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All Real Estate is Local

More and more people are investing in real estate. From folks that once relied solely on the stock market to ensure a comfortable retirement to teachers and policeman looking to supplement their income to people seeking a total career change and financial independence. 
There is a lot of good info available online, courses and schools that have sprung up in every city and town, books by experts abound on anything from taxation to flipping to property management, HGTV … and anyone with enough motivation can truly learn enough about the real estate business if they dedicate themselves to it.
But, and there always has to be a significant “but” or else everyone and his mother would be a real estate mogul.
But without a genuine and deep understanding of a particular market, it is highly unlikely for an investor, big or small, to consistently succeed. Certainly they can not maximize their investment dollars without in depth data and local market knowledge. A solid investment strategy, ability to access funding, knowledge about business, taxes and construction is all important. But until you strap on your boots, and pound the pavement, and explore basements, talk to neighbors, learn the terrain, discover the local tools of the trade, eat in the restaurants, shop at the local Home Depot . . .  you will not be able see the real opportunities and the hidden risks.
From the small investor who should understand why the block he is considering buying on is priced lower than two streets over to the large developer who wants to build high end student housing, there is crucial business intelligence out there but only available when you attend neighborhood meetings, read local news, attend area meetups. That’s the only way you will hear the hushed talk about rent control or the failure of the local University to acquire funding for the new dorms to house the increase in accepted students, meaning hundreds will be scrambling for apartments within the 5 block coveted radius of campus.  Real estate is local and you need real local insights to make the right decisions.