HGTV has a weekly program called “Income Property” that St. Cloud investors may find interesting from time to time. The host, Scott McGillivray—himself an income property investor—offers tips and advice on the subject. His insights are solid. They may not be earth-shaking, but it doesn’t hurt that, in addition to being an investor, McGillivray is also a contractor.

Since various levels of rehabilitation can sometimes be the first order of business St. Cloud income property investors need to address, a contractor’s insights are pretty valuable. He recently addressed red flags for non-contractors who are searching through the listings for income property bargains. I have to agree with all of them—at least for St. Cloud investors who don’t consider themselves handy with a hammer (and saw, spackle tool, paint roller, etc.). Among the listing language mentions:

Fixer Upper – couldn’t be clearer. Even for do-it-yourselfers, the possibility that structural elements may be in need of deep rehabbing should be front-of-mind.
Needs a little TLC — most serious investors reserve their tender loving care for family members and pets. This phrasing might be a hint that the TLC needed will ultimately involve an investor’s bank account. Wags have suggested elsewhere that “TLC” can actually mean “OMG”…
All the Work Has Been Done — is a heads-up that a house flip is probably being offered. It certainly doesn’t mean that serious St. Cloud investors should automatically pass up the property, but does mean that the asking price probably includes a margin for the owner/flipper. If the work is up to par, this will likely be a dollars and cents proposition.
Great Potential — if true, terrific (but this gift horse will deserve a serious look into its mouth).
Attention Renovators — a cue to non-contractors that they should probably look elsewhere. It’s an honest call to the pros.

There are other listing phrases that are less definitive. Some of them need skilled interpreters. “BATVAI” is one that means “buyer’s agent to verify all information.” It may seem to be a red flag that the selling agent is nervous about something in the listing—but since agents are expected to enter information they deem reliable, it’s usually reserved for foreclosures.

Not in need of translation at all is the fact that experienced St. Cloud real estate investors—including income property investors—make sure they have thoroughly “kicked the tires” before they make an offer. You can also be pretty sure they will employ a competent home inspector before a deal is done—and that they have made good use of the services of their knowledgeable St. Cloud real estate agent.

If you’d like to look into the terrific current crop of St. Cloud income property opportunities, I’ll be standing by to interpret where necessary—and help every step of the way!