There are both pros and cons to purchasing US investment property sight unseen. I hesitated to write this article as it had the possibility of opening a whole can of worms (great North American colloquialism!), I then thought why not. There are many real estate investors who do this every day, so it would serve them well to consider both the pros and cons.
Let’s start with a HUGE declaimer from my end, it is ALWAYS my advice to visit an investment property BEFORE you purchase so you have complete clarity as to what you are buying. That having been said, here are my takes on the pros and cons of purchasing US investment property sight unseen:
Pros: TO PURCHASING SIGHT UNSEEN
- you save money on travel expenses which improves your total ROI
- you save time by not traveling
Cons: TO PURCHASING SIGHT UNSEEN
- Your ROI is decreased by adding travel expenses into the mix
- You do not have visual clarity to the area and the condition of the area such as density of the area and condition of neighboring homes
- You are unable to see first-hand where is the path of progress in the city you purchase in
- You are unable to create an eye to eye contact with the people you are buying from and those who will manage your properties
While I tried to be fair, I still unequivocally recommend visiting the property (or having your agent or representative go in person to provide a detailed report).
If a picture is worth a thousand words, I believe seeing a 3 dimensional full panoramic in-person view is worth a million words. Pictures on the internet can hide a lot of telltale signs that can indeed be identified in person. One example is that freshly painted trim on a house that makes the visual appeal look awesome but in person you may identify that it is painted over wood decay.
In a picture you look at the house and its features, but in person you can see the roads out front and the condition of the curbs and gutters. If these are in disrepair, you may find yourself with an upcoming special assessment.
I can go on and on here, but I believe the illustration is there. Trusting the people you work with is important and, though there are a lot of people that cannot be trusted, there are many that can, the challenge is clarity. What may seem as an insignificant issue to one person is sometimes a huge issue to the next person. Only you know exactly what it is that makes you comfortable, so I believe viewing the property you purchase is paramount.
If you are considering purchasing a US Investment Property sight unseen and would like to find out how to get a “feet on the ground assessment” done by a reputable Realtor, give me a call today and we can discuss your options! 941-718-7761