Want to Invest in Real Estate? 7 Questions You Must Ask Yourself Before You Buy Another Real Estate Investment Course

Thursday, October 25, 2012
Here are seven questions to ask yourself.

1. Is this a hobby or a business?

Ask yourself why you want to invest in real estate.

-Do you want another income stream

-Do you want to build equity in a house

-How many sellers and buyers do you want to speak with each day/week/month

-How much time do you have to invest in real estate

-Are you working a full time job

-Are you retired looking for additional income

-What do you want to do with your time?

If you want to build a real estate investing business, then you need to treat it like a business.

Are you going to be a landlord? Then you need to determine how much time you want to spend collecting rent, maintaining the property, making repairs, answering tenant calls late at night, etc.

Or have a property management company handle the tenants and maintenance? Then you need to determine who you will hire to manage your property and how much you will pay them. Typically a property management company will charge one months rent to locate a tenant and then charge 8%-10% of the monthly rent for collecting the rent and answering all calls from the tenant. You still need to set aside a reserve fund for maintenance.

Maybe you don’t want to be a landlord and you want to wholesale property. Then you need to develop a buyer’s list of buyers who have the cash to purchase the house. You will still need to work with sellers to locate properties, get it under contract. You then need to get your wholesale buyer to sign the assignment of contract. And you have to make sure you follow up with the closing agent to make sure the deal is funded by the wholesale buyer and the deal closes. You will get your assignment fee once the deal closes.

Here are the questions you need to ask yourself.

-Do you want to be a landlord

-How much time do you want to put into real estate investing

-Do you want to build a business or just make some extra money once in a while

2. Do you want to work directly with sellers?

There are many investors who want to get into the real estate investing business who don’ t have prior sales experience. Yes, you can call homeowners directly and negotiate the purchase of their home, it is possible. It’s even easier when you are speaking with a motivated seller. I mean a seller that is really motivated to sell, not someone who wants to sell, wants full price for their home and just doesn’t want to wait for the all cash buyer that will pay retail price.

Are you someone that wants to help these motivated sellers? Do you have it in you to hear their stories over and over? Some of these sellers will break your heart and you will want to help them. You have to make sure that you only work with those that you can help and make a profit for yourself. Just because someone is willing to deed you their house does not mean it is a good deal.

Think about a situation where the seller has two mortgages, judgments, and liens on the property. Yes, you can work this as a short sale and get the liens removed and negotiate with the lender to get a smaller settlement for the payoff of the mortgage. You need to decide if you want to put in the time and effort it takes to negotiate the short sale and get the liens removed. I have seen investors in the short sale negotiation process with the lender for anywhere from 2 months to 18 months. Do you want wait months to close the deal?

You need to decide if you want to work directly with homeowners or have someone handle this for you.

3. Do you want to work directly with buyers?

Once you have a house under contract, it is time for you to find your buyer. The best thing you can do is to build a buyers list before you have a property. Find out where the buyers want to live, and then go find a house in that area. It is much easier to find a house for a buyer than it is to find a buyer for a house.

Do you want to take calls from the buyers? They call at all hours, while you are having dinner, before you wake up in the morning, when you are driving to work, etc. Are you willing to drop everything you are doing to take a call from a buyer?

4. Where are you going to get the money?

This is one of the biggest concerns of all real estate investors, where to get the money.

Yes, you can buy a house with little of your own money. Some of the techniques to do this are:

-Buy the house subject-to the existing mortgage

-Have the seller carryback the financing in the form of a note

-Lease/Option the house

You can also build relationships with other people who have money, such as

-Private lenders

-Hard Money Lenders

-Mortgage Brokers

The biggest money concern that you never hear about is where to get the money to market your business. You can buy a house subject-to the existing mortgage. But how do you find that house? You have to continue to MARKET, MARKET, MARKET.

Marketing costs money. That is what most of the gurus forget to tell you. You hear all about how you can buy a house with no money down or little money down. What they don’t tell you is that you have to spend money on marketing to find the house, and money on marketing to find the buyer.

Before you get started, put together a marketing plan so you know how much money you need to get started.

5. Do you want chunks of cash or cash flow?

What is the reason you want to invest in real estate? Are you interested in getting chunks of cash? Cash Flow? Or Both?

What you want out of real estate investing will help you determine what type of real estate investing you want to get into.

If you are looking for chunks of cash, you have a couple of choices. Consider wholesaling or rehabbing (fix and flip).

