Real Estate Investing - 101

by : Charrissa Cawley

If you have ever thought about investing in real estate, now is the time. You may be thinking that since the real estate market is in the tank at the moment and that it can't possibly be a good time to get into this market. But you couldn't be more wrong! There are more foreclosures than ever right now and that presents a ton of opportunity for us investors who have been waiting for prices like what we are now seeing. I know the media is out there saying the sky is falling. However, there are many successful investors quietly sitting back and laughing as they make money hand over fist. Let me let you in on a little secret that all successful investors know...The time to buy is now!

It's the perfect time to get involved right now as a real estate investor. Lenders are currently finding themselves in situations where they have loans that are not getting paid, and home owners are being forced into foreclosure everywhere you turn. There are banks all over the place with so much inventory, they don't know what to do with it. They simply cannot move it quickly enough. There are also thousands of incredibly motivated sellers just waiting for someone to come along and save them from foreclosure. That 'someone', could be you.

There are a few things that you should keep in mind before getting started:

1) Never pay too much for your investment property. There are plenty of homes available for very reasonable prices. You make your money when you buy! You should never pay more than 65% of the after repaired value of the home. Don't forget that you will have other costs to pay, such as holding costs, closing costs, as well as any money that you spend on the rehab of the home to bring it up to rentable or saleable condition. Bottom line, you need to be able to still turn a profit.

2) Use none or as little of your own money as possible when you purchase an investment property, if at all possible. If you are using your own money, you will be limiting your own cash flow. You can borrow money from a conventional lender and put as little down as possible, or you can also get a hard money loan for the cost of the property and the rehab costs.

3) Don't do your own renovations. You have probably seen them on TV shows, those house flipping pros doing their own rehab work. However, you won't be able to do more than one flip at a time if you're doing your own work. You need a solid power team, including reputable skilled contractors who will fulfill this end of things.

4) To get great deals, buy from motivated sellers. Banks are quite motivated these days, being that they have so much inventory right now due to all the foreclosures. There is also a system to find motivated sellers out there called the Four D's. Look for them. They are: Death, Divorce, Disaster, Disease. All of these reasons will produce motivated sellers and you will be helping these folks out who have been hit by these types of life events, by purchasing their home before they go into foreclosure.

5) He who mentions dollar amounts first loses. It's a known fact. The first rule of negotiation is to wait for the other person to name a price. List all of the items on the rehab punch list during the counteroffer phase, as negotiating power.

6) Finally, The best thing that you can do for your own success in real estate is follow and focus on a tried and true system for investing in real estate. Find something that resonates with you, stick to it, focus on it and take action-that's where most folks fall short. Just do it! Stick to a tried and true system and you will be making money in no time at all.