One of the best ways to invest your money, if you want to keep it relatively safe and stand a chance of getting a decent return, is to put it into real estate.

    Property is a pretty safe bet when it comes to investments for sure. However, it is not completely risk-free and you are by no means guaranteed a large return on your investment, especially if you just buy the first property that catches your eye and do little to maximize your returns.

    So, real estate is usually a good, but if you want to get the most out of it, there are a few things you should do. Here are some of the most important:

    Renovate, but Don’t Go Overboard

    When you check out homes for sale, as well as keeping your eye on the price and thinking about whether you’ll be able to safely stash your money away in the place, you should be thinking about its renovation possibilities because renovations are one of the best ways to increase the value of your property and make a bigger profit in the long-term.

    Doing things like updating the kitchens and bathrooms, fixing any minor structural problems and updating the decor can all help to add value to real estate. However, you should not get carried away and start doing too much. If you’re tempted to rip the whole place apart and basically start again with nothing but a shell, you probably won’t be able to recoup your costs and make a decent profit. So, renovate, but don’t attempt too much.

    Screen for Good Renters

    When you invest in property, you don’t just leave it standing empty, hoping that your equity will increase enough that you’ll get a good return on your investment – you rent the place out, so that you can cover the mortgage payments and earn some money now, not just in the future. However, it’s important that you take the time to screen, or have your realtor, screen your potential renters to a high degree. Good renters will ensure that your real estate investment is a good one; they’ll pay on time, look after the place and be pleasant to deal with, whereas, bad renters will trash the place, not pay up and make you wish you had never bothered at all, as your potential profits dwindle and you’re forced to fork out, even more, money to repair the damage caused. So, if you do nothing else to this list, be sure to ask for and check renter references carefully and, if you can, meet and get to know applicants before handing them the keys.

    Buy Close to Good Schools

    One way of maximizing your real estate investments and increasing your chances of renting to a good family who will take care of the place is to buy properties that are close to the best schools in the area and other important family amenities such as safe parks. That way, you’ll attract the right people, you’ll be able to charge a little more, and chances are your property will only grow in value.

    These might seem like very simple ideas, but they really can help to maximize real estate investments, so they are well worth thinking about, at least.