I'm a 20 y/o first-timer with no real estate deal experience (also first time posting on any related forum). My biggest concern, as with most newbies, is that I don't know what I don't know, so please be patient if these questions seem basic. My experience is limited to reading about to investing in multi-family properties and real estate in general. My goal at this stage is not to buy a property just yet, but to learn as much as I can and develop relationships in this business. I'm currently between Beverly Hills and Manhattan, both of which seem to have significant barriers to entry for multi-family investment, which leads to my first question:
1) Should you typically only invest in markets in close proximity? My rationale is that if you purchase and rent out a property and then place it under a property manager, there would be little need in being close to that property. Are there other concerns, aside from knowing the market and getting a trusted team in that market?
2) How do you typically find properties, and which method has given you the most success? I'm not a licensed agent so I don't have access to the MLS. Further, I do not currently have any trusted agent connections that deal with multifamily properties, so I feel as though I'm limited to online sites like Loopnet and Craigslist.
3) Anything else you might consider to be important to a newbie? Any common mistakes or mistakes you made at the beginning?
To add to that...
4) Do the best buy-and-hold opportunities almost always include fixing the place up (as opposed to just buying and then renting out)?
Welcome to BP!
Different folks have different preferences about the importance of proximity. Actually, @David Greene just wrote a phenomenal book about long distance real estate investing if you're interested.
Initial ways to find properties include checking some common websites such as zillow, redfin, trulia for homes.
When first starting out, make sure to read through all the wonderful biggerpockets forums. There's a wealth of free information here!
Do a lot of homework on BP and then seek a mentor. They would love to help get you into the game early.
Thanks Dan, will certainly give it a read! I've been going through those sites and Realtor.com, but its taking a while to get used to determining what properties are worthwhile or not.
@Nur Al Sharif
Welcome to Biggerpockets!
The first thing I think you need to do since you brought up proximity/barriers to entry is see if there is an area within a 2 commute from your house that is affordable and cash flows.
If the answer is no - then you likely need to seek distant investing.
Once this is figured out - you will know where to invest.
Reach out to an agent that works in the area where you want to invest in and ask that agent to provide you access to view MLS Listings.