Basic Rules of Preconstruction Investment Real Estate

by : Phil Laboon



Although the preconstruction real estate investing option has been around for many years and is nothing new, it just recently became well known to the masses and real estate investors all over the world are scouring the web for the best new construction and preconstruction real estate projects in areas where real estate prices are skyrocketing (Baja Mexico, Costa Rica, Bulgaria, Cabo San Lucas, Orlando). While the sudden increase in demand has influenced many legitimate developers to offer more projects and developments, it has also seen the emergence of many ill-prepared developers into the market. Here are just a few ways you can properly screen your preconstruction real estate developer / brokerage and make sure you are not signing with a less then reputable developer:

1. Read Small Print - Before investing in a development, be sure not to fall victim to the curse of the small print. Avoid ending up the subject of those horror stories about real estate investors who are suckered into scandalous contracts with real estate developers. Some real estate developers will not let you sell the property until years after it is finished and others will charge huge penalties if the property is sold early. Always, have an attorney look at every contract before you sign anything.

2. Find a Preconstruction Brokerage - Unless you are VERY well connected in the area's preconstruction market, it's a good idea to go through a real estate brokerage that specializes in preconstruction real estate developments. There are several reasons why using a quality brokerage can help you, but most importantly, they know the developers and can discern between which can ensure quality and which are "accident prone".

3. Research the Developer's Past Projects - If the developer has had huge delays in past preconstruction projects, it will probably happen in the next several projects. Remember that your time is money - even if you get your full deposit back 2 years later, because of constant delays you may lose hundreds of thousands of dollars worth of wasted time and resources.

Note As real estate developers have learned that the word "preconstruction" alone can sell out a project, they have created a new trend in the industry by labeling every phase of the project a "preconstruction phase." Often these are low-quality condo conversions or condotels that are not worth half the asking price. BE SURE you are buying in the actual preconstruction phase before purchasing!!!

Just remember, the bigger the preconstruction real estate market gets, the more you have to watch out for fly-by-night developers and unethical brokerages that don't have your best interests in mind.