If you’re like most real estate investors, you understand that the ability to quickly and easily evaluate a property—and its potential value—is key to deciding whether to purchase it. This first step is critical in making the right investment decision. Using the right tools to accurately value a property can save you a great deal of time and effort in making your determination.

REI Tool #1: Google Maps, Earth and Street View

Virtually everyone these days relies on Google maps for navigation. Before you even drive past a property, have a look at it—and the surrounding area—using Google Earth. Street view will give you another taste of the way a property looks. In some cases, you may be able to switch between a newer and older view, as well. This can give you great information, literally at your fingertips.

Additionally, use Google Maps to get a feel for the neighborhood retail and restaurant options. Homes located near a Trader Joes, Whole Foods and other popular retailers often increase in value more quickly than comparable homes in the same city. The same is true for homes in highly “walkable” areas or near popular parks.

REI Tool #2: Trustworthy Comparable Programs

All the major residential real estate websites offer AVM (automated valuation methods) values for any home you may select. While each has their weaknesses and can offer misleading figures, they’re all worth a glance. The county assessor’s office is still your best source for comparables information, but it’s hard to beat the likes of Zillow and Trulia for instant gratification. Just do your homework and take these values with a grain of salt.

REI Tool #3: Your Own Eyes

Technology can help you rule out properties that aren’t worth considering, but nothing on the Internet can provide better information than seeing a property in person. Begin by taking a walk—not a drive—around the property and its immediate surroundings. If it still looks promising, get a showing as soon as possible. If it’s the right investment property for you, you’ll want to strike right away.

Do You Need a Hard Money Loan in Atlanta?

If you’re looking for a hard money loan in Atlanta, we may be able to help you.

Call us at 404-814-1644 or contact us online to find out whether you might qualify for this type of funding. In the meantime, check to ensure that you meet our loan criteria. Our loan amounts can be up to 65 percent of the after-repaired value of the collateral—and if you use the loan for renovation or construction, the loan amount can be based on the collateral’s improved value.

Read our frequently asked questions and take a few minutes to learn about the hard money loan process.