Real estate is like no other industry, has always made its share of millionaires and that may be why so many people are looking to get started in real estate investing. As an active real estate investor in Stockton and Sacramento, we get asked to talk about what we do frequently.
Fortunately, I like to share.
When it comes to real estate investment everyone has questions.
What’s the real estate market like now? Can you find any good deals out there anymore? I’ll bet its not a good time to buy real estate market now? How can I find a good Investment property? Are we going to see another real estate Bubble? Is the Real estate market overheating? What’s the secret to finding good investment properties in Stockton?
Finding good investment properties is like finding any other diamond in the rough. You have to actively look, do some research, decide what you are looking for, understand the market, recognize every properties potential, evaluate the possibilities, consider your exit strategies, and then finally be ready to take action when the opportunity reveals itself. There is no magic, no investment hot sheet and there are no daily bulletins that break down the numbers and provide you with a list. Finding good investment properties is just a lot of persistence and hard work.
The real estate market has changed dramatically over the past 9 years. There used to be an opportunity on almost every block and every neighborhood and zip code across Stockton and Sacramento. It has taken all of eight to nine years to fully assimilate those opportunities back into the housing market and it is by and large the work of the real estate investors that one by one have saved neighborhoods from the plight of previous years. What remains today is a very different real estate market that has some serious affordability problems that need to be addressed.
The problem with the Stockton real estate market today, as it is in most other California cities, is that there are no longer multiple sources of new construction at every price point in the market. The residential construction industry has changed so dramatically in the past ten years and we are now seeing the effects with no new entry level houses available to keep pace with the pent up demand. Gone are new houses starting at under $200,000.00.
This is a serious problem when you consider that to build a modest 1500 square foot house in Stockton, the City and/or County, building permit plus the connection fees for sewer and water alone average over $50,000. When you add on top of that PG&E connection fees of $4,000 to $7,000 the cost becomes excessive and you have not even purchased the the land.
As a result, the cost of new construction has escalated and it starts at your local city hall and County Seat. Of course convincing Cities or Counties to rethink it’s fee structure is difficult because it means that they would have to accept some responsibility for the crisis and at the same time accept lower revenue to their coffers. The constriction of the market equates to higher and higher prices for all houses. So today’s opportunities are just a lot more expensive, and that spells trouble for the overall real estate market. Without any new construction at the lower end of the market, there is no competition to balance the cost of existing homes that are being sold and that means a lack of competition that has inflated real estate cost at all levels.
In today’s article I’ll share my insights and ideas that help me find good investment properties in Stockton.
My name is Peter Westbrook and I am a local real estate investor with Westbrook REI and Westbrook REI Construction (CSLB 1047535) After almost 10 years, I might understand the nuances of the Stockton and Sacramento real estate markets from the ground level. I have created a niche and its very simple. I am a Cash home buyer and I usually buy my properties from homeowners directly. It allows me to cut out the middleman and it allows the homeowners that I buy from to put more cash in their pocket. and I pay cash.
Real Estate Investing is NOT a Get Rich Quick Scheme. It is a business that needs to be worked every day and it requires someone willing to roll up their sleeves and dig in to help people with problems and issues that need serious attention.
With the flood of foreclosure all but dried up … investors are having to get work harder and get more creative in finding the best deals on good Stockton Investment Properties.
There has never been a single source of properties for investors. We find our properties from a variety of marketing sources… online, offline, direct mail, cold calling, etc… so there is no one way that is the best way to find good investment properties in Stockton. It boils down to persistence and hard work.
Finding good investment properties is all about recognizing the opportunity. Its having your resources ready. It’s understanding that everyone that owns a property has a different objective and motivation and with that, a different way of solving a problem by looking at the desired outcome. Some people will call a real estate agent. Some respond to post cards, We Buy Houses signs, but most will just Google, “who buys Houses Stockton?”
As an investor you need to be ready because there is not one approach that will work every time. It is all of them together that create the strategy that gets your phone to ring.
Most investors are not champions of competition – they believe that if they offer any information, that someone will use their ideas and somehow seize on a missed opportunity.
That is not how we work.
We talk and we share and because of it our ability to address customer needs are enhanced. We share our philosophies here because we want to improve the quality of our own service and in the process build stronger communities. Ultimately, we’re all investing in the same places, so it makes sense to do it right and let people know what it should look like.
