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  by Steve Gillman

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Where should you invest in real estate? If you know an area well, and have enough experience investing in real estate, you can make money almost anywhere. However, there are always places that are better or worse for real estate investments - places that have a better demand/supply ratio. Use the questions below to find them.

Demand Questions

1. Is the population growing fast? Check the US Census figures online, or ask the local government if they have the statistics. Stay away from areas that have little growth.

2. Is job growth decent? Again, ask local authorities or use the census information. You want to see job growth equal to or exceeding population growth. The people have to have money to pay for housing.

3. Decent quality of life? This is subjective, but important. Are there theaters and bookstores? Count coffee shops and cafes. Trendy areas usually have increasing demand for housing. It's also a good indication of a high quality-of-life if people are willing to take lower-paying jobs just to live there.

4. Wealth in the area? It is always a good sign when there is some degree of wealth in a town. Count rich homes. Wealth means everything doesn't die when the economy slows.

Supply Questions

1. How much new construction? The census figures can tell you what's happened over the last ten years. Then check with the local authorities to see if the the number of housing units they've issued permits for is more or less than the expected population growth.
 
     
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