Posted over 2 years ago How to Find Real Estate Investment Opportunities Hunting for your first real estate investment can be exciting, but also confusing. Where do you start? Do you just drive around and look for signs or should you hire the services of an investment agent to help you weed through the mountain of online listings? How do you know when you have found a hidden gem or if you are looking at a potential dead investment? Where do you find the best bang for the buck, so to say?While there are many steps to real estate investing, such as building investment criteria, few are as important as finding the right property. This is the step that can determine the future of your investment—so you want to make sure you are exploring all the options available on the market, not just the short list a realtor will provide to you.So where are the best places to begin your search?When you get to the point where you are ready to begin the property search, there are a few key places to begin looking. The first of these places is the MLS listing. The MLS listing, or Multiple Listing Service, is a compiling of properties from different real estate brokers across the entire nation.Another option, perhaps a little more old school, is the newspaper. While not as popular as online listings, the local newspaper may still provide some sale by owner opportunities that may not be appearing on internet searches. Along with this, word of mouth sales are another less-popular but useful method. In some cases, word of mouth sales allow you to grab properties before they hit the market listings.Craigslist and similar sites have been making their way to the top of the list of places to search for a house. Similar to the local newspaper, you can often find many properties that are for sale by owner.Bank foreclosures make for great investments in most cases and are often not shown on regular public listings. Checking with a local real estate agent will give you access to information that has been restricted from public viewing on sites like Zillow or Homes.com.Locating absentee owners and reaching out directly can often have beneficial results. An absentee owner is someone who owns a property but does not live in it. This could be family members that inherited a home from a deceased loved one, landlords who live out of state, or people who had to move for work but decided to hang onto the property for some reason. Their information is often public record and can be searched through the county’s property listing website. In many cases, you will find that when they are approached with a potential sale, they can be open to the idea of selling the property. Doing it directly allows them to profit more from the sale than if they were to hire an agent.There is no shortage of apps, websites, and tools available to prospective buyers who are beginning the search for properties. Of course, as with any case, having a little help from an expert can help speed up the process—so always consider consulting a local real estate agent for a wider range of options.