Buyers Guide to Investment Property in SW Florida

Buying Guide for Investors Buying In SW Florida


Buying investment property right now is almost a no lose situation here in Florida.  Prices are historically low and rents are on the way up, so positive cash flow is easy to obtain.  Also tools for your research have never been so available to the online user so he or she can find out many details of the property that were hard or impossible to find just a short few years ago.  A person on the other side of the world can almost find any details of a piece of property they are considering purchasing just by knowing the proper web sites to go to.

First is the search for available properties that are for sale and the sites for this are almost endless.,, to name a few, has more info on them then we have ever seen before.  Some of these web sites are not quite a current as others that updated from the local Multiple Listing Services more often.  The Multiple Listing Service or MLS is where most properties are advertised by realtors trying to find buyer for their listings.  I have a couple of web sites that are updated at least once a day and sometimes more often, they are and .  So this is the first stop in your search for properties and you can set up searches based on the criteria you are looking for, price, size, number of bedrooms and baths or location and have new listings emailed to you as they come on the market.  That way you can act fast if a new property comes out that may be popular.

Once you find the property that looks interesting you start your research on past sales of the property, taxes, property appraiser’s value and even permits and liens on the property, which are all found online now.  The web site is which is the lee county property appraiser’s site and has a wealth of information from the mentioned items above as well as appraisal history and property layout, legal description, lot size and square footage.  It also has pictures of the property both from the air and ground level.  This site is invaluable in your property research to help find the facts of each parcel you are looking at.

The next step is a little more difficult and it has to do with neighborhoods and rents that the property will bring and for this you will need certain members of your team for assistance such as your realtor and your property manager.  These two are familiar with the area and the rents that the property will bring and they are another invaluable piece of your tools for success.  I would always interview 3-4 of each to find out the experience and fee’s that they charge. 

Questions like this for the realtor:

·        Years in the business

·         how many investment properties do you own

·        number of investors they work with

·        cost associated with their services

Questions for the Property Manager:

·        How many properties do they manage

·        What areas of the city are the properties in

·        Number of years in property management

·        Get copies of their management and rental agreements

·        Check to see if they charge a service charge on repairs

The team you build will make all the difference in how smooth you investing goes over the years and a good team can save you a ton of cash.  Other members of your team would be an accountant and title person and maybe a lawyer if you think you need one.

If you’re not from the area you plan on investing then the team is much more vital and necessary for your eyes and ears and well as your interest.  Of all the team members the realtor is one of the most important to help guide you on the type of market it is and getting the deal closed from search to title.  This is the person you need to trust the most. 

I hope this brief over view will help get you started in your quest for geat deals in the SW Florida real estate market and as always for any more detail or more indepth questions I am always here to help.  Thanks Steve