If you’re a property investor, your smartphone is your best friend. It gives you direct access to the people you need to help you make good decisions.
In particular, there are five people you need to call any time you’re weighing a new investment. Each of the following five individuals will give you unique insights and direction.
1. Your spouse
If you’re married, the obvious place to start is with your wife or husband. To be honest, if that person is against the idea, you’ve got an uphill battle before you.
When you discuss an opportunity with your spouse, be as open and forthcoming as you can. You never want to hold back information or sugarcoat negative possibilities.
In the end, you’ll need that individual to support your decision and trust your investment strategies if you want to continue your career in real estate.
2. The inspector
Next up is the inspector. You should never go through with a real estate investment without consulting a reliable and trustworthy inspector.
This professional will help you identify issues and may even be able to price out repairs. A good inspector will look at everything, from the roof and siding to electrical wiring and foundation.
You should start your search for an inspector with the American Society of Home Inspectors (ASHI). As Ken Horst of BiggerPockets.com notes, certified inspectors must submit a minimum of 250 paid inspections, take 20-plus hours of continuing education, and agree to abide by a code of ethics before they attain certification.
3. A plumber
While an inspector will look at such things as pipes and drains, it’s always a good idea to consult a certified plumber, as well. According to this blog post from Sydney Emergency Plumbing, you can make a number of plumbing improvements to increase the value of a property.
By consulting a plumber before purchasing, you will not only identify issues, but also have an opportunity to discuss options for improvement.
4. A handyman
Once you’ve determined the items that must be fixed, and compiled a list of things you might like to improve, you should call a handyman so he can tell you what’s feasible. He’ll also be able to give you a rough price estimate so you know whether the work will fit into your budget.
5. A financial advisor
Your final phone call should be to your financial advisor. Run the numbers by that person and obtain an expert opinion.
How much cash flow could it generate, will you have enough left over to pay living expenses, and what sort of rate will the bank approve? These are essential questions you’ll want to ask.
Weighing your opinion against theirs
At the end of the day, it’s your decision. However, these five people — as long as they’re trustworthy — can help you look at the investment in the proper light.
If everyone agrees it’s a good (or bad) investment, you should probably listen to them. If you receive a mix of opinions, you’ll have to weigh the pros and cons and come to your own conclusion.
Remember to look beyond yields and consider all the pertinent factors. A real-estate investment is rarely ever a black-and-white proposition, so don’t be afraid to take your time if you can afford to.