But, when you’ve done the work to familiarize yourself with the investing process and all of its risks and rewards, you’ll feel more confident buying your first investment property.
Evaluate Your Investment Goals
Do you have a set of investment goals that will help you drive the process of investing in your first property? You need investment goals so you can make good decisions. You need them so you can avoid buying the wrong property.
This is an important part of investing, and the more planning you do, the less stress you’ll experience.
Before you begin your search for the perfect San Diego investment property, you need to have clear goals and expectations. Without a set of written investment goals, you may find yourself buying anything that comes along. Instead, you want to make strategic decisions that fit the profile of your ideal investment property.
Decide why you’re investing in rental real estate:
Are you interested in short-term cash flow or long-term appreciation?
Are you planning for retirement?
Are you hoping to buy and hold or do you plan to flip your property?
Will you focus on long term leases or short term vacation rentals?
Where do you want to be in five years, or 10?
Commercial properties or residential?
Single-family homes or multi-family homes?
These answers will help you decide which neighborhoods will work best for you and what type of property you want to focus on buying. Investment goals should be clear, concise, and attainable. Write them out and review them frequently to make sure you’re on the right track.
As you become more experienced and your investment portfolio grows, don’t forget to come back to these goals. Any time you’re feeling stressed or unsure, return to your investment goals. They’ll provide direction and meaning.
Explore the San Diego Real Estate and Rental Markets
General investment advice is good, but you also need to hyper-focus on the market that you’re planning to invest in. How well do you know the property values, the insurance rates, the tenant demographics, and the rental values?
The San Diego real estate and rental markets, like those across the country, move through normal, predictable trends and cycles. However, it’s also a unique market. We have a strong military presence, a strong local economy, and a good mix of long-term tenants and short-term visitors. You need to understand the inventory, the sales prices, the neighborhoods, and the things that tenants are looking for when they rent.
This is also California.
As you prepare to invest, you might begin to feel stressed about the tenant protections that are in place. You’ll need to consider these when you’re buying, pricing, and renovating a home. For example, investing in a multi-family apartment building that was constructed in 1970 will come with different rent control regulations and requirements than investing in a single-family home.
Educate yourself on the real estate market so you’ll understand the inventory and what you’ll have to spend. Educate yourself on the rental market too, so you’ll know what kind of rental value to expect and how much you’ll likely spend on things like maintenance, vacancy, and tenant placement.
Partner with a San Diego Property Manager
Professional San Diego property management will really bring down your stress level, no matter how competitive the market feels. Good professional help is invaluable when you’re buying your first investment property. It protects you from the risk of expensive mistakes. It also allows you to leverage the experience and expertise you don’t yet have.
Hiring a professional San Diego property manager will save you time and money. You’ll also get some insight into:
How much a potential property may earn in rent.
What you’ll likely have to renovate or repair before you can rent it out.
Whether there will be a lot of maintenance required going forward.
How quickly tenants will notice and appreciate the property you’re offering.
Property managers have a wealth of knowledge, and we’re always willing to share it with new investors. Don’t wait until after you’ve already purchased an investment property to talk with a management company. Make that relationship work for you early, while you’re still deciding what to buy.
We would love to help you have a less stressful investment experience. If you have questions or you’re looking for resources about San Diego property management and real estate, please don’t hesitate to contact us at North County Property Group.