Don’t Get Burned: Wichita Investor Richard Rierson on Red Flags to Watch Out for in Real Estate


Real estate investing can be a profitable venture, but it can also be a risky one. Investing in properties without thoroughly researching and understanding their potential risks can result in significant financial losses. This is where due diligence comes in.

This article will explore the importance of due diligence in real estate investing and the red flags to watch out for, as explained by Wichita real estate investor Richard Rierson.

What is Due Diligence in Real Estate Investing?

Due diligence is thoroughly researching and analyzing a property before purchasing. It involves investigating various aspects of the property, including its physical condition, market value, and potential risks. Conducting due diligence helps investors identify potential problems and make informed decisions about whether or not to proceed with a purchase.

Why is Due Diligence Important in Real Estate Investing?

Real estate investments are typically high-value transactions. Therefore, conducting due diligence is crucial to ensure you’re making an informed decision and not taking unnecessary risks. Failing to do so can result in financial losses, legal disputes, and damage to your reputation as an investor.

Red Flags to Watch Out for During Due Diligence

Richard Rierson stresses the importance of looking for red flags during due diligence. Here are some common ones to watch out for:

1. Poor Physical Condition of the Property

A property’s physical condition is an essential factor to consider when conducting due diligence. Signs of neglect or disrepair, such as leaky roofs, cracked foundations, and mold growth, can indicate that the property requires significant repairs or renovations. These repairs can be costly and eat into your profits, so it’s essential to carefully inspect the property’s condition before making a purchase decision.

2. Environmental Hazards

Environmental hazards can pose a significant risk to real estate investors. These hazards may include asbestos, lead-based paint, or underground storage tanks. Environmental hazards can be expensive to remediate, resulting in legal liabilities for the property owner. Therefore, it’s essential to conduct thorough research to identify any potential environmental hazards associated with the property.

Legal issues can also be red flags for real estate investors. These issues may include tenant disputes, zoning violations, outstanding liens, or judgments against the property. These issues can result in legal and financial liabilities for the property owner. Hence, conducting a title search and reviewing any legal documents associated with the property is essential.

4. Neighborhood Issues

The neighborhood in which a property is located can significantly impact its value and potential risks. High crime rates, declining property values, and poor school systems can all be red flags for real estate investors. Therefore, it’s essential to research the neighborhood and surrounding areas to identify potential issues impacting the property’s value.

5. Fluctuating Market Conditions

Real estate markets can be volatile, with values fluctuating rapidly due to economic conditions, supply and demand, and interest rates. These fluctuations can impact the profitability of a real estate investment. Therefore, it’s essential to conduct market research and analyze trends to determine the potential risks associated with the property’s location and market conditions.

In Conclusion

In summary, due diligence is an essential component of real estate investing. It helps investors identify potential risks and make informed decisions about whether or not to proceed with a purchase. Conducting due diligence requires careful research and analysis of various aspects of the property, including its physical condition, potential risks, and market value.

Richard Rierson emphasizes the importance of watching out for red flags during due diligence, such as poor physical conditions, environmental hazards, legal issues, neighborhood issues, and fluctuating market conditions. By keeping an eye out for these red flags, real estate investors can make informed decisions and avoid potential financial and legal liabilities.