One of the hazards of the ease of Internet real estate shopping is the urge to buy properties without seeing them first. They look good on the screen, so they should look good in person—right? Unfortunately not always. A good picture can hide a multitude of flaws and some items that may require fixing can only be determined by close inspection.
Another temptation is to buy property out of your area since it is so easy to find real estate all over the country. This can be fun if you have the money to travel but don’t be tempted to snap up that great deal unless you can take a look first: you don’t need to end up with swamp land, or a house that has dry rot. There are so many ways to use the Internet to make your real estate business profitable. You can find homes in distress, being foreclosed on, even facilitate a finder’s service but that doesn’t mean you do not have to do any legwork. Use the Internet wisely and constructively and it will cut your travel and time down considerably but not completely.
There are other benefits to viewing a property onsite. You get a better feel for the neighborhood, you can talk to neighboring property owners, find out where local conveniences are located, all aspects that can help you build a marketing plan for your property once you are ready to sell/rent it.
Can you ever buy property sight unseen? Sure, but be prepared. You will need to do a lot more research, and hope that your sources for information on the area are accurate and upfront. Doing the extra investigation can cost you a quick sale. Good deals often move too quickly to allow for such off-site research. Buying without seeing the property is a big gamble: it could pay off in aces, or could land you with a big dud that sits on the market for years. If you like taking chances, go for it, but know what you are getting into.