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Finding the Right Property: At Home or Across the Nation

Investing in real estate, specifically rental income property, is a sound strategy for generating a stable, long-term income in retirement. As Jason Hartman recommends, buying real property with a fixed rate mortgage can provide a consistent return on the investment, supported by numerous tax breaks and other benefits. But even if you live in an area without many prospects for purchasing a rental income property, you can still take advantage of this method for establishing an income stream in retirement.

The recent downturn in the US housing market may sound like bad news, but it opens unprecedented windows of opportunity for real estate investors both large and small. In cities and towns across the country, depressed markets and slow sales are putting more and more viable rental properties up for sale. For many beginning investors, the ideal investment property may be hundreds or thousands of miles from home.

As we’ve discussed in previous posts, current US tax laws offer numerous tax deductions for owners of rental investment properties. Among these are deductions for travel to and from the property and any travel related to its upkeep and ongoing maintenance. Not only that, landlords can deduct a wide range of expenditures related to administering the property, such as a home office or the salary of an on-site manager.

Finding investment properties outside your local area is relatively simple. Because of the high volume of rental properties available, numerous investment resources offer lists of the most favorable markets for purchasing a viable rental property. Using this type of market list, investors can see at a glance factors such as the area’s population, median home prices, and even additional information such as the region’s unemployment rate and projected economic growth. This kind of data can help to create a profile not only of the value of houses in the market but also of potential renters and their incomes.

Once you’ve narrowed your search to a particular market area and done your homework about the place, it’s time to search for properties that fit your investment goals. Qualified properties can be found in a variety of ways, with new resources opening up almost daily as interest in real estate investing continues to rise, and experienced local real estate agents can help you conduct your search and assist with the mechanics of making the deal.

If you’re not able to travel to check out potential markets or properties, new technology offers some intriguing ways to see them. Map features such as Google maps allow users to zoom in to street level on a particular address, with a panoramic view that shows the neighborhood itself as well. Some area realtors offer “virtual tours” of a property using video or photographs.

The ideal rental investment property for you might be right under your nose, in your own neighborhood or town. But if it isn’t, new resources and technology developed in response to the growing real estate investment market can put a wide range of property options at your fingertips, all without leaving home. (Top image: Flickr | Mathew Oliphant)

The Heroic Investing Team


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