The train pulls up to the platform, doors open and everyone swarms in quickly like bees to their hive. Once inside, we all shift in our seats as we make a collective effort to keep to ourselves. It’s over-crowded and uncomfortable, but I intend to get where I’m trying to go. There’s another potential investment property—a fixer upper—for sale in Brooklyn and this property could deliver a decent cap rate.
Let’s face it. Traveling throughout New York City can be a challenge, and it’s even more difficult when you’re visiting neighborhoods that are scattered across the city. That’s why most homebuyers start their search online. And, as a real estate investor, it may make sense for you to take a similar approach.
Searching Online for New York City Fixer-Uppers
The “Age of the Internet” has opened the door to so many possibilities for accessing information on potential real estate investment properties. Most of the online resources provide tools that allow you to refine your search to varying degrees. This makes it far easier to pinpoint the many fixer-uppers that are scattered throughout New York City. Let’s take a look at some of the online resources for finding a fixer-upper and what this type of investment property can offer.
The most comprehensive list of properties for sale, Zillow will show you not only MLS listings, but also FSBOs and foreclosures. That’s because they get their data from multiple sources. In addition, the website offers you the ability to see information such as the property listing history, which is important for making preliminary investment decisions.That said, there are three major downsides to using Zillow to hunt down a fixer-upper. The first challenge surrounds the sheer volume of listings that you will have to sift through to find even one prospect. What’s more,
That said, there are three major downsides to using Zillow to hunt down a fixer-upper. The first challenge surrounds the sheer volume of listings that you will have to sift through to find even one prospect. What’s more, Zillow’s data accuracy has been called into question at times, as it’s not updated as frequently as some other sources. The upshot is that you could spend hours searching the site for a fixer-upper for sale and researching the property’s details only to discover that the home sold last week.
By comparison to Zillow, the property data on Realtor.com is regarded as being far more accurate. It reportedly pulls about 90% of the data from over 800 nationwide MLS networks every 15 minutes. Some of the great features of this website allow you to zero in on specific neighborhoods (in 3D!) and you’ll get information on average home values in that area. Like Zillow, you can also get details on past sales and property tax histories.
But the data that you can access is relatively narrow as it relies solely upon real estate agent input. That means every property listed on the website is represented by an agent. And you can be sure that their real estate commission is factored into the price.
Who doesn’t love Craigslist? There are always deals to be found on that website! Many real estate agents list their hard-to-sell properties on this website to amplify their reach beyond the MLS. But you will also find FSBOs. Be aware that often, these listings are overpriced as the owner considers how much they want to get from the property, ignoring the realistic market value of the home. In some cases, an agent may struggle to offload the property, yet they may fail to encourage their client to get reasonable about price. Their commission is at stake! And homeowners who are attempting to sell a property without representation often lack a realistic idea of market value. In fact, many will price their house according to the often-inaccurate Zillow Zestimates.
The bottom line is that if you find a fixer-upper at a remarkably low price on Craigslist, there’s a good chance that it’s either a scam or it’s already sold.
Foreclosure and auction sites
There are numerous options for individuals who are looking online for foreclosed fixer-uppers, from bank and credit union websites to governmental agency sites, and even specialized online portals. It can be overwhelming as you seek to find a needle in the haystack, as they say. But even if you do find a solid investment opportunity, there are still pitfalls to avoid when considering buying a foreclosure. The bank may or may not let you fully inspect the property before making an offer and, what’s more, they may not have cleared up any back liens or taxes. This could greatly increase the investment cost.
While fixer-uppers often provide the best property investment ROI, it can be challenging to find one. With all of these online resources, you’ll likely find that it’s time-consuming to sort through all of the available information as you strive to discover the perfect deal.
An Easier Way to Uncover Fixer-uppers For Sale
These days, I don’t waste my time searching online for real estate investing opportunities. I’m not keen to board a train to travel across the city, only to find it wasn’t what I was looking for. More often than not, there are complicating factors that drive up the price and hold down value for my business. When I became a HomeVestors® franchisee a few years ago, suddenly finding those deals got easier.
My regional network of franchisees actually pool marketing dollars to leverage the nationally known and trusted “We Buy Ugly Houses®” brand and marketing tools in New York City. As a result, homeowners who are ready to sell due to a difficult financial situation frequently call us first. If you’re ready to stop chasing online prospects and instead, work the leads come to you, give HomeVestors a call today and learn more about the possibility of opening an independently owned and operated real estate investing franchise.
Each franchise office is independently owned and operated.
Prior to joining HomeVestors, I spent 20+ years as a senior corporate executive. The money was good but I just no longer enjoyed what I was doing. I had been looking at HomeVestors for a couple of years but they were not offering franchises in N.J at that time. I had zero experience in real estate investing and was impressed with the training and support HomeVestors offered. HomeVestors opened up the NJ market in February 2007 and I started in July. Best decision I ever made. We got off to a fast start and have purchased a couple hundred properties since. We could not have done this without the training, systems, marketing and support HomeVestors provides. We haven’t looked back since. We became Development Agents in 2010 and really enjoy working with new franchisees when they come on-board and helping them build a successful business.