If you are looking for cash flow, consider landlording, selling a home with seller financing, or be a private lender.

6. Where do you want to invest?

Many investors will start out in their local market because they are familiar with it and they already have some relationships in the area. It’s easiest to start local since you are familiar with house values and have access to local experts to answer your questions.

7. What is your plan to learn more about RE investing?

The most successful real estate investors are those who keep up with the changes in the industry and are constantly learning new techniques.

One of the best things you can do is find a local mentor, someone who is making money investing in your local market. Ideally they should be investing in the area that you are interested in. If you want to wholesale properties, find a local investor who is wholesaling properties. Not only will you ask them to mentor you, but they may buy some of your properties from you.

If you are interested in commercial real estate, then you shouldn’t spend your time with an investor who deals only with single family homes.

Always continue to learn about Real estate investing. There are many gurus that travel the country teaching real estate investing. Ask the people at your REIA whose products they have purchased and whether or not it helped them in their business.

First determine the niche you want to work to get started. Learn everything you can about that specific niche and create income in that niche before you move on to the next niche. Don’t get distracted by the “shiny ball” syndrome.

Real Estate investing can be very lucrative. You need to create a plan, continue to educate yourself, and continue to market for sellers and buyers.

By: → Heather Dunlop

Real Estate Investment Training Courses Teach Investment, But Are They Right?

Thursday, October 18, 2012
It's all about cash and real estate investment training courses teach that investment is a smart idea, but we're going to look at the good and bad here. Not that we are attempting to be too materialistic here but let us accept it, we need some security that would run down thru the years. And that is precisely what a property investment is. Undoubtedly , the benefits that property investment might provide are far many than folk would have first thought. And whilst we do not all have first access on making an investment in property, working on ways to invest on one is a good option when attempting to save and make money in return. If you're more forward looking and would like to see a steadier earnings, you should be investing your money on real state. Your home as an example, would not forever remain as your home if you opt to have it hired or sold one day. Not only would this attract great sums of cash, it might also help you become more secured when you must produce cash in the future.

And the empty land you have acquired today, particularly when it lies in strategic points, could increase in price in the closest future. We are going to offer you the first advantages of property investment. But recall that it isn't all about the pros, it may also offer downsides that will or may not fit folk of all sorts. But who knows, perhaps property investment is for you. Pros you've got the leverage This looks to be the best feature property investment has got in store for you. Look at this scenario-When you are making an investment in the market, your $150 000 would imply a money out of $150 000. However, with property investment, this will only take in the shape of down payment of five pc, ten percent or twenty percent or if you are lucky enough, you can get a duplex, a land property, or a home for zerodown. Now, the appreciation and the depreciation will lie on the particular price of the estate but in case of loss or failure driven by surprising circumstances, your loss would only encounter the particular down you have invested.

The loss you have is also your gain When talking about taxes, real investment offers some of the finest chances of deduction. With property investment, you can remove as much as $25, 000 whilst in portfolio investments, you can only deduct as much as $3000 per annum. To grasp more on this, it's best that you consult a tax strategist who could help provide you with more comprehensive details.

Cons it isn't your get-rich-quick kind of investment If you're looking for turning into a millionaire overnite, this option isn't the right one for you.

It's a waiting game and it takes patience and perfect timing to come out with the best likely return with what you have invested. However, with a small exposure to hazards, your first investments could accelerate at a great speed inside seven to fifteen years. No accuracy of revenues determined Since the return of property investment could not be precisely counted and computed when not seen at its larger scale of details, you can't guess the genuine price of the property.

This only has effects on the determination of the yield though . But it might come pretty straightforward when you would like to know precisely where you are standing. Simply look at you're your statement and you will probably know your earning, just like in the market.

By: → Lou Brown

Top Secrets Real Estate Investors Use To Turbocharge Their Businesses

Thursday, October 11, 2012
Have you ever wondered why some real estate investors seem to make it all look so easy? We have all heard the stories about how one investor made over $100,000 in a week by flipping a house. Or maybe about how another one bought a multimillion dollar apartment complex and walked away with cash at closing.

So how do these people do it? And is it something the average person off the street can learn to do? Well, those are some of the same questions I had when I first started in the business. So I spent months of research and tens of thousands of dollars to learn what strategies these successful people use that the rest of us do not. What follows is a brief summary of what I learned. Some may surprise you, others may not. However, I found these to be common words of wisdom from every successful investor.

