I'm a first-time real estate investor. I've read all the books, listened to most of the BP podcasts, and have spent considerable time doing research online.
2 years ago I purchased my primary residence where I live in California and now I'm trying to purchase my first rental. I have family in Indianapolis, so I'm trying to purchase there. My understanding of the market there is that it is strong for the midwest: reasonable population growth, good jobs, solid neighborhoods, good cap rates, etc.
Because I'm quite busy, I don't have the time (or willpower, to be honest) to hunt for deals myself, find contractors to renovate, and do all that work myself. Instead, I figured that due to my time constraints I think going with a turnkey provider is my best best. Purchase something already renovated with a renter and property management setup, and aim for a little bit of cash flow.
I found a neat turn key provider called Pinnacle (http://www.investwithpinnacle.com), spoke to the owner, and also read through some of their BP posts. They seem really great.
Here's my question: for those of you living out of state who purchase turnkey rentals, what do you look for, exactly? I can view stats about cost of the place, how much it rents for, etc., but I can't see inside the place, what it looks like, what the renovation quality is like, etc.
I'm a bit afraid of just committing to a purchase without seeing it myself, and from what I understand many of these turnkey units sell immediately after being listed, so timing is sort of important.
Initially, I thought I'd ask my family who lives in the area to go check the places out for me, then make a purchasing decision, do inspections, etc. I'm beginning to feel like that likely won't be possible, however.
I'd love to hear stores or talk to those of you from out of state who've gone this route and purchased turnkey units. What was your experience like? Any advice is appreciated.
If you can't even get pictures of the interior that should raise red flags. A common practice for some turnkey providers is to list a cap rate that is superior to CA returns but well below average for the area. You may not have the willpower to do the research and find a deal on your own but at least becoming familiar with returns in the area and the area itself before giving your money to a stranger may be a wise move.
Thanks for the responses!
I'm going to do a bit more research before diving in. Going to check out the Indianapolis market a bit, get comfortable with prices and cap rates, etc.
Thank you all for the advice! And Sheri -- I'm going to send you a message! Would love to meetup sometime and hear more about your experiences.