How to Choose Your First Investment Property in 2023


Investing in real estate is one of the best ways to achieve financial freedom and build passive income. If you are looking for your first investment property this year to begin working toward your financial goals, we have some tips to help you identify the right first investment.

With the right strategy in place, your first real estate investment property can become the launch pad for an entire portfolio of properties, building equity that can then be leveraged to purchase the next property, and so on.

Define Your Goals

Start by defining your investment goals. What do you want to achieve with your investment property? Are you looking for rental income, long-term appreciation, or a mix of both? You should also decide if you are hoping to ultimately own multiple properties or stick with this one. Understanding your goals will help you narrow down your property options and make more targeted decisions.

Determine Your Budget

Establish a clear budget for your investment property. Consider not only the purchase price but also additional costs such as closing costs, property taxes, insurance, and potential renovation expenses. Having a well-defined budget will prevent you from overextending yourself and ensure you can comfortably manage the property.

Choose Your Property Type

Decide on the type of property that aligns with your investment goals. Common property types for first-time investors include single-family homes, condos, townhouses, and small multi-unit properties. Each property type comes with its pros and cons, so evaluate which one best suits your investment strategy and risk tolerance.

Analyze Potential Rental Income

If you’re considering a rental property, carefully analyze the potential rental income. Research rental rates in the area and compare them to your property’s expenses. Factor in property management fees, maintenance costs, and potential vacancies to get an accurate estimate of your cash flow.

The projected cash flow from the property can also be your key to financing. Talk to your lender about a cash flow mortgage, for which you will qualify based on the rental potential of the property rather than your income.

Evaluate Appreciation Potential

While rental income is important, also consider the property’s potential for appreciation over time. Look at historical price trends in the area and consult with real estate experts to understand the growth prospects. A property that appreciates in value can provide significant returns in the long run.

The appreciation rate of the property is a key factor if you are looking to leverage this first property for the purchase of subsequent investments. The faster you build equity, the faster you can cash out that equity and work towards another goal.

Remember that in addition to the trends and projections in the area, the property itself is going to determine appreciation potential. A home that you can renovate and improve will increase in value more quickly than one that is only growing based on the market.

Be Thorough About Inspections

Greg Dallaire, Appleton WI Realtor says, “Before purchasing any investment property, conduct a thorough inspection to assess its condition. Identify any major issues or necessary repairs and factor in the cost of these improvements into your budget. A property in good condition will save you from costly surprises down the line.”

Plan for Contingencies

No investment is without risks, so plan for contingencies. Have a financial buffer in case of unexpected expenses or periods of vacancy. Being financially prepared will help you navigate any challenges that arise during your ownership. If you are concerned about this part of investing, consider investing in partnership with another party to offset some of the risk.

Stay Patient and Ready

The real estate market can be competitive, but it’s essential to stay disciplined and patient throughout the process. Avoid making hasty decisions based on emotions. Take your time to thoroughly research and evaluate properties before making an offer.

Don’t Be Afraid to Start Small

Remember, you don’t have to reach your long term goals with your first property. For first-time investors, it’s often best to start with a relatively small and manageable property. This allows you to learn the ropes of property ownership, management, and the real estate market. As you gain experience and confidence, you can gradually expand your portfolio.

For more help getting into real estate investing, start by working with local experts who can guide you every step of the way. If you are looking to invest in real estate in Northeastern Wisconsin, contact these real estate agents to get started.

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