1. Real Estate Investing is a Business, Not a Hobby

Every successful real estate investor I know operates their endeavors strictly as a business, even if it's just a part-time thing. This means setting up a Corporation, S-Corp, Limited Liability Company, Limited Partnership, General Partnership, or typically some combination of these entities. Notice I didn't mention Sole-proprietor? Talk to a knowledgeable real estate attorney in you area for a better idea of which ones are right for you and your goals. Not only will the right entities protect you and your ASSets, but will allow you to take advantage of certain tax advantages you would otherwise not have. If you stop reading here and take no other advice from me please, please do this one.

2. Build A Team of Experts

Few, if any, business owners succeed without a team of experts to guide them. These people can save you a tremendous amount of time and money and possibly even legal problems. Your business team should consist of a good real estate attorney who understands the state laws and an accountant. I recommend finding an accountant who is also a real estate investor if possible.

You should also have a realtor in each area you are considering investing in, an appraiser, a home inspector, an escrow company, a mortgage broker, other investors, a general contractor, and an insurance agent. There are other specialist would should also consider for special cases such as an architect, a surveyor, environmental company, etc.

3. Have a Plan

Develop a business plan for your real estate investing venture even if you are not new to it. After all, this is a business and few really reach their potential without a good plan. I promise you, spending a few hours putting it down on paper will be well worth it. And it's always good to revisit your plan often to keep you on target.

4. Network, Network, Network

Real estate is people business. If you haven't done so already, get good at smoozing. Now I don't mean the used car salesman type where you do all the fast talking. Join your local real estate investment club, become a member of a church if you aren't already, volunteer with Habitat For Humanity, just get involved! Get to understand what the seller's or buyer's needs are. This means listening! Get to know what other investors are looking for and who the local "players" are. You may be able to do a partnership on a deal or refer them to a deal that may not be exactly what you're looking for. Above all, treat everyone you meet with respect whether they're your team, sellers, or buyers and they will respect you. If you do these things, more deals will come your way than you can possibly handle. I can think of a lot worse problems to have!

5. Know Your Market

Spend some time getting to know the areas where you plan to invest. Go to some open houses and talk to the agents. Drive the neighborhood and look for the "For Sale By Owner" signs otherwise known as FSBOs. Look for homes that appear vacant or in disrepair. Learn how much homes go for in the area and what the local trends are. Talk to some the local residents and learn what the community is like. Is there crime in the area, how good are the schools, is the area growing, what are the local demographics? This information will serve you well when it comes time to invest.

6. Never Buy A Property Without At Least One Solid Exit Strategy

In real estate, you make your money when you buy, not when you sell. So what am I trying to say here? For each offer you make, you should know exactly how you are going to make your money from it. It could be as a rental for which you should have a positive monthly cash flow. It could be as a rehab and flip for a profit. Or maybe you may offer it as a lease with an option to buy. Or, it could be hold for the equity growth. Run your numbers for each strategy. If the numbers don't work, don't do the deal no matter how much you like the property!

7. Treat Your Agents Like Gold

Real estate agents can make or break your business and a good one is worth their weight in gold. They will do much of the legwork for you and bring you potential deals. They know their areas inside and out and can steer you away from potential problems. They will even find you buyers for your properties as well as show it while you are out looking for more deals. And, they work only for commissions based on the sales price of properties that sell.

However, most real estate investors don't buy and sometimes don't sell property at full market prices. This could directly affect your agent's commission and their motivation to support what you want can diminish. I suggest paying your agents commissions based on market price regardless of the ultimate sales price. Yes, it may impact your profits some but you'll have a very loyal agent. And guess who gets the first phone call when hot property comes up!

8. Don't Be A Hog

The old saying goes, "Pigs get fat, and hogs get slaughtered." The saying holds true in real estate investing as well. Many new investors make the mistake of trying to squeeze out the maximum profit out of every deal and then wonder why they can't find any buyers. Don't be afraid to leave something on the table for the next guy, especially if you're selling to other investors. It's better to make a lot of smaller profits over and over than it is to make one big profit. This strategy should have potential buyers lining up at your door when you have a property to sell.

