Knowing Your Area: The Backyard Gold Mine
There was a story that was handed down to me a while ago. A couple decided they wanted to be rich by mining for gold. They took their savings and went overseas. After years of searching, and digging, and hiring crews they finally struck gold. After sticking it out and paying miners, fighting off disease, local guerillas, and going through the stresses and dangers, they finally felt they had enough to feel wealthy and flew home. One day their dog was let out into their backyard, and like a lot of dogs, he started digging. To their surprise and dismay, the dog had found as much gold as they had come home with, right in their backyard.
Obviously I'm not telling you to pick up your shovel and start digging holes in your backyard in search of gold. The moral of the story is that you never know what kind of “riches” you have right there in your own local area. There's gems and diamonds in the rough in places you wouldn't even think of looking. Study your market and take a look at all the trends that are happening. You might want to stay out of an area when it comes to real estate investing or wholesaling because it's too desolate, but how are you going to feel if a Whole Foods all of a sudden decided to start building there? Obviously they are going to know something you don't.
There is no such thing as “too much research”. Even the most seasoned investors, wholesalers, and other real estate professionals do their random due diligence. Follow some of the markets, see where a lot of the jobs are about to flow. I can tell you right now for example in Charleston, SC no one anticipated Boeing to come in and take over, causing the economy to sky rocket and the real estate market to jump. When they thought that was over, Dupont, Google, and coming up Volvo, all moved in. More jobs equals improvement on economy, the rest is a domino effect. There's always a way to benefit from either rise or fall of economies, you just have to know your backyard in order to create a better strategy now and for different times to come.