The important first requirement in knowing how to find a hidden gem in Orange County is to know your goals. Beyond that, you need to consider the property’s hidden potential, not just the surface value. What you can do with the property and/or the outlook for property values in the immediate area can make it a hidden gem in more ways than mere price. Local agents and builders can often help you determine a property’s hidden potential.
Beware of Poor Investments
First, keep in mind that a low-priced fixer-upper can often be a poor investment rather than a hidden gem. If needed repairs and renovations turn out to be more than merely cosmetic, walk away fast. If, for example, there are major structural problems or asbestos abatement is required, the cost will be major. This is where it pays to have access to real estate agents, contractors, and inspectors who can help you determine whether a property is a hidden gem or a bad investment.
Look for Undervalued Houses
Typically, under-priced houses are few or difficult to find or have a lot of buyers competing for them or all three. The competition will be especially stiff if the homes are in neighborhoods with appreciation potential.
What you can do, though, is locate such neighborhoods and areas before other investors and buyers do. You will need to research such things as crime statistics, schools, recreation facilities and other amenities, and public transportation access. And then, having done your homework, you can locate the hidden gems before other buyers do. Basically, what you’re trying to do is identify the factors that indicate the next hot real estate market and then make your offer before other investors and buyers do. That’s how to find a hidden gem in Orange County.
Look at Infrastructure Growth
Upcoming and in-progress major infrastructure projects, such as roads and schools, are indicators that an area is thriving economically with a growing population. And these are areas where homes will appreciate considerably (maybe even in the near future) and where the homes are currently hidden gems.
Infrastructure developments can sometimes take years to reach completion, so the sooner you jump in and make your move, the likelier you are to see a greater ROI in the long run. It’s almost a certainty that with major infrastructure developments underway, there will be a demand for housing, which will, in turn, drive property values up.
Expand Your Search
Your chances of finding homes with that coveted hidden value will be greatly increased if you simply expand your search. That way you are more likely to find markets with good growth potential where many homes are currently hidden gems. A good first step here is to peruse the publications that release lists of undervalued and overvalued homes across the country. Looking locally is a good way to start, but don’t limit yourself to just that.
Another good tactic in determining how to find a hidden gem in Orange County is to look in nearby sister cities. Similar towns with a similar desirability tend to cluster together because, for example, they may share a school district. But while home prices may be high in one town, they may be substantially lower in the next town over. A slightly different zip code may be all it takes to find a hidden gem.
Whether you’re looking for a home to live in or for investment purposes, it pays to know how to find a hidden gem in Orange County. The opportunities are definitely out there. It just takes some research, some digging, and some persistence.