I was recently on www.azcentral.com and found this interesting article by Eric Tyson. Some very good questions to ask when investing in real estate.
Carefully weigh real-estate investments
Question: I own my home and invested in stocks, but not in real estate that I would rent out. I’m a little intimidated. What advice do you have to help me decide whether I should add real-estate investments to my portfolio of investments?
Answer: Most people can succeed investing in real estate if they’re willing to do their homework, which includes selecting top real-estate professionals.
Here are several important questions to help you decide if you have what it takes to succeed and be happy with real-estate investments that involve managing property.
Do you have sufficient time?
Purchasing and owning investment real estate and being a landlord is time-consuming. If you fail to do your homework before purchasing property, you can end up overpaying or buying real estate with a mess of problems. Interviewing and selecting competent and ethical real-estate professionals takes time. Investigating communities, neighborhoods, zoning and tenant issues will also soak up plenty of hours.
As for managing a property, you can hire a property manager to interview tenants and problem-solve leaky faucets and broken appliances, but doing so costs money and still requires some of your time.
If you already feel that you’re stretched too thin due to work and family responsibilities, real-estate investing — certainly of the time-intensive variety — may not be for you. You may wish to pursue less time-intensive real-estate investments, such as real-estate investment trusts.