Finding Good Investment Properties in Stockton
We adhere to tried and true core principles that are important to understanding the overall market and if you want to get involved in real Estate Investing we can help you find the best investment properties available.
First, it’s the long game
Real estate is a large industry. Residential, Commercial. They are not the same and yet real estate as an industry It moves slowly and unless there is a crash somewhere else it doesn’t act or react like the stock market. Real estate is literally a main street idea – its not just numbers plus or minus on a screen.
Understanding that is important because it’s next to impossible to make a lot of money in a short-term real estate transaction, because like winning the lottery, those are rare opportunities and come every once and a while.
Thinking long-term means understanding the past history to better anticipate the future so you can anticipate what the market is going to do. It takes work.So don’t expect to “cut the fat hog” on your first attempt, or think that you’re smarter than the people who have been working at this for years.
It also means that if you don’t find the local investment properties you’re looking for right away… it’s normal.
That’s why it’s a great idea to find multiple sources of properties that fit your criteria ( our Stockton Investment Property Buyers List >> ) so you have a greater ability to find properties to look at. In 2009 I needed to make 24 offers just to get one accepted. Back then I was looking at 150 properties a month. Today I am lucky to look at 20.
Second, focus on networking
The real estate investment community in Stockton is smaller than most people think.
There are really are only a handful of investors that buy most of the properties in Stockton and some of the most successful investors are conspicuously conducting their business, away from the crowd. I know because I dont want as much as I share can just as easily fade into the background. More than anything I want be as productive as possible so that I can to accomplish what I do daily by helping others that truly need my help.
Most investors are visible. You can find them with a simple Google Search. You can call them and they will call you back. We are a group that is used to working with the same people on a regular basis. It’s worth the time and effort to find them and learn from them. If you can, work with them.
Find your local Real Estate Investor Group and find the people who are active and talk to them. Ask them which real estate agents they use, and let everyone you can find know that you are looking for investment properties that fit your criteria. Learning how to find a good investment property in Stockton isn’t necessarily a hard thing… but relationships can be a key element in getting some of the best deals on properties that no one else has access to in the Stockton market.
Who should you get to know?
- A couple real estate appraisers who deal with the types of properties you deal with
- A few of the top investment friendly real estate brokers in Stockton
- Look for the property rehabbers in the area
- Title agents that deal with investment properties a lot
Third, target your investments.
Investment are like many other aspects of life – the people who are the most focused will generally succeed. You have to find your niche. Some like apartments, storage units or commercial buildings (I don’t own either, my mistake)
I like single family residential and duplexes or small apartments. If you take the time and do your homework, you can look at the different elements of each market to see which opportunities are truly the best for you. Remember your resources guide your investment. Once you find exactly what you want to own, you can create a plan to find out how to buy it by finding out who owns it and make sure that they know to call you when they want to sell that property.
This takes a lot of work, but it’s a a simple long-term investment strategy. Remember that not all things happen in a recognizable order and understanding that an event may not immediately resemble your plan but, you may need to be flexible. It also means that you may have to pass on some opportunities until you have the resources yourself to make it happen. That is why its important to know other investors. because they will allow you to monetize some of those first transactions that come your way, developing your strategy one step at a time.
Finally – use technology.
We find properties all of the time and wile we dont regularly part with them before improving them we sometimes do. When we do we secure them and then sell them for a discounted rate to the people on our list who are ready, willing and able to invest. There are other ways to get notified about properties on the open market – you should get familiar with searching the multiple listing services with the rest of the herd because every once in a blue moon a great deal shows up. I know because I have bought them with in that past 30 days.
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We’re not real estate brokers, and our business is a niche within Stockton, Modesto and Sacramento.
If you’re looking to seriously invest in Stockton, we’d love to talk with you to learn what you are looking for. We don’t always have properties on hand that we want to remove from inventory, (we rehab most of what we buy locally) but when we do, we also want to sell them fast.
I am hopeful that you have a better understanding the ins and outs of finding good investment properties in Stockton. If you have questions give us a call or join our buyer’s list below!
Give us a call (209) 481-7780 or fill out the form to get started now.