Out of State First Time Investor

15 Replies

Hello, I am just getting started and have located Memphis as a good cash flowing market. I am currently working with a realtor who is sending me properties in my target zip codes. However, I am an out of state investor and have never been to Memphis and know that the city can be very street to street with good and bad areas. My question is, how much trust should I put into my realtor. I can do my research as an area overall but without visiting it would be hard to tell if a specific area is good or not. My realtor seems very knowledgeable and has investment properties throughout. Would it be good to interview some property managers and get their opinions on certain areas to confirm good and bad spots?

Different people have different thresholds of "good" so it's generally good to get multiple viewpoints.  Also you can leverage crime mapping tools, and even have the agent drive an area with a Go Pro to give you an idea what the area is like.  The agent will probably assign that to a runner from the office but yeah.

There are tools for this.   

  • City-data.com
  • zillow sales prices
  • google street view
  • Great schools
  • various crime stat aggregators

If you are going to buy a lot there, I highly recommend an in-person trip.

@Greg Scott @Ronald Allen Barney I have looked at some crime maps for the general area but may dig into specific areas more. I’d love to visit the area and feel like I should before I invest as well especially since this will be my first property. I will get multiple perspectives and opinions to confirm what I find to my realtor

I tend to use a video tours of the area, just driving or walking around to show the out of town investor exactly what it the area is like first hand.  its simple but really effective at providing information to the buyer.

@Zack Busch

You should "trust your realtor" to support you if you move forward with a specific transaction.  That means they'll help you purchase the property, guide you through closing, etc.

But, that has nothing to do with getting a good deal in a good area, regardless as to them being an investor.  That's all on you.  You might successfully close on a property, and then start cash flowing negatively every month because you underestimated the expenses.  Your realtor would have done their job.

Make sense?

@Ronald Allen Barney Yes I have done walk throughs with street views local to the property so that definitely helps!

@Nicholas L. Thank you for the feedback and that makes complete sense I appreciate the feedback. I will definitely focus on doing more of my own due diligence before I commit to an area or property.

Hey Zack- Are you going to use a property manager? If so, it would be good to run the property you're interested in by them first. I am local here in Memphis and an investor myself. You are correct that Memphis is very street by street. Feel free to DM me if you want to discuss any particular pockets you're interested in! Good Luck!

Hey @Zack Busch , a lot of the other members have already given some great insight, so just a couple of things I would add:

Use google maps as a tool but also take the images with a grain of salt because many of the images are from a couple years ago - I've had out of state investor clients call me with questions about something they saw on google maps in a neighborhood they're looking in that doesn't exist any more (old commercial buildings that have been torn down, boarded up homes that have since been renovated, vacant land that now has new construction, etc.) Maps is a great tool to get a general feel, but you can always ask your realtor to snap some pictures of the neighborhood around the property that you're looking at for the most up to date info. 

Justicemap.org is pretty good for crime/income statistics, and Niche.com will help you see where different school district lines are and school ratings. I think schools is one of the most overlooked data points for investors, when in reality that will have a huge impact on tenant interest and property values. 

Your realtor should be able to help guide you through all of this with their local knowledge as well, but hopefully that's helpful insight!

@Tony Clark I hadn't heard of those sites I will check them out. Yeah google maps may give me a general flavor of the area but getting more updated pictures would be good. I will have to give my realtor a call and talk him through some areas once I lock it in a little more.

I say talk to your realtor but also try to connect with other investors in the area. Everyone is investing in real estate differently and the more opinions you get the more you'll figure out what you align with and what you don't.

@Zack Busch hey Zack I’ve also been looking for an investment property in Memphis. I think calling prop Mgmt companies could be helpful. I connected with a contractor and she’s been helping guide me. I am still running numbers on what I find on the mls.

I usually look at the street view of google and let it guide me. You can go onto YouTube and there are a few videos by CrestCore realty and some other turnkey providers where they break down zip codes and neighborhoods.

Best of luck!