A lot of people looking to invest in Santa Cruz real estate have a common problem. No, it’s not that they don’t have enough money for investment, rather they are not quite sure of what type of property to invest in. More often than not, they end up placing their eggs in the wrong basket. Looking to buy, then renovate a property in Santa Cruz either to flip or hold long term? Then read on to know how to find the perfect fit for you.

1.     Know the Neighborhood

Trust me, you don’t want to place a retirement home in a street lined with college student rentals. Nobody is going to want to stay for long in that kind of place. Analyze the area properly to know if the area has been progressively declining in owner occupancy rates because you would not be getting the profit you deserve after renovation. Rather, seek out neighborhoods with steadily increasing growth potential, as these areas have better renewal rates, and the tendency to attract better buyers.

You should also ask yourself this question: how safe is this community to locate a family home? (assuming that’s the type of property you intend to renovate.) Is the crime rate high? Are there nearby schools or popular parks or walking trails? Parents would want to live in places they feel is safe for their kids, so there’s no need spending so much money renovating a property whose neighborhood you know nothing about.

2.     Inspect the Property Properly

Unless you have so nearly unlimited money to invest in properties that are trending towards blight, ensure you have a thorough look at the house you intend to buy. In fact, this is probably the most important step you need to take before deciding on where to pour your resources into. Go a step further by getting qualified professionals to do the inspection for you, as most times, investors themselves are unable to carry out a diligent inspection of the property.

There’s almost always disaster lurking in the shadows when you don’t properly look at a house before renovation, and extra costs will continue to pile up, especially unplanned extra costs. A decent inspection can save you a lot of money. It can be the difference between making either a profit or a loss by the time the renovation is complete and the estate is put up for sale.

3.     Look Out for Bargains

This is a no-brainer if you want to make excellent returns on your investment. The aim always is to find properties set up at bargain prices so as to ensure profit is made after touching up the properties. Most times the reasons why the houses are bargains do not stray away from mere aesthetics and simple-to-fix repairs. It’s also advisable to first seek for a Santa Cruz Realtor who is willing to do the legwork finding homes which have latent untapped value.

Be on the watch for auctions and foreclosures and bargains of this sort. Initially bid low, and increase your bids slowly as you go. While you would likely lose some bids, you’re also likely to find a property with excellent potential at a bargain price.

As a final note, remember that you do not have to buy the very first property you see. Keep searching until you find that  investment property that meets most of your specifications and you may just stumble upon your perfect opportunity for real estate investment.