It’s easy to spot a bad real estate investment property. It looks worn down, it’s in a bad location, etc. But what are the indicators of a good investment?

Forbes’ recently asked a panel of its real estate council members which aspects of a property they would consider a sign of investment potential. The panel cited a number of good omens, but some of them certainly pertain to local properties here in Northeast Wisconsin.

So you don’t need to move to Silicon Valley (although those options are crazy fun to look at) to find good real estate investment opportunities.


It sounds simple, but often times the best ideas are. The panel cited easy access to transit, shopping, and parks, which determine a neighborhood’s “walkability.” Since our area is mostly devoid of major metropolitan areas, a lot of our communities would be considered walkable.

Highly-rated School Systems

A property’s value can be greatly increased by a highly-rated school system. If a property is old or in poor condition, flipping it and selling it in a city with a great school system will see your investment skyrocket.

It’s Near a Body of Water

Lake Winnebago, anybody? Water is always the most desirable real estate, and it doesn’t have to be on the Pacific Ocean in Orange County. There are a small supply of houses built on the water, so demand will always be high.

In-Progress Commercial Projects

Some of the areas in Northeast Wisconsin continue to grow. If you’re aware of which areas those are, snatching up real estate in those areas is a smart play. Once those cities fill in with new restaurants or stores, or even renovations, the value of your property will increase.

The panel also mentions things like steady market appreciation, increasing retail sales, signs of new growth, and residential and road expansion that could also apply to some of our local areas. So if you’re looking to invest in real estate anytime soon, look for these indicators that will point you in the direction of a solid property.