Unless you are a contractor or have tenants asking you to build property for them to lease, you should look for an existing property. If you are just beginning to acquire your first investment, look for properties with existing tenants.
Also look for small properties with a low risk of investment so you can finance the purchase through a bank without the need for additional partners. Two types of properties that usually fit this description are small apartment or retail buildings housing three or four tenants.
Where should you look for investment properties? There are many ways to find available properties:
Talk with friends that have investments—they may have properties they are ready to sell because depreciation is depleted or they are simply tired of collecting rent and making repairs.
Property listings are often found in local newspapers in the classified sections and of course, on the internet. Loopnet.com is a national listing forum for owners and Realtors. You can also check out realty firm ads and many areas have real estate magazines that publish monthly.
Lastly, you can talk with Realtors who may have privileged information about property-owners who want to sell but may not want it openly advertised.
Stay tuned for what to do after you've selected a property.