Custom Search

Rental Property Intro
Investment Strategy
Property Values 101
Find a Property
Financing Property
Cash Flow Analysis
Landlord 101
FREE Landlord Forms
Landlord Insurance
Tenant/Property Law
Rental Property Tax
Foreclosure Property
Commercial Property
Retirement Savings
Sell Property
Property Definitions
Rental Property Blog
Property News
Real Estate Videos

Follow Me!
Bookmark and Share

"Find a Property to Buy with this Easy 5-Step Framework"

Show Your Love

Buying a property can be time consuming. When I first tried to find a property to buy, I literally drove by more than 100 multi family houses, and physically inspected maybe 30 or so with my agent over the course of a year, before I made my first bid. And I bid on 3 or 4 different properties before I had one under contract. The bottom line is that buying investment property is definitely a "numbers game."

If you're totally new to all of this, you're probably wondering how to dive in to the wonderful world of buying a property. I'll share with you what worked for me, and it involves 5 specific steps to find a property:

  • Find a good real estate agent
  • Practice running the numbers
  • Conduct physical inspections (drive-bys + showings)
  • Make an offer & negotiate
  • Manage the contract & escrow process


Eventually, you will need your own "team," including a real estate agent, mortgage broker, insurance broker, title company, attorney, home inspector, and a handful of trustworthy contractors.

But with the exception of a real estate agent, your team does not need to be assembled right out of the gate. You will gradually assemble it as you go. Click for an overview of how to find your ideal rental property agent.


Ask your new agent to send you all the active 2-4 unit multifamily rental property listings in your target area, and practice running the numbers to identify the most promising ones. Visit my property valuation page to learn how to do this. There you will also find a spreadsheet model that you can use to do rapid-fire "back of the envelope" calculations to quickly screen properties for financial viability.


Once you have a short list of financially viable multifamily rental properties, take some time to do drive-bys. This is a critical aspect of your ability to find a property that makes sense. Whether the numbers work or not, you do not want to purchase any property in an especially bad area (in fact, you'll find that the numbers usually work best in such get what you pay for!). Plus, while not a perfect science, if the outside looks like it's falling apart you may want to pass.

After this process, you will have a list of maybe 3 or 4 properties to look at with your agent, instead of, say, 10 or 15. Have your agent schedule weekly showings, and bring a notebook to jot down notes so you can later use this info to adjust your bid amount. Click here for a free Property Acquisition Checklist to help facilitate this process (you'll need Adobe download a copy, click here).

Keep physically inspecting properties with your agent in this manner every week and do not get discouraged. The majority of rental properties you come across will be poorly maintained and/or overpriced. Tenants beat them up, and many, many landlords could care less about maintaining their investment.

So, buying a property takes time. All I can say is be patient, and remember that the more properties you inspect, the better deal you are likely to get when you finally pull the trigger.


Ok, so you've run a bunch of initial numbers, did a bunch of drive-bys, and physically inspected a bunch of hot prospects with your agent. Finally, you've found a 2-4 unit multifamily rental property you’d like to purchase. Now it's time to coordinate the escrow process, and let the real estate negotiating begin!


Yippee, your offer was accepted! So now what? Well, there are various steps that round out the process of buying rental property:

The process to find a property may seem complicated if you happen to be new to all of this, but it's really not. After you go through the entire process once, you'll find that buying a property is really not long as you know what you're doing!

Return from Buying Rental Property to Homepage

7 Responses to Find a Property to Buy with this Easy 5-Step Framework

  1. joe says:

    What a great blueprint. Thanks. I want to start investing in rental property but was not sure how to get started and this helps me a lot. Thanks again!

  2. masterP says:

    This is really awesome info. It is incredibly difficult to find a property that is worth buying. Without guidance like this you’d have a hard time.

  3. Macy says:

    Very timely info! It’s not hard to find a property worth buying right now but there are still ‘best practices’ that must be followed to get the best possible price. So yes I agree with what you’re saying.

  4. Crazy Steve says:

    If you’re buying rental property that is commercial in nature (large apartment complex, gas station, etc.), loopnet is a great resource. Just my 2 cents.

  5. Maya says:

    Just wish to say your article is as amazing. The clarity in your put up is simply excellent and that i could think you’re knowledgeable on this subject. Well along with your permission allow me to grasp your RSS feed to keep up to date with drawing close post. Thank you 1,000,000 and please carry on the enjoyable work.

  6. Peter says:

    Amazing things here. I’m very glad to see your post. Thank you so much and I am looking forward to touch you. Will you please drop me a e-mail?

  7. Do'h says:

    I just started a new quest to find a property to buy and landlord, and I was shocked at how low the prices have fallen in my area (upstate NY). The last time I was on such a quest prices were 30% higher at least. Makes me wanna drool!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Name *
Email *

footer for rental property investing page