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Tips for Buying an Investment Property Sight Unseen

Cedar Park Property Manager on a Video Call with a Remote InvestorA rental property bought in a market at a distance from where you live could be something you want to add to your investment portfolio. There are numerous reasons for doing so, especially if you know a certain market is ideal for owning a rental home in Cedar Park. You may even want to purchase your new rental property sight unseen. After all, this is a common practice among rental property investors. Buying rental properties sight unseen, however, has some potential pitfalls that you definitely want to avoid. To help you acquire a profitable rental property sight unseen, here are a few of the top tips from real estate experts.

Get a good real estate agent.

The most critical part to successfully buying a property sight unseen is hiring the right real estate agent. There is no substitute for someone who knows the local market, has expertise in the type of property you want to buy and is willing to send you detailed information about each listing. To make sure you get the right person, ask for references, check their experience, and conduct interviews. You will be working closely with this person, so it is very important to find a good fit.

Ask the right questions.

Even if you plan to tour a listed property or not, you need to ask a lot of questions and gather as much information as you can. This is vital especially if you can’t be on-site to see certain things yourself. For example, your real estate agent should be able to provide you with a floor plan or, if that is not available, the dimensions and rough layout of the property. You should also ask about the visible condition of the property and things like sounds and smells. These are things you won’t see in a photo.

Research the area.

Other than the details about the property itself, you should also ask about the potential new neighborhood. A great place to start is by using Google Earth and Google Maps to see the property’s street. You could also ask your real estate agent to include a walking tour of the area in a video tour of the house so you can get a feel of the surroundings.

Request video tours at different times of the day.

Looking at a potential property at different times of the day will tell you a lot about it. A property may seem to sit in a serene neighborhood lot in the morning but is actually surrounded by rowdy neighbors, late-night train sounds, or other nuisances that happen at night that your daytime tour would miss. Things can look very different in the daylight than at night.

Enlist friends and family to help.

If you happen to know someone living near the rental property you want to buy, it would help if you ask them to tour the property and drive around the neighborhood in your place. The second set of eyes is helpful in pointing out details your real estate agent missed (or didn’t want to report). Since they are residents, they can also give you a better sense of how the different parts of town and the property’s neighborhood feel.

Get an appraisal and a home inspection.

Finally, you must insist that a professional appraisal and home inspection be done. While many lenders require both as part of the financing process, you should still schedule a professional inspection even if it isn’t required. Inspections and appraisals alert you to any number of issues, from serious structural problems with the property itself to other elements that may have a significant impact on your property’s value. Things like these are important to know before committing to the purchase.


Of course, one of the best ways to buy a property sight unseen is to purchase one that Real Property Management Longhorn manages. Our Cedar Park property management experts know every detail of the property and can often help you find off-market deals before they’re even listed. To learn more, contact us online.

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