What to Look for When Visiting a Non Owner Occupied Property?

One of the many things I enjoy about the Real Estate business is that each property and loan scenario is unique.  Real Estate is not a commodity as every property and borrower has different characteristics that impact value.  A personal or trusted associate property visit before making a hard money loan always provides useful underwriting information and insights.  This blog describes what to look for when visiting a property.  Both positive and negative property characteristics can be determined by a drive by:

Positive Observations: Implication:
Toys on the lawn Verification that a Tenant is leasing the house
Garden hose on the side of the house The landlord/tenant/owner is watering the plants and taking care of the landscaping.
Welcome mat at front door Pride of ownership by Tenant and Owner
Real Estate signs on the street Many sale/lease signs signal a distressed neighborhood.
Paint and Roof in good condition Property maintenance and capital improvements taking place


Observations that should cause Concern: Implication:
High number of empty lots Shows a neighborhood that may not be in demand
Vacant houses on the street Developer may have badly overestimated demand and could soon be choking on inventory.  Also could signal pending foreclosures.
Bars on Windows Lack of security in the neighborhood
Real Estate signs on the street Many sale/lease signs signal a distressed neighborhood.
Trash in the Streets on lawns Neighborhood may be deteriorating


Pictures on a website or GoogleMaps can be deceiving.  Make sure you get a real person making a real drive by of a property before you lend on your next hard money loan.  Mortgage Vintage, Inc. always makes some kind of property visit.  Do you have any unique stories about a property visit?  We would like to know.  Please submit a post on our Mortgage Vintage, Inc. Facebook Page or our LinkedIn Company page.  If you enjoy discussions like this, please sign up for our Linked in Group called Southern California Trust Deed Investment Group.

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