Getting Started in Real Estate Investing

Getting started in real estate investing can be complicated when compared to bank certificates, stocks, bonds or other investments where all you have to do is give your money to a bank and follow their instructions.  Real estate investing is slightly more involved but the returns are much higher.

If you are interested in getting started in real estate investing there are a number of different types of real estate in which you may be interested.  These include:
  • hotel
  • duplexes and fourplexes
  • apartments
  • single-family homes
  • mobile homes
  • RV parks
  • raw land
  • commercial industrial properties
  • retail properties

Single-family homes are often best for inexperienced folks who are interested in getting started in real estate investing.  If you do the appropriate research, you will need almost no cash to purchase these homes and there are plenty of them on the market.

To get started you will first need to make sure you have supplies.  You will need

  • a car
  • a computer to do research
  • a telephone
  • paper and pens
  • maps of the area
  • a small recording device
  • money for the down payment
  • a method to determine property values
  • time
  • motivation
  • energy

You will also need a good team to assist you when you are getting started real estate investing.  Your team will consist of

  • landscapers
  • cleaners
  • a maintenance contractor to fix up the property once you have purchased it
  • Investors
  • Bankers
  • Realtors
  • mortgage brokers
  • insurance agents
  • CPAs
  • real estate attorneys
  • a title company
  • It is also beneficial to have a mentor who is knowledgeable about the process to help you.

Once you have assembled your materials and team, you can follow these steps:

  1. Using zip codes and a map, pick a target area.
  2. Decide on your criteria.  This includes the number of bedrooms and bathrooms as well as parking.  Other criteria are size, age and price range and any extras you want.
  3. Pick a few strategies to start.  Options include finding properties for sale by owner, looking for ads in papers, foreclosures, or empty homes.  Commercial property auctions may also be good.  Real estate can be purchased from banks, Housing and Urban Development and the Veteran’s Administration.
  4. Once you find interesting properties, establish a habit of contacting realtors, auctions, wholesalers, REO bankers and FSBOs daily.  Setting goals of how many to contact every day may be helpful.  Making contact with owners to find potential future properties will also be a good idea.
  5. Expect to see several homes in order to find just one that is acceptable.  The more homes you see, the more successful you will ultimately be.  If you are trying to buy one home in a month, expect to visit fifteen homes in a week.
  6. Do research before your viewing appointment.  Ask your realtor about current values for the home and the after repaired value.  While you are at your viewing appointment, make a list of the necessary repairs.
  7. Be ready to make an offer.  Maps, tax values, comps, your TurboBidder2 results and your MLS sheet are all necessary when making an offer.  Make sure that you will be able to profit when you rent or sell the property.  Prepare all options when making an offer to a homeowner including all cash, cash and terms, or all terms.
  8. Present your offer or place your bid and prepare the contracts.  Make sure to get a signed contract and negotiate to get the most advantageous terms.
  9. Once a contract is signed, get ready for the closing.  Your title company will prepare closing documents and you will need to get the money for the down payment and closing costs.  Always check the documents for mistakes before the closing.
  10. After you have signed the closing papers and bought the property, let the maintenance contractor know the address so that they can do necessary repairs.  Once repairs are done, you are ready to sell or rent your new property.

Getting started in real estate investing can be a fun and rewarding experience.  It may seem complex at first, but if you follow these steps, you will be on your way to a successful real estate investing career.

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