Property Investment Checklist – Part 1

Here is a checklist of things to consider when making an assessment of what makes a good investment. These are the things I’ve seen a lot of investors fall foul of and with a little care and attention, you can avoid these pitfalls.

Water Bills
The law in New York State mandates that the landlord is responsible for paying the water bills, regardless of who is living in the property. The authorities can repossess the property if the water bills remain unpaid, so definitely do not rely on the tenant to make this payment.

The best thing to do is to factor the extra cost of the water bills into your rent and just pay it yourself – no exceptions, its not worth the hassle or worry.

City Taxes
City taxes are similar to UK council taxes, and are used to pay for emergency services such as rubbish removal, upkeep of amenities etc etc. Each property has a semi-regular assessment which indicates what the property is worth and what taxes are applicable; quite often, this assessment is totally incorrect.

You see, if you want low taxes then you want it to be assessed low, but if you’re selling you want it assessed high. Be careful, use good property finders (not Realtors!) who know the true market values and whether it’s been assessed in your favour.

Realtors (Estate Agents)
Having had plenty of dealings in the US, the same comment I always get is that ‘Realtors would scratch your eyes out to make a sale.’

But we need to be clear on the point here; the Realtor has a duty to the seller so for them, every property is a good property regardless of its condition or location.

If you’re looking for investment properties, you need to use a professional property finder to source your properties. These guys know where to invest, and more importantly where to avoid. Only a property investor knows the true mechanics of what makes a good investment and what doesn’t.

Tomorrow we’ll cover part 2 of the checklist.