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  by Chris Anderson, PhD

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As part of a new web site that we just launched,
www.GetPreconstructionDeals.com, I get repeated requests asking if a particular deal is good or not. While we can't answer this for individual projects, we can certainly look at what HAS to get done by the investor to dramatically increase the odds of a successful transaction.

Step 1 is always to determine the fair market value(FMV). As a real estate investor, you can always buy properties at the FMV. My question is why would anybody want to do that? Through careful selection, you can always find properties that are priced below FMV, regardless if they are existing or if they are a preconstruction project. The best way to determine FMV is to work with someone already familiar with the area or determine yourself through local websites showing recent sales histories.

Step 2 is to then determine the market trend for the area for which there are two critical pieces: 1) is the average price increasing AND 2) is the volume of sales increasing. If both are moving in your favor, then you have the comfort of knowing that the right trend is in place to keep prices moving forward. In stock market investing, there is the saying that the trend is your friend and traders frequently observe price and volume data to confirm the trend. If a hotly priced real estate market shows signs of dropping in volume, be very careful.

Step 3 is to learn about supply, especially in the preconstruction marketplace. In some areas, there are very few projects on the books and in others, there are 15,000+ units expected to emerge within 1 zipcode, in 1 year. Same is true for investing in houses. In you are competing with a bunch of new houses that are coming on-line, then rapid price escalation may be limited. For most savvy investors, they like to see lots of demand with very little supply which is nothing more than common sense.
 
     
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