One of the many things I enjoy about the Real Estate business is that each property and loan scenario is unique.  Real Estate is not a commodity as every property and borrower has different characteristics that impact value.  A personal or trusted associate property visit before making a hard money loan always provides useful underwriting information and insights.  This blog describes what to look for when visiting a property.  Both positive and negative property characteristics can be determined by a drive by:

Positive Observations:Implication:
Toys on the lawnVerification that a Tenant is leasing the house
Garden hose on the side of the houseThe landlord/tenant/owner is watering the plants and taking care of the landscaping.
Welcome mat at front doorPride of ownership by Tenant and Owner
Real Estate signs on the streetMany sale/lease signs signal a distressed neighborhood.
Paint and Roof in good conditionProperty maintenance and capital improvements taking place


Observations that should cause Concern:Implication:
High number of empty lotsShows a neighborhood that may not be in demand
Vacant houses on the streetDeveloper may have badly overestimated demand and could soon be choking on inventory.  Also could signal pending foreclosures.
Bars on WindowsLack of security in the neighborhood
Real Estate signs on the streetMany sale/lease signs signal a distressed neighborhood.
Trash in the Streets on lawnsNeighborhood may be deteriorating


Pictures on a website or GoogleMaps can be deceiving.  Make sure you get a real person making a real drive by of a property before you lend on your next hard money loan.  Mortgage Vintage, Inc. always makes some kind of property visit.  Do you have any unique stories about a property visit?  We would like to know.  Please submit a post on our Mortgage Vintage, Inc. Facebook Page or our LinkedIn Company page.  If you enjoy discussions like this, please sign up for our Linked in Group called Southern California Trust Deed Investment Group.

Download What to Look for When Driving By a Property