9. Give Away 10-15% of Everything You Make

I can hear you now, "He said what?!" That's right, give away 10-15% of everything you make. How you decide to do it is up to you, but I warn you, you may have to get creative. Steve, a mentor of mine follows this rule like a religion. In fact, on his very first deal he made about $5,000 which he need desperately, since he had recently lost his job. He was nearly bankrupt but still decided to give away some of his profits. He decided to buy his pastor a new suit, something he had never had in his life. Even though Steve was excited about making the money, the look on his pastor's face when he wore it for the first time made him feel ten times better. By the way, word got around very quickly and before you know it, he had three more deals in the works that profited much, much more.

10. Offers, Offers, Offers!

You'll never make any money if you don't first start with an offer. But for some reason, this seems to be the biggest hurdle for most new investors. I like to use the "Fire, Aim, Ready" approach to making an offer. Don't spend a lot of time trying to figure out what the perfect offer will be, just make one. Most of my offers are made without ever having seen the property. Remember, if the first offer doesn't embarrass you, it's too high. I know of a very successful real estate investor in the Tampa area who once offered $1 for a $14 million golf course! Okay, so he eventually bought it for a little over $2 million and the resold it a couple of weeks later for a tiddy profit. It's only after you have the property under contract that you should spend the time to determine if the price is right or not. Most successful investors will make 25 or more offers a week of which maybe only two or three may eventually end being accepted. Of those, maybe one will make it to closing. But let's see, one deal a week, $5-10,000 profit each....you get the picture.

11. Have Fun

Like any business, real estate investing has its challenges. Sometimes deals fall through at the last minute, renters can be a real pain, or you find out about the sewer line collapsing at one of your properties that needs $15,000 in unexpected expenses to fix it. There will always be obstacles to overcome but the rewards can be well worth it. So have fun with it! If you truly enjoy it, it will show on you and suddenly the problems don't seem like such a big deal anymore.

There are many more tricks to the trade depending upon which niche you decide to invest in. But the basics are the same across the board. Apply these secrets and you too can become the next multimillionaire!

By: → Troy Thomason

Real Estate Investment Trusts (REITs) – a Different Way to Invest in Real Estate

Thursday, October 4, 2012
Real Estate Investment Trusts are securities that invest into real estate and can be traded on the major exchanges or held in a private trust for individual investors. Individuals can invest into REIT's by buying the shares of mutual funds or shares of a non-traded REIT.

Some REIT's invest into a mix of real estate types, while others focus on an industry segment such as hospitality or medical facilities. This flexibility gives investors the opportunity to diversify their overall portfolio and then also within the asset class of real estate by choosing REIT's that invest into various industry parts.

Advantages

High Yields- Many investors are attracted to REIT's for their high interest rate yields. REIT's have on average shown investors an 8% rate of return over the past 10 years, although the returns can be as high as 15% depending on the structure and the portfolio's holdings. These high yields can be reinvested or taken as a current income stream depending on the investor's financial objectives.

Flexibility- Many investors are interested in owning real estate as a portion of their portfolio, yet they are not interested in owning real property. Owning REIT's allows an investor the opportunity to own real estate without owning real property, and with the added flexibility of being able to liquidate traded shares quickly on the market. Also, investors who do not have the capital to buy a property on their own in cash can do so by pooling their investment capital with other investors.

Diversification- Real estate is considered to be its own asset class and when added to a portfolio's mix, it can provide for additional diversification for an investor. Traded REIT's will react to the supply and demand factors of the market, while non- traded REIT's do not, and can offer a more stable investment choice for investors who are looking to buy and hold real estate. Overall, REIT's can offer an important diversification piece for an investor's portfolio.

Disadvantages

Liquidity- Some REIT's are not publicly traded, making them more challenging to liquidate. Non-publicly traded REIT's are designed for an investor with a longer term investment objective and time frame; it is typically recommended for most non-traded REIT's to have a 5-15 year time frame before they require access to their investment capital.

Inverse Relationship to Interest Rates- REIT's have an inverse relationship to interest rates within an economy; when interest rates are rising, the rate of returns on REIT's will decline and vice versa. If the investor owns a REIT that is not publicly traded when interest rates become unfavorable, it may be challenging to liquidate the investment to reposition their portfolio. If the REIT is traded, it will be easier for the investor to reposition their portfolio accordingly to interest rate movements in the economy.

When is a Good Time to Buy?

Generally speaking, like other investments, the best time to buy REIT's is at a low price compared with earnings. One needs to consider the yield and dividend payouts as well.

By: → James Vignione