Property Values and Markets

10 Replies

Hello everyone!  I'm reading a lot about the obvious importance of property values and knowing your market, but what is the best way to stay on top of this?? Is this something you check on weekly? or should it be that "first thing you do on your laptop in bed when you wake up in the morning" thing?  

I'm in Atlanta, (Suwanee/ Lawrenceville/ Sugar Hill/ Norcross areas to be specific) and was curious how one would go about really digging into property values and market trends.  

Thanks in advance to all you! 

Hope everyone's well,

Mack

You ask a good question! I would answer that two ways 1. As a real estate owner/investor, and 2. as a real estate professional.

As an investor - in order to understand market values, you have to keep your finger in the pulse of the market. How? There will be a ton of answers here, but I do this way: As I see wholesale deals for sale, I open Zillow, see the house, click on the price history of the house to see what's going on, look on the map to see where its located, and watch for the map of house values in that neighborhood that pops up after the map of the house. Next, I attend my REIA meetings, and I absorb what's going on, where investors seem to be buying, and meet other investors that are actually doing something. In my mind, I piece together areas and price points through "osmosis" - by doing a bit of the above. Of course, if I am driving in an area, I will watch for agent signs, sometimes grab a flyer, etc. It all helps.

As an agent: I am also an agent - so I tried to answer the above as the investor in me! If agents don't keep their pulse on market trends- they are not really "active agents" - just people licensed to do an activity that passed a test and know a thing or two about real estate, in case they ever need it - nothing wrong here- just not active in their market. For the ones that take it seriously, they are always in FMLS, attend agent meetings with their broker, network with other agents, attend open houses, drive through new subdivisions, etc. They may also subscribe to the Atlanta Business Journal- (it's a newspaper that details what's happening in real estate, legal and banking around town). They understand trends in pricing, see corporate relocations and what areas the interest is in, and many even know where vacant land is for sale, and watch as developers grab it and what they are planning on doing with it. It all helps them form a solid picture of growth prospects in different areas, so when someone asks them about an area - they already have the knowledge. 

Most of the agent knowledge can be obtained by investors- if they work at it. Anyone can visit new subdivisions, subscribe to magazines, and look through Zillow, etc. The agents have the ability to take it a bit further, but that is why they are agents to begin with- they have an interest in real estate values, trends, etc - that investors may not have the time to learn on their own. 

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Regarding REIA's in Atlanta: There are two large ones, and a ton of Meetup.com groups. Each large REIA has a main meeting and subgroups that specialize in either a topic or a general area. Too many to attend them all in one month, and it repeats the next month! Depending on your area, either: GaReia or AtlantaREIA. I belong to atlreia since it is more in my area, and have a better mix of subgroups for me. Years ago I belonged to GaREIA - but it wasn't for me, after a few years of it.

I am about to check out the Meetup groups - since they are not structured the same, it's hard to tell which ones are worth my time to attend and network. I might just pick a few and see how it goes. This is how I sample what's out there, getting to meet a few good people, and possibly see them again at another event. Maybe find someone to network with, or wholesale something to me, etc. Never know!

It seems there is a meetup for everything! When I have more time, I will join a few and see if there are investors doing deals at those meetings. Maybe they have wholesale deals, or are looking for some right now. Don't know unless we attend!

I have a list of "Sites to Check" that I go to nearly every day to look at what's new. I then assess each property quickly to see where they're at (zip code, neighborhood, etc), what condition they're in, and how much they're listed for. Ones that stand out as a potential deal, I'll analyze further to consider an offer. 

But, reviewing all the new listings on a regular basis helps me build up my knowledge of the market I'm in so I can spot a deal quicker and easier when they arise. My list includes about 15 or so different sites ranging from wholesaler websites to HUD/REO sites, to Craigslist and eBay. I also have two search filters saved in my MLS access that catch anything new on the MLS that meets my criteria and I get a daily e-mail update from those as well.