The first and most important thing I tell EVERY new investor when buying property is this: “Don’t fall in love with the house!” The biggest mistake I’ve seen new buyers do is over-improve a rental property. Stick to the theme KISS….Keep It Simple Silly! When you need to replace the bath faucet, go to the Home Depot and buy the faucet that is on clearance! When you are buying kitchen cabinets, no fancy designs, hinges, shelves or colors! Go just with basic cabinets (Mills Pride is a good brand to look for).

Now that we have agreed you will not have an emotional tie to any house, the next most important thing is to do your research on WHO you are buying the house from. What gives them credibility? What resources and contacts can they offer you besides the house? Do they have an office? I would think twice before signing a purchase contract on the hood of someone’s car! Check the Better Business Bureau, call the local Association of Realtors (the Tampa Association is Also research their name and company on the Florida Department of Business and Professional Regulation site

Once you have found someone you trust, I recommend looking at some of their recent sales. This takes the pressure off you when buying property. You will get familiar with what you are looking at and be prepared to look at some of the other current available Properties they have. This will also help you find some of your preferences like neighborhood, school zones, house size, construction, MFU vs. SFR (Multi Family Urban vs Single Family Residence).

The next hurdle is stepping up to the plate and BUYING a house! A lot of new byers struggle to pull the trigger on their first purchase. Don’t worry, you’re normal! We are all nervous the first time we buy a beat up property. That’s the primary reason we can buy them at such great prices: most buyers are turned away by a house that looks and smells like a trash can! But I can tell you from my own experience and the experience of my associates at Realnet, we never regretted pulling the trigger! Not only are the houses we sell at great prices, but you will gain a library of knowledge on your first house that will make all your future even more profitable!