Wondering where to start investing in Omaha real estate? Before buying anything, do your due diligence. In this article, we cover some online resources every Omaha investor should know!
Like every sector of the economy, real estate investment research is going online. This allows us to find tremendous hordes of information quickly and levels the playing field. Public information can answer most questions and is accessible with little effort. We’ve identified a few good places to start your research. We hope this will shorten your journey.
The MLS Listings
The Omaha market is a little unique in that we have a large inventory of distressed homes. Not like Detroit, but more than most. That means there are some great deals on the MLS. A more productive use is to find price history, market history, trends, and other data that have been neatly consolidated for you. The Great Plains Regional MLS covers Omaha and the data is accessible through several websites, like realtor.com, zillow.com, redfin.com, and others. Zillow can provide great neighborhood insights with its Zestimate of home values, but you need to dig into the data for individual homes to make your own evaluation.
Your Local Property Appraiser’s Website
The county property appraiser’s website is an excellent source for ownership information, property tax data, maps, and sales history. Each county is different, so research how each works and save the critical pages with a bookmark. For Douglas County Nebraska, you’ll need the Accessor’s Site and the GIS Mapping Site. The maps allow you to research specific addresses and find properties geographically. Keep in mind that some data requires you to contact the county directly to get answers. The staff in most counties are helpful if you are friendly and respectful. They can help you find anything that’s public information.
Using Google Maps can bring driving for dollars into the modern age. While you can still find great investment opportunities simply by driving the neighborhood, you can now do the same thing using Google Maps. You can use the street view function to drop down into the neighborhood to see what’s going on. What types of businesses are in the area and even real-time traffic data. Learning these kinds of details about an area can give you an edge when making a real estate investment.
You’ll want to make sure the images you view are relatively new. If the maps are a few years old, a lot may have changed. You should also keep in mind that you will only be able to see the front of the house. The backyard and inside of the home can be something different altogether. – Use slider to view changes over time.
Keep an eye on HUD homes for sale in your area. It can be a great place to find discounted properties that aren’t listed on the MLS for other buyers to see. You will likely have some competition from other investment buyers, so get your offer in right away. You will also need to be able to close on the house quickly, so have all your ducks in a row before buying a house in this manner.
Inman is known as one of the leading sources for real estate investment news. The site does require a subscription fee that some people may balk at the abundance of free information out there on real estate. However, Inman’s consistently relative content combined with there ability to report on the most current real estate trends, allow you to get your information quickly, without having to search the web for it. There are many agents who receive a free subscription to Inman as a member of their local MLS.
Peerstreet & Fundwise
Peerstreet and Fundwise are two great ways for the novice investor to get their feet wet with real estate investment. They are crowdfunding platforms that will allow even the most novice real estate investor get their feet wet by investing with many others into different real estate projects. Investing with these companies is very similar to investing in a REIT. You will be able to invest in real estate while leaving all the work to others. There are long term options as well as options that will pay out your dividends right away. You will have to find the plan that works best to help you reach your goals.
There are many great online resources out there for investors who want to learn more about real estate and find the best deals available in the area. However, Chenoa Investment can help to answer many of your questions about buying investment properties in the Omaha area. By utilizing our local knowledge and experience we will help you to find the best investment properties out there, without having to worry about agent fees or commission costs.