Why You Should Trust Your Gut Feeling When Investing in Real Estate

Posted on 06. Sep, 2010 by in General

While it is true that you mustn’t let emotions cloud your judgment when investing in real estate, Dave Peniuk of LifeAsRealEstateInvestors.com says that you shouldn’t disregard your gut feeling when buying investment properties. As a real estate veteran, he strongly believes that you shouldn’t invest in a house if it is giving you bad vibes. Why does he believe so? Read his post to find out.

Have you ever walked into a building, house, or even the forest and got shivers down your spine? You know what I mean, where your skin crawls and you just feel like something bad happened here. Consciously you aren’t aware of anything bad happening where you are – but somehow you just feel it.

This happened to Julie, my Mom, and myself last week while viewing a property. We had already walked thru 8 other properties that day. Most of them were standard homes without much of a “vibe”. They were just average houses with average decorations, floorplans, and lots. Some were much uglier than others, and some definitely needed more work than others, but most of them were just houses.

But on that particular day a couple of houses gave us really distinct feelings.

The first house gave us such a wonderful feeling. Julie is still talking about how great she felt in that home and when she describes it she lights up and smiles a big wide smile. It was a cute little home that had been occupied by the same couple for 54 years. When you walked in there you just felt the happy memories. The memories of raising children and hosting grandchildren in that home. Nobody was there when we were there yet you could almost hear laughter.  It looked like a lot of happy memories had been made there with family photos every where and you know what? It felt like happy memories had been made there too.

A few houses later we approached the final house on our tour and even as we pulled up to the drive way Julie immediately said she didn’t like the feeling of the home.

It’s not that it looked scary from the outside – it is just how Julie began to feel.

I looked at the backyard and felt “uneasy” about it. Why? I couldn’t tell you. It wasn’t particularly dark or spooky looking, just a backyard with some grass, dirt, and trees.

Julie and my Mom actually opted to walk around the back yard first – which is unusual as we always do that last. But Julie and my Mom both were not really wanting to go in the home. My Mom said she felt her spine tingling and just was uneasy.

I went in with our Realtor and had this feeling “whoosh” over me …. a bad bad feeling. When Julie and my Mom walked in they felt it so strongly they only looked at the dining room and the kitchen and left.

We tried to laugh and joke about the cheery and hilarious kitchen linoleum – which in a different house would have made us smile and tell jokes about the 70′s – but we couldn’t. The bad almost evil feeling remained. My Mom and Julie went right back out the door and after roaming around the upstairs for about 45 seconds, the realtor and I decided to leave as well. We didn’t bother going downstairs to the bottom floor (well, I peaked my head downstairs and proceeded to get even more creeped out), we just headed outside and quickly walked back to our car.

So – you may be asking “what happened there?” Well, I wish I knew…or maybe I don’t…but we haven’t found out IF in fact there ever was anything wrong with the house or even if any known evil things had occured there. But it doesn’t matter, because we certainly won’t be buying the property….at any price. And that is what brings me to the point of this article…it’s the spooky science of real estate investing.

We have spoken before that while you should keep your emotions out of real estate investing, we have also commented on going with your “gut”. And our guts were telling us to get out of that house. This is why it is so important for you to get out and view and FEEL the house. Sure, it may sound corny, but when you view as many houses as we do, you start to get a sense for the “good” houses vs. the “bad” houses. Thankfully, 95% of the houses we see are average or even give us a good vibe, but every once in awhile we come across one of the bad ones. Could we buy it? Sure, the numbers were good on it, it was in our chosen, preferred sub-market and I am sure we could eventually place tenants in it. But why? If all three of us had a bad vibe, why wouldn’t our prospective tenants?

Before you start making offers on houses, get out there and check them out.
If you get an unexplainable feeling as you approach or walk through the house, and it’s not a good feeling, just walk away. I have seen enough scary movies to know that if you buy it, you may just find yourself calling the local exorcist to get those demons out! And really, who wants to deal with all of that anyway?


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