First off, congrats! The first property you do will be one of your best memories.
Finding contractors is one of the toughest parts about investing in property. Today, very skilled, reliable and affordable contractors do not go hand in hand. Most of them are unreliable, not very skilled or just a pain in the butt to deal with. I made the same recommendation to another first timer the other day:
1) Ask your realtor/bank. They should have some contacts in the area that could help.
2) Go to meetup.com and see if there are any local real estate investment groups. Go to an event and ask other investors to put you in touch with contractors they've used in the past and had good luck with.
3) Search the internet. Use Google to find contractors in the area and pick up the phone. Have them come and take a look at your property.
4) Scope out a local construction site and ask some of the guys there if they'll do side work after work or on the weekends.
As always, remember to get multiple bids. Don't go with the first guy because he seems nice. Get multiple bids, understand the work that is going to be done and make sure you are aligned on how payment is going to work. NEVER pay the contractor up front. They need to do the work first or else you won't see them again.
I appreciate all pig your advice! That is fantastic advice for looking for contractors.
I am fortunate enough to have partnered with a very skilled partner who knows what he's doing for all that I'd normally hire a general contractor for. I am mainly looking for skilled laborers to help him out on the job site. I am helping out where I can, but being my first project, I'm very limited in my skillset at the moment. I'm learning everyday though... haha
I will ask my realtor and at my local REIA groups as well. That's great advice!
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