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Buying Investment Properties Sight Unseen: Big Bucks or Financial Suicide

Published on Monday - December 19, 2011

When you get into real estate investing you will find that you are often bombarded with deals from all corners of the country. It can be tempting to jump on many of these real estate investing deals which promise to be in the next hot area or deliver amazing returns but while buying properties sight unseen can bring big bucks they can also mean financial suicide.

Some investors get so caught up in pushing their real estate investing businesses to new highs with larger amounts of volume and get so overconfident that they begin buying wildly and even purchase properties locally without even taking a peek inside or driving by them.

Even one undisclosed major repair issue, problems with title or location factors you are unaware of could turn what you thought was the deal of a lifetime into the deal that sends you bankrupt. It doesn’t matter if it is a new home, REO or auction property you must pay attention to what you are buying if you want to continue real estate investing for any period of time.

With that said, there are always risks even if they are small. So never gamble with more than you can afford to lose. Don’t bet your home equity or your kid’s college fund. Some investors mistakenly think this applies only to their own cash they put on the line. However, this also equally applies to protecting your cash flow. If you take on dead weight you could jeopardize your entire career in real estate investing.

There may be a few rare occasions when buying a property sight unseen is warranted or worth the risk but even in these cases you want to take steps to protect yourself. This includes always getting a home inspection, having title and appraisals performed by third parties independent of the seller or whoever is promoting the property to you. In these cases be even more meticulous about checking photos and property details. Even then you ought to make time to get out and at least do a walk through before closing.

No matter where a property is located if it is that hot of a real estate investing deal it should certainly more than be worth a couple hundred dollars and a day away to go and see it in person. Plus you can always take along someone special and double the occasion as a romantic getaway or just quality family time.

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