There are lots of houses that look amazing in the pictures online either on MLS or for sale by owner websites. Professional photographers and even hobbyists are able to do magical things through post production these days. When looking at houses to renovate, rent, rent to own or any other strategy in real estate – looks can certainly be deceiving. The ability to confirm comparables is also severely affected by these factors – because your realtor is just looking at the same square footage and beds and baths to give you a comparative market analysis. They might be basing those numbers of fancy pictures that do not really tell the whole story of value for the home you are thinking of buying. One of the ways around this is to ensure that the realtor has been inside at least a couple of the homes in the area – or you may want to consult another realtor who is an area expert because they would have actually seen some of the comps in your target area first hand. Experienced real estate investors will make a point to go and see some of the homes for sale in the area to get a feel for things such as the quality of finishings, solid as opposed to hollow doors, color of appliances used, gas/electric range, flooring that is common, and the types of fixtures used in the bathrooms and kitchens to confirm the after repair values. These items can all look very different in the pictures – also the layout of the rooms and their sizes can not be truly experienced unless in the home, some houses are just plain awkward in how they are laid out and this is rarely something you can determine from the photos. How a house feels within the first 10 feet of walking inside will be what turns your buyer/renter on or off so that awkwardness drops the value of a house considerably which could be an opportunity for you if you can think of a way to change the layout to something more attractive. Having an experienced real estate team that knows what is going on in a certain area can help greatly reduce the time you spend looking at properties to buy – ultimately putting more money in your pocket! Think about taking a closer look at that property that you think needs about 20,000 in improvements it could very well be a mangy alley cat in lions clothes!
To your success!