Are you drawn to the profit potential in real estate investing, or eager to start realizing the tax advantages of investing in real estate with your IRA, but don’t have any investment opportunities?
How do you break into the potentially lucrative investment property business, especially in highly competitive markets? If you’re wondering, how do I find real estate sales in my area? Here are a few go-to sources seasoned real estate investors use to find their next potential flip, rental, buy-and-hold, or other investment property.
Ways to Find Real Estate Opportunities
Real estate networking groups
By networking with other real estate investors, you have a built-in pipeline of potential investment property leads. You may also meet investors who have a property prospect but need an investor partner to make it happen.
How do you find other real estate investors to network with? There are several virtual and in-person possibilities:
- National Real Estate Investors Association (National REIA) Meetings – There are REIA groups around the country that meet regularly for education and networking. Chances are, there’s a chapter near you.
- BiggerPockets – The site provides education and tools, as well as a robust online community for real estate investors. Forums are organized by topic and include nearly any investment strategy you can think of, such as landlording/rental properties, starting out, rehabbing, multifamily/apartment, wholesaling, and more.
- Meetup groups – There are meetup groups for virtually any shared interest; real estate investing is no exception. Find groups that appeal to you at meetup.com and learn when and where the groups meet in-person.
- Social media groups – There are virtual real estate investor networking groups on social media channels including Facebook and LinkedIn.
Local real estate professionals
Inquire with real estate agents in your area that specialize in investment properties and tell them what interests you; sign up for their email lists. You’ll have another set of trained eyes out there, helping you look for the best opportunities.
‘Driving for dollars’
Some real estate investors drive around targeted neighborhoods to scan for potential investment properties. If they find a potential fixer-upper opportunity that they believe would be a worthwhile investment, they conduct research and contact the property owner to see if he or she is interested in selling.
Web tools for real estate investors
If you’re not into driving around to search for potential cash flow properties, you can stay put and use helpful internet resources to find investment properties. To save you some time, here are some of the online sources:
- Investment District – Looking for hands-off real estate investments? Equity Trust’s Investment District online marketplace connects you to a variety of turnkey real estate investment providers who do much of the legwork for you.
- Foreclosure.com – Tap into a database of low-priced distressed opportunities, bank-owned homes, government foreclosures (Fannie Mae, Freddie Mac, HUD), pre-foreclosure listings, real estate owned (REO) properties, and foreclosure auctions, among others. You can search an area near you at the state, county, and city levels.
- Realeflow – Included in Realeflow’s suite of investor-friendly tools is Leadpipes, which provides instant access to thousands of motivated buyer and seller leads, complete with property details.
- Property listing sites – Other online sources for potential investment properties include:
Consider expanding your property search
If your local real estate market isn’t buyer-friendly, consider investing in another market. Equity Trust clients have shown it can work, even at long distances. (Read about Michigan resident Arnold’s investment in South Carolina.)
Something to keep in mind during your real estate hunt
Some of these pipelines may produce more potential investment properties than you’re interested in pursuing. Before making any decisions, perform your due diligence to make sure you choose the right opportunities for your comfort and experience level.
Share your go-to sources for investment properties
Where do you find your real estate investments? Email us and let us know!
Can my IRA purchase real estate that I currently own?
No. This is considered a prohibited transaction (see IRC 4975). You may not purchase a property, or interest in a property, that’s currently owned by a disqualified person, which includes yourself.
Am I restricted to only purchasing residential property with my IRA?
You are not limited to residential real estate. Your IRA can hold various investment properties such as commercial buildings, vacant land, condominiums, mobile homes and apartment buildings, in addition to residential property.