Where to Invest in Real Estate? Look for Cues in Your Community


You’ve decided that making an investment in real estate is the right choice for you. Maybe you already have the perfect location chosen, or you know the property or project that you want. But sometimes, “investment” seems like a more nebulous term, something conjured by well-heeled businesspeople in wood-paneled offices. Fortunately, that isn’t the case. Real estate investing can be a much more accessible prospect, easy to navigate—you just need to look for cues already within your community.

For example, in San Diego, work is continuing on the Mid-Coast Trolley to University City, due for completion in 2021. The trolley light rail is part of a $1.8 billion-dollar project. When you hear about this kind of budget, your investment Spidey-senses should prick up. The trolley line will make transportation throughout the area easier and will improve parking. The younger generations are looking for smaller urban properties where they can easily get where they need to go without a car. Are there locations that would be ideal for a multi-unit property? Or for a mixed-use structure, with room for smaller, locally-driven businesses and pop-ups to flourish?

2021 may seem like a long time away. In actuality, it’s closer than we’d like to imagine. Property development takes time, from the initial vision to impact studies to appraisals to the planning and construction. When you’re looking for cues in your community, you don’t want to wait until you’re the last person jumping on that (trolley) car or that hot piece of property, wherever it is.

Metro stops, new urban businesses, new landmarks—all these can be signs of what’s to come to a city, or even a smaller neighborhood. Real estate investing is about taking long views and looking at big pictures, about imagining what could be as opposed to simply looking at what is. You want to have a keen sense of trends in housing and development, which takes a little bit of research. But what to do if you’re at a loss for how to enter the world of real estate investment?

Another option at your disposal is to look for companies that have properties in the planning stages and are actively looking for investors. One of the benefits of this is that the leg work has been done for you. Make sure that these companies are experienced, have a portfolio of properties already developed or in-progress, and have a good reputation. If you’re not in a high-stakes game that involves billion-dollar projects, look for established companies in the area, with a solid foundation already in the community. They already know the ins-and-outs of the local government and have a sense of the coming trends: what will actually work for the community.

At Murfey Company, we are experienced at every type of building project, from single family homes to offices to multi-use development projects, as well as renovations for your home or business. For more information on real estate investing or to take a look at our development projects, visit us at