How to find the next real estate hot spot

Here’s another of Dianne Nice’s columns – this one is all about what you need to consider when you’re buying a home and want to maximize your investment.

It may be ironic for an author of real estate tips books to advise people not to act on tips, but Don Campbell is adamant that buyers do their groundwork before they invest in the next housing “hot spot.”

“I have seen too many people buy a property based on what someone tells them, rather than do their own homework,” says Mr. Campbell, president of the Real Estate Investment Network. “This leads to disaster so many times.”

If you’ve heard that a certain neighbourhood is poised for growth, that’s just the first step, he says. Before you invest a dime, you need to verify the information. Read the minutes of council meetings, ask local politicians whether the leadership is focused on bringing new jobs and growth to the area, and check for a written renewal plan at the municipal planning department.

“You can actually see what’s coming if you get one of those reports on the neighbourhood,” Mr. Campbell says. “You just have to have patience, like most investors should.”

Before you buy, drive around the neighbourhood, he advises. Look for renewed signs of pride of ownership that weren’t there before – a sure sign that renewal is under way.

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