Have you ever seen your properties?

16 Replies

Hi BP! I'm new to BP and REI in general, but found plenty of great information here.

One thing I am curious about though, it sounds like quite a number of investors own properties out of state and wondering how many investors have never seen/visited their properties or perhaps only seen it prior to purchasing and have not visited it since closing?

I'm in the North Jersey area and open to properties OOS, but wondering how often do you go see the property or do you primarily leave it to a property manager to take care of it?

@Jin L. @Alex Malyarovich I usually have pictures sent to me first, (roof, kitchen, bathrooms, back yard, etc) then either my joint venture partner or student, depending on who I am teaming up with, will do a Facetime or Skype or Video "walk through" for me. Since I have "boots on the ground" in each city I invest in, I send the person by every now and then to check on things. I've heard that some people use an on-line service (I forget the name) people on the site bid on jobs. You select one and they go and take pictures, or videos for you. Pay by Paypal. That seems to work too.

I saw mine during the inspection, then every so often I or family will drive by it when in town. That's more because they are curious that I bought a house OOS more than anything else.

I also did have people ( that I knew) check it out with the realtor. They weren't pros but I trusted their judgment and they were mostly confirming what I saw.

80% of my deals are bought sight-unseen because there is frankly not enough time to go to the property and arrange viewings etc etc (especially if out of state). If it is a good deal, it is important to move quick! 

@Account Closed , would be interesting to know what online service that is . Is it specifically for real estate? There is a service called task rabbit that I imagine one could use for something like that. It's an app where you can find people to do various tasks , run errands but there are also handymen ,plumbers ,etc on there. 

They operate in several cities.

Originally posted by @Joseph M. :

@Ken Min , would be interesting to know what online service that is . Is it specifically for real estate? There is a service called task rabbit that I imagine one could use for something like that. It's an app where you can find people to do various tasks , run errands but there are also handymen ,plumbers ,etc on there. 

They operate in several cities.

 Task Rabbit sounds about right.

Appreciate the comments so far and have to admit, it is a bit of a eye opener for me!  I've never thought about buying house sight unseen, but now that I think about it, I guess what @Chris Grenier said makes sense, it's quite difficult to arrange showings and drive/fly to see multiple properties if a deal is there to be made.

For those of you that have purchased sight unseen, do you have everything lined up beforehand, specifically lawyer (who is familiar with the city/state), property manager, etc.?

Hi Jin! I admit that I own more rental properties that I've not seen than ones I have seen. Well, I take that back. I've officially seen the outside of all of them (over the course of the several years I've owned them), but I hadn't seen most of them before I bought them. However, I've always bought turnkey and I think there is substantially more security in that way of buying than if you are just picking random properties here and there (assuming you work with good turnkey providers). Even the turnkeys though, if you can go out at least once and see the operations, I do recommend it. Definitely not required though.

But if you are buying individual properties from the MLS or somewhere though, I highly recommend going and checking them out before buying!

I have always been thinking about buying OOS, but never made it.
Character and personality...

I need to be able to see my properties anytime.
I manage and rehab my own properties all the time. I like to know the exterior condition, interior conditions, and the tenants of my properties.

By knowing the exterior and interior conditions, I'm able to make good maintenance (prevention) on all my properties.

Most of the time, the PM would not fix things until it breaks (like water heater leaking to downstairs unit, more problems coming later.)

Only landlords would care their own properties more, and willing to have more maintenance before it breaks.

I've seen all my apartment buildings (I've bought a few sight unseen) but I still have two single family homes (first two properties I bought) that I've never seen