Have you ever gone window shopping for clothing? We've all been there, right? When you're just taking a look, knowing full well that you won't be taking out your credit card. Well, window shopping for real estate is just as common.
Consider how many individuals may show up to any given open house. Out of that number, there are likely only a few qualified buyers actually entering that door. Some people make a sport of the window shopping experience. However, as an investor, you should not take the term with a negative connotation.
Seeing apartments which we have to intent on buying serve numerous purposes. For starters, it gives us something to measure up against. We all need benchmarks. What does $1M buy? What does $2M buy? Hey, why even bother being modest, what does $5M buy? Well, find out! You might not be ready for that $5M luxury duplex penthouse with your own private deck and exposed beams, but now you know what money can buy.
Once you know what people who shop for $5M apartments look for, you might have good perspective on great value when you find similar features in a $1M apartment. Take for instance things like floor-to-ceiling windows, exposed beams or unique character. Be familiar with what people in higher price tiers are shopping for. This will ultimately benefit resale value down the line if you identify similar features in a lower-priced apartment.
Be aspirational. Believe me when I say that when you have a vision for something, your mind will work in strange ways to make that dream come true. If you don't go window shopping, you will likely never aspire for bigger or better. Get familiar with what you like, even if you can't afford it at the very moment.
Check in on the market. Do you currently own your property? Maybe you should go to your neighbor's open house just to see what your property is worth. You may be in for a nice surprise when you realize that you have nicer finishes and your neighbor is still making out like a bandit.
So when was the last time you've been window shopping?