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Tips for Buying an Investment Property Sight Unseen

South Burlington Property Manager on a Video Call with a Remote InvestorIf you are ready to add a new rental property to your investment portfolio, you might want to acquire one in a market that is far from where you live. There are a lot of reasons to do so, especially if you know a certain market is ideal for owning a rental home in South Burlington. You might even be contemplating purchasing your new rental property sight unseen. After all, many rental property investors who do it don’t have any problems. However, buying a rental property sight-unseen does have a few potential pitfalls that you’ll want to avoid. To help you acquire a profitable rental property sight unseen, here are a few of the top tips from real estate experts.

Get a good real estate agent.

The key to successfully buying a property sight unseen is the right real estate agent. It is important to find someone who knows the local market, has expertise in the type of property you want to buy, and is willing to send you detailed information about each listing. To make sure you are getting the right person, ask for references, check their experience, and do thorough interviews. As you will be working closely with this person, it is important that you find a good fit.

Ask the right questions.

Regardless of whether you plan to tour the listed property or not, you need to ask a lot of questions and collect as much information as you can. Most especially if you cannot be on-site to see some things for yourself. For example, your real estate agent should be able to provide you with a floor plan or, if that is not available, the dimensions and rough layout of the property. Also, ask about the visible condition of the property and other things like sounds and smells. These are things a photo cannot tell you.

Research the area.

Aside from the needed details about the property, you will also want to know about the potential new neighborhood. Google Earth and Google Maps are useful resources for viewing the property’s street. You can also ask your real estate agent for a walking tour of the area in a video tour of the house so you can get a grasp of the surroundings.

Request video tours at different times of the day.

A good way to learn a lot about a potential property is to look at it several times at different times of the day. This is a good way to check if a property that appears to be in a serene neighborhood in the morning is not surrounded by rowdy neighbors, late-night train sounds, or other nuisances that your daytime tour would have missed. Things can look very different in the daylight and after dark.

Enlist friends and family to help.

If you have friends living near the rental property you want to buy, consider asking them to tour the property or go for a drive around the neighborhood in your place. It is always good to have a second set of eyes that could spot some things your real estate agent missed. And because they are residents, they can give you a better feel of the characteristics of different parts of town and the property’s neighborhood.

Get an appraisal and a home inspection.

Finally, you must have a professional appraisal and home inspection done. While many lenders require both as part of the financing process, you should still schedule a professional inspection even if it isn’t required. An inspection and appraisal can give you a heads-up on a number of issues, from serious structural problems with the property itself to elements that may significantly impact your property’s value. These are important to know before you commit to the purchase.


Of course, one of the best ways to buy a property sight unseen is to purchase one that Real Property Management Sterling manages. Our South Burlington property management experts know every detail of the property and can often help you find off-market deals before they’re even listed. To learn more, contact us online.

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