As a real estate investor, you know there’s no substitute for market knowledge and information. The good news is that there are many online tools to help you get started in your investing journey.
When it comes to closing costs, you can’t always trust listing information. Some properties might be marked as “no closing costs” because the seller is covering all costs, but this doesn’t mean there aren’t any.
ClosingCorp gives you access to detailed reports on each property’s estimated fees and allows you to compare your total costs across multiple properties or neighborhoods. You’ll know what to expect before making an offer and won’t get surprised by additional fees after the fact.
OpenStreetMap has become one of the most powerful tools for real estate investors, and it’s free to use. This map allows you to see neighborhood boundaries, which is particularly valuable when deciding whether to buy a property.
It works like Wikipedia, where contributors provide the information, so take the data with a grain of salt. It might not be that updated. Nevertheless, it’s a powerful tool to use in your real estate investing research.
3. Property Shark
Property Shark is the largest single source for public property data in the United. It provides investors with valuable information about properties, including sales history, address details, tax records, and more. It also allows you to get alerts when changes occur in properties you are following.
4. Walk Score
Walk Score provides real estate investors with a list of nearby amenities, including grocery stores, parks, restaurants, and more. It also gives scores out of 100 for each neighborhood based on factors such as “somewhat walkable” or “very walkable.”
This is an especially valuable tool for investors looking to walk neighborhoods since it helps them choose properties within walking distance of essential amenities.
5. Fund-Flip Solutions
Do you want to fix and flip houses? Look for fund-flip solutions, which work like all-in-one support for real estate investors.
Its process includes talking to a financial and rehab specialist, which also incorporates investor platforms to search for listings and track data. It also connects you to hard money lenders.
Hard money loans don’t work the same way as conventional mortgages. Lenders here prioritize the property’s value, which serves as your collateral. Even if you don’t have an excellent credit score or debt-to-income ratio, you can qualify.
StreetEasy is one of the best all-around sites out there if you’re buying real estate in New York. It has every piece of information you could need about properties, including listings, price histories, reports on neighborhood characteristics (crime, population density, etc.), and house evaluations.
The site also allows you to search for specific types of houses within a budget range—for example, if you’re looking for a 3-bedroom condo for less than $500,000 on the Upper West Side of Manhattan.
7. Google Maps
Google Maps is one of the most popular mapping tools because it’s easy, free, and readily accessible anywhere in the world. Google Maps can be helpful when you’re trying to find properties in your area or surrounding areas—type “real estate” into the search bar.
You can view maps using satellite imagery, which maps out the area in color, with red for mountains and blue for bodies of water. You can also see roadways on this map, which is especially helpful when viewing properties around the country.
8. Zillow FaceTime
One of the most extensive property listings in the country, Zillow leverages Shareplay support by integrating FaceTime in its features. With this, you can visit a property while video-calling friends and family (or even other real estate investors and partners). You can also browse galleries together.
This new feature offers many benefits. First, you can easily show investors and partners the properties you’re looking to purchase, saving time and money. Second, it’s a highly social tool because you can interact with friends while viewing properties.
9. Google Drive
Real estate investors need to be on top of their documents—but it can be a pain in the neck. This is where Google Drive comes in. It’s a project collaboration tool that uses the cloud to offer a safe, secure means of sharing documents with your partners.
With it, you can create and edit documents, spreadsheets, and presentations with your partners. You can also share notes within each app to discuss ideas. All these edits will become part of a local copy that you and your team members can view offline.
As one of the most popular messaging tools, Slack works similarly to email but with a more convenient interface. It lets you view your emails in an inbox format that makes it easier to manage projects.
Slack also has various integrations, which connect with other programs to streamline work processes.
One of the most important things to do as a new investor is to find out what you can about your market and dig deep into research. Begin your journey with these real estate investing tools.