Looking for property for development? Dont know where to start? New to property development? You’ve probably been tempted by a few companies promissing to offer a list of reprossession and pre auction properties for a ‘small fee’ from a Google search. I know, I was in the same boat. Some years ago I didn’t know where to start. The estate agents all seemed to want so much and I understood it was their job to get the best price they possibly could for the properties they wanted to sell.
I needed a way of buying property cheap.
Find an area to focus on
There’s plenty of ways to find property that you can add value to. Firstly I’d always reccomend looking on line. Get to know the streets via Google Maps. This should give you an indication of what the areas are like before you waste any time in the car or on foot getting to know an area.
Understand the local schools (even if families are not your market – a good or outstanding school will drive the whole local market). Check for skips and other development work, this is a sign that an area is up and comming and you could benefit from an increase in investment. Get a list of streets and roads and research the resent sold prices. This is your knowledge armour, don’t leave home without it.
Speak to the Agents
Local agents will understand the market better than anyone else. They’ll be able to tell you what is selling and what isn’t. They’ll tell you the streets to avoid and the streets to buyin. It’s a chance to form a professional relationship that could be mutually rewarding.
Tell them what you’re all about. They might only be interested in how much you want to spend and send you properties with +/- 10% but at leased theyknow you’re after a development opportunity, so when one does arrive you’ll be contacted. Speak to every agent.
It sounds odd but it works. This is how many estate agents get their properties to sell. You can do the same. If you pass a property that looks unloved it could be that the owner has just run out of steam to keep it maintained. A timely approach from you could be just what they need to sell. I always have a few business cards on my in case I see a property I think I could do something with. I just write a personal note on the back inviting them to get in touch. If you get a response there’s every chance you could meet to understand their expectations a little better and perhaps invite an independant valuation from a surveyor to see if there expectations can be met.
Follow the websites
Heres a few sites I love.
Unmodernised - Great for spoting property with development potential
Propertysnake – Find and track falling house prices in your areas
Getanoffer - Web service targeting highly motivated sellers to find quick offers on a property