Property Virgins Host Sandra Rinomato's Tips For Choosing The Right Neighborhood

Taking the plunge into your first property investment can feel exciting, but it's also pretty scary. About 40% of people stay in their first home for over eight years, so it's important to make the right decision (via Home.LLC). That's why Sandra Rinomato is here to help. For several years, Rinomato starred as the original host of HGTV's hit series, "Property Virgins," a show dedicated to helping first-time homebuyers make wise investments. Buying or selling a home can be a sentimental process, but Rinomato guided participants through the ups and downs to help them find a property they love. In addition to helping them narrow down their options, Rinomato taught participants how to navigate the housing market and make the most of their budget.  

Although she no longer films with "Property Virgins," Rinomato is still dedicated to giving first-time buyers crucial investment advice. She now maintains a vibrant and educational YouTube channel, and after many years of success in the real estate business, Rinomato is sharing her best tips for choosing the right neighborhood before turning the key on a new home. 

Explore the area's true value

One of the most important tips Sandra Rinomato gives to first-time homeowners is to look for neighborhoods with a good track record. As Rinomato says, you'll want "up and coming, not been and gone" (via YouTube). You don't want to buy in an area that's been slowly decreasing over the last decade. Although things can change, a neighborhood that's been slowly decreasing in value will probably continue to decrease, but the flip side is also true. Buying property in an area that continues to appreciate is the best decision a new homeowner can make. 

But you don't have to buy high to sell high. The true value of a home can be much more than its price tag, especially when you consider its location and nearby amenities. Even undesirable places, which Rinomato refers to as black sheep neighborhoods, can still hold great future value. On average, house flipping generates a profit of about $65,000, notes The Motley Fool, and can be even more if the area value increases. For a great investment opportunity, Rinomato recommends looking for affordable homes near high-end neighborhood developments. As the area continues to grow, Rinomato says, "Chances are those established neighborhoods will expand into that [smaller] neighborhood and push property values up." 

Look for buzzing community changes

Choosing the best investment property isn't just a numbers game. To determine if your property will soon be up and coming, Sandra Rinomato suggests looking for three major clues in the community. For the first clue, Rinomato says to follow the artists because "Many artists look for affordable housing and inspiring surroundings" (via Youtube). This is a big hint that the area has natural beauty and a sociable atmosphere. Artists also inject more life into their city, painting murals, making music, and inspiring a community culture. Even street art can increase property values, according to real experts at Benoit Properties. As Rinomato describes, "you'll see the trendy coffee shops and art galleries opening, and that'll give people new reasons to visit town."

Government branches and investment companies may seem like the total opposite of artist communities, but they are your second clue that the area is growing. Rinomato tells buyers to keep their eyes peeled for land developments and new government buildings. These projects are a major expense, so Rinomato says "they will do everything they can to make that neighborhood successful to protect their investment." Even if there aren't many new buildings, changes in zoning and city plans are a third positive clue. "Think previous industrial buildings and warehouses converting to lofts or government offices." Rinomato says, "If every other house on the street is being renovated, you know the area is hot."