Real estate has always been considered a good investment. However, smart investing is not simply finding a vacant property and waiting for the income. Many mistakes in judgment can ruin your plan for investing. Experienced investors realize that the type of property, its location, and the general real estate market can have a significant influence on whether it will be a good investment or not. Here are some tips to keep in mind when you begin investing in real estate:
Paying Too Much
Real estate prices can vary widely with market conditions and the expectations of sellers. When you are investing in real estate, you must always ensure that you are getting the lowest entry price for your investment. This strategy can require a great deal of time and leg work, exploring neighbourhoods, sale prices in the neighbourhood and rental rates, but the background work will provide the most accurate information on the value of the property. You can then confidently make your case to the seller for the best deal.
Not Doing Due Diligence
When considering a property for purchase, an investor must be prepared to investigate its current condition, past maintenance, past ownership turnover and other relevant data to determine how likely it will be to produce income on a regular basis. Properties that have had problems in the past may have been patched up for resale, without having the proper repairs done. This situation would pass the problem on to you and could mean a significant expense. Taking the time, at the outset of your search, can help to prevent problems later.
Getting A Poor Financing Deal
Careful attention to your financing of real estate investments can help to ensure a positive cash flow as the years pass. Many investors succumb to the lure of adjustable rates that are very low in the initial years, but balloon to high rates in later years. This increase can undermine your attempts to establish a positive cash flow for the property.
Not Having Sufficient Cash Flow
Ensure that you have sufficient cash flow to tide you over the periods when the rental property is empty. This measure can be critical during slow business periods or during times when purchases are up, while rentals are down.
Underestimating the Expenses
Real estate is not an investment that can be ignored. Regular repair or remodeling projects that are neglected can impact the ability to keep the property rented and can lead to more expensive problems down the road. Evaluating the amount of repairs and maintenance a property will require, in advance of the purchase, can help you to avoid this miscalculation. Surveying companies, such as Harvey Donaldson & Gibson Surveyors, can provide thorough information on the condition of properties.
Not Putting Together A Support Team
You may have done a great deal of study on your own, regarding real estate transactions and management. However, trying to do everything on your own may not provide sufficient expertise to handle the larger issues involved in real estate investment. Having a knowledgeable team that includes a maintenance contractor, accountant, attorney, insurance professional and property management firm can help you with day-to-day problems and specific financial matters regarding this area of investment. Get some names of professionals in these fields, so that you have them on hand whenever a question or problem arises.
Making Real Estate Your Only Investment
For individuals with the time and leisure to do the necessary research and work, real estate can be a lucrative investment. However, thinking that real estate is the fast track to wealth is not a good plan. Real estate markets rise and fall, neighbourhoods go in and out of fashion, populations shift radically depending on economic conditions. Holding real estate in your portfolio is not always a straight upward tick in your financial gains. Investors should always have other financial vehicles in their portfolios to offset any decreases in real estate values, at any given time. In this way, investors can always be winning in some area of the economy.
Not Having An Exit Strategy
In real estate, as in war, you must always know how and when you are going to cash out and take your profit. Many beginning investors put a great deal of thought into how to get into the real estate investment field, but do not even consider the conditions under which they may want, or need, to sell the property. This mistake can be a serious miscalculation that leaves the individual holding the property for too long or having to sell in a seriously depressed market. Always consider how you will take your gains before you purchase a property. Have more than one strategy for making the investment pay off. This method can keep you from scrambling when the time comes to cash out your investment.
Careful research and thought are required to make the most of any real estate investment opportunity. If you keep these tips in mind, you will increase the odds of making a smart decision on your property purchase.