Is there a trend report that I could get. I live in a small town, and would like to invest here.
Contact any realtor in your area and they’ll be able to use the MLS (Multiple Listing Service) to get comparables and trends for you. If it’s long-term rental property that you’re interested in do a rent survey to see what the potential income will be. If it’s a rehab/flip house, make sure to find out the average DOM (Days on Market), as it may be substantial if you’re in a smaller town or city. You’ll be responsible for all holding costs while you own the property (property tax, water and electrical bill, insurance, and morgage), and if you can’t get rid of it for 6 months these costs may be substantial.
Last and definitely not least, make sure you understand the tax law regarding real estate. If you don’t have one, you’ll wish to create a new business entity for your real estate such as an LLC (Limited Liability Company) or S-Corp (S-Corporation). If you do the business under your own name you’ll be operating as a Sole Proprietorship and all of your personal assets will be at risk if something were to go wrong and you were sued, not to mention you’d be liable for over 40% tax on the profit if you sell it (25% at ordinary income, 15.3 percent self employment tax).
There are multiple websites on the 'net that allow you to create an LLC/S-Corp, and the fee is minimal for the taxation and asset protection benefits it awards you. In my state (wisconsin) the fee to incorporate is only $100, and to form an LLC is $130. If you expect an attorney to do it for you, though, it’ll cost upwards of $1000. It’s a simple form, so do it yourself if you can.