10 Ways to Look for Investment Properties

the more you pursue, the greater the likelihood you’ll find what you’re looking for

Apr 6, 2014 at 11:00AM

Looking

When it comes to investing in real estate, it's easy enough to define your budget and set your criteria for the type of property you'd like to buy. Finding and purchasing a property that fits your budget and criteria is something else entirely.

There are a variety of ways to find investment properties. Some methods are easier than others, but the more you pursue, the greater the likelihood you'll find what you're looking for, at the right price and in the right location.

10 Ways to Find Real Estate Properties for Investment

  1. Word of Mouth – Don't keep your interest in investment properties to yourself; other people could help you with your search. By letting other people know that you are in the market to buy, and letting them know what you're looking for, you increase the chances that you'll find the right property.
  2. Realtors & Real Estate Agents – Why not go straight to the people who know? Realtors and real estate agents have access not only to their own sellers, but to the sellers of colleagues and other contacts, increasing the chances you could find what you're looking for.
  3. MLS Listings – Multiple Listing Services, otherwise known as MLS, are collections of properties for sale by different real estate brokers throughout the United States. There may be multiple MLS for different communities, though, so you might have to do some digging to find all the properties for sale on the MLS in a given area.
  4. Locals Newspapers & Circulars – While it seems a bit old fashioned, many homes are still listed for sale in local newspapers and circulars dedicated entirely to homes listed for sale in a given area. You never know what kinds of gems you might find newspapers and circulars.
  5. Craigslist – Craigslist.org has basically turned into the online version of the local newspaper classifieds. You'll find everything for sale here that you would in a newspaper – including potential investment properties, whether you're looking for a commercial building or a single-family home to rent out.
  6. Specialty Websites – You can search websites like BiggerPockets.com, LoopNet.com, Realtor.com and other websites for different types of properties in which you could invest. There might be some sites geared specifically to properties in certain larger cities as well.
  7. For Sale by Owner – Though it's not the best way to sell a property, some sellers still just stick a sign out in front and wait for buyers to come find it. If you're looking to invest in a certain area, take some time to drive around. You just might find something that isn't listed anywhere online.
  8. Auctions – Banks have to unload those foreclosures somehow and many of them are sold at bank foreclosure auctions. There are also even sheriff and city auctions for properties taken due to taxes owed. You could also check out the specialty website, Auction.com.
  9. Outbound Marketing – If you have the budget for it, you could try to bring the sellers to you through outbound marketing. It requires money up front, though, to do things like print direct mail pieces, pay for postage, and more.
  10. Making an Offer – See a property you like? What's the harm in making an offer? The worst that can happen is someone says "No." But what if they say yes?

This list isn't comprehensive, but it's a great place to start looking for real estate investment properties. You can pick and choose which places to look, or use them all, but remember: The more places you look, the better your chances of finding the perfect property at the right price.

Take advantage of this little-known government tax rule
Recent tax increases have affected nearly every American homeowner and taxpayer. But with the right planning, you can take steps to take control of your taxes and potentially even lower your tax bill. In our brand-new special report "The IRS Is Daring You to Make This Investment Now!," you'll learn about the simple strategy to take advantage of a little-known IRS rule. Don't miss out on advice that could help you cut taxes for decades to come. Click here to learn more.

This article is Copyright 2014 BiggerPockets, Inc

Try any of our Foolish newsletter services free for 30 days. We Fools may not all hold the same opinions, but we all believe that considering a diverse range of insights makes us better investors. The Motley Fool has a disclosure policy.

1 Key Step to Get Rich

Our mission at The Motley Fool is to help the world invest better. Whether that’s helping people overcome their fear of stocks all the way to offering clear and successful guidance on complicated-sounding options trades, we can help.

Feb 1, 2016 at 4:54PM

To be perfectly clear, this is not a get-rich action that my Foolish colleagues and I came up with. But we wouldn't argue with the approach.

A 2015 Business Insider article titled, "11 websites to bookmark if you want to get rich" rated The Motley Fool as the #1 place online to get smarter about investing.

"The Motley Fool aims to build a strong investment community, which it does by providing a variety of resources: the website, books, a newspaper column, a radio [show], and [newsletters]," wrote (the clearly insightful and talented) money reporter Kathleen Elkins. "This site has something for every type of investor, from basic lessons for beginners to investing commentary on mutual funds, stock sectors, and value for the more advanced."

Our mission at The Motley Fool is to help the world invest better, so it's nice to receive that kind of recognition. It lets us know we're doing our job.

Whether that's helping the entirely uninitiated overcome their fear of stocks all the way to offering clear and successful guidance on complicated-sounding options trades, we want to provide our readers with a boost to the next step on their journey to financial independence.

Articles and beyond

As Business Insider wrote, there are a number of resources available from the Fool for investors of all levels and styles.

In addition to the dozens of free articles we publish every day on our website, I want to highlight two must-see spots in your tour of fool.com.

For the beginning investor

Investing can seem like a Big Deal to those who have yet to buy their first stock. Many investment professionals try to infuse the conversation with jargon in order to deter individual investors from tackling it on their own (and to justify their often sky-high fees).

But the individual investor can beat the market. The real secret to investing is that it doesn't take tons of money, endless hours, or super-secret formulas that only experts possess.

That's why we created a best-selling guide that walks investors-to-be through everything they need to know to get started. And because we're so dedicated to our mission, we've made that available for free.

If you're just starting out (or want to help out someone who is), go to www.fool.com/beginners, drop in your email address, and you'll be able to instantly access the quick-read guide ... for free.

For the listener

Whether it's on the stationary exercise bike or during my daily commute, I spend a lot of time going nowhere. But I've found a way to make that time benefit me.

The Motley Fool offers five podcasts that I refer to as "binge-worthy financial information."

Motley Fool Money features a team of our analysts discussing the week's top business and investing stories, interviews, and an inside look at the stocks on our radar. It's also featured on several dozen radio stations across the country.

The hosts of Motley Fool Answers challenge the conventional wisdom on life's biggest financial issues to reveal what you really need to know to make smart money moves.

David Gardner, co-founder of The Motley Fool, is among the most respected and trusted sources on investing. And he's the host of Rule Breaker Investing, in which he shares his insights into today's most innovative and disruptive companies ... and how to profit from them.

Market Foolery is our daily look at stocks in the news, as well as the top business and investing stories.

And Industry Focus offers a deeper dive into a specific industry and the stories making headlines. Healthcare, technology, energy, consumer goods, and other industries take turns in the spotlight.

They're all informative, entertaining, and eminently listenable ... and I don't say that simply because the hosts all sit within a Nerf-gun shot of my desk. Rule Breaker Investing and Answers contain timeless advice, so you might want to go back to the beginning with those. The other three take their cues from the market, so you'll want to listen to the most recent first. All are available at www.fool.com/podcasts.

But wait, there's more

The book and the podcasts – both free ... both awesome – also come with an ongoing benefit. If you download the book, or if you enter your email address in the magical box at the podcasts page, you'll get ongoing market coverage sent straight to your inbox.

Investor Insights is valuable and enjoyable coverage of everything from macroeconomic events to investing strategies to our analyst's travels around the world to find the next big thing. Also free.

Get the book. Listen to a podcast. Sign up for Investor Insights. I'm not saying that any of those things will make you rich ... but Business Insider seems to think so.


Compare Brokers