Jon Bilous /

Jon Bilous /

Experience is the best teacher — and sometimes the lessons can be cruel.

In the realm of real estate, buying regrettable properties that become money-draining burdens is one version of learning the hard way.

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Another is passing on opportunities that you either didn’t recognize, couldn’t afford or just weren’t in a position to capitalize on, only to watch another investor get rich from your missed chance.

GOBankingRates spoke with two experienced investors, one on the West Coast, one on the East Coast — and some of their experience was very hard fought. They both shared stories about missed opportunities from around a decade ago that they’d probably rather forget — but if they don’t remember what went wrong, they’ll be doomed to repeat their own mistakes.

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A California Investor Mourns Great Deals Never Made

Scott Beloian is a longtime Golden State real estate investor who makes his living about 50 miles east of Los Angeles — and he could be living a whole lot larger if he knew 10 years or so ago what he knows today.

“As the broker/owner of Westcoe Realtors in Riverside, California, I’ve had my share of property opportunities that, in hindsight, would have been outstanding investments,” he said.

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Single-Family Homes in Riverside

Beloian’s first example is a block of single-family homes that were his for the taking in his stomping grounds of Riverside in 2010.

“Back then, these properties were selling for approximately $200,000 each,” he said. “Today, with the area’s growth and continuous development, these homes are now worth around $600,000 each, marking a 200% increase in value. The appreciation is driven by Riverside’s expanding infrastructure and improved quality of life.”

Jurupa Valley Commercial Plots

Beloian’s second missed opportunity was in the nearby Jurupa Valley area, also in 2010.

“Commercial plots were available for under $500,000,” he said. “The region’s commercial potential and strategic location have since shot up, making those same plots worth over $1.5 million today. That’s a 200% rise in property value, influenced primarily by Jurupa Valley’s steady economic growth and business investments.”

A House in Redlands

A little farther to the east, a specific residential property in Redlands makes Beloian wince while thinking of what might have been.

“Around a decade ago, homes in specific desirable neighborhoods were available for about $250,000,” he said. “Now, with the city’s increased desirability and robust community development, these properties have appreciated to over $700,000 — a nearly 180% increase. This area benefited greatly from improved amenities and educational institutions, making it highly sought after.”

However, what Beloian lost in money he gained in knowledge and experience through hard lessons learned — and it’s made him a better investor.

“These cases underline the importance of understanding local market dynamics and having strategic foresight when investing in real estate,” he said. “Leveraging low inventory and interest rates can significantly impact long-term returns. My experience in Riverside’s real estate market has taught me the value of seizing such growth opportunities early.”

A Florida Buyer Missed Pre-Boom Chances To Buy Future Gems Dirt Cheap

Dudi Shamir is a real estate investor and the founder of Proven House Buyers.

He analyzes undervalued properties for a living; and, looking back, he wishes he had trusted his gut with two opportunities around a decade ago, before Florida’s housing market became so saturated and expensive.

“As a real estate investor, I’ve made my share of mistakes,” he said. “But two properties in particular haunt me: a rental property in St. Petersburg’s Grand Central District and a single-family home in Tampa’s Seminole Heights.”

Opportunity Lost in St. Pete

In 2013, the St. Petersburg property Shamir spoke of was a fixer-upper — and dramatically undervalued at around $120,000.

“I was skeptical about the neighborhood’s potential for growth, but what sealed the deal was my own assumption that the area was still recovering from the economic downturn,” he said. “Little did I know that five years later, a new neighborhood would be built just blocks away, sending prices skyrocketing. Today, that same property is worth over $350,000.”

Missing Out on Steep Appreciation in Tampa

Then, there’s the Tampa property, which Shamir likes to think about even less than the missed opportunity in St. Petersburg.

“In 2012, it was a foreclosure that needed some TLC, but it was priced to sell at around $180,000,” he said. “I was tempted to take on the project, but ultimately decided against it. Big mistake. Today, that same property is worth over $500,000. The catalyst for its growth? A strong influx of immigrants to the area, which increased demand and drove up property values.”

Like Beloian, Shamir gained more in terms of knowledge and experience from the ordeals than he lost in forfeited wealth.

“I’ve learned that timing is everything,” he said. “But I’ve also come to realize that sometimes it’s our own biases and assumptions that hold us back from making savvy investments.”

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This article originally appeared on 5 Valuable Properties Real Estate Investors Wish They Had Bought 10 Years Ago

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