Always wanted to build a Real Estate empire?
Want to know how to get started?
This 3 part series will get you well on your way with real life examples and experiences using proven techniques for generating huge returns.
The Basics of Real Estate Building
I began investing in real estate at the age of 25 in Jacksonville, Florida, during the crash of the real estate market from 2006 to 2008, a losing venture! I’ve learned a lot since then. During the last 5 years my wife and I began heavily investing in real estate in the Pacific Northwest, purchasing properties in Vancouver, Washington, Hood River and Portland Oregon. We have effectively delivered a 43% return yearly on our investments on average, 4 times the national average. How? Read on to find out.
Right now the real estate market is skyrocketing nationwide, with many homes “flying off the market” in a matter of days, at well over asking price. Is this the right time to buy? This leads to the first lesson in real estate:
A. There is no “right time”, ever.
The market is always going to be volatile, it’s real estate. It is more important to find the right property, in the right neighborhood, for the right price. Stop staying “I missed it”, there is nothing to miss, keep looking; you will find the right place with enough persistence.
B. Stop watching silly home flipping shows.
This not representative of a realistic situation you will find yourself in. Leave flipping to those who do it full time, it is a full time job. Doing this on your spare time, turning a property in months will be costly and not worth your time.
C. Have cash ready to invest.
I don’t care what the real estate books tell you, you need some cash begin with. This can be either out of savings, home equity line of credit (HELOC), or finding investors (friends and family is a good place to start). Down payments are 25% of the purchase price for an investment loan/property, or make it your primary resident (live in it) , and pay as little as 5% down with a conventional mortgage.
D. Build a Return on Investment (ROI) Calculator.
Build a calculator that will determine your return for each property you consider. Include maintenance, taxes, depreciation rates, and forecast for growth. Below I posted a screenshot of an example, and in Part 3: Closing the Deal and Cashing In, I will post a working spreadsheet you can use to make your real estate investments come true!
E. Don’t discount any property.
Look at EVERYTHING. I mean everything: rundown properties, homes with ghost stories, bad neighborhoods, good neighborhoods, even houses that are not for sale. What do I mean by that? If you see a home you like, find the owner, and try to buy it. They may be more open to it than you think and for a great price if you do not involve real estate agents. This also eliminates the competition. Real estate auctions, foreclosures, and short sales are also good places to start. Here is a good start on distressed properties.
F. Find a persistent agent.
Real estate agents that understand what you are looking for and are willing to visit a property an hour after it goes on the market with a flashlight at 9pm. This is especially important if you work full time. The best houses go off the market within days sometimes hours, be the first in.
G. Find a good lender.
A good lender will know you and your finances personally, for every purchase. I like brokers; they are personally involved along the way and tend to close on time (which is important in this market). Establish this relationship before you look, you will need to act fast if you find that right property.
H. Find a good contractor.
Almost any investment property will need work, and the good ones will need a ton of work. Building a strong relationship with a good contractor can take time. Most good contractors are months out and talking to one before you even look will ensure projects will be completed in a timely manner.
Bottom line: Follow these essential guidelines and you are off to a good start. Relationship building is the key to success, start getting involved in the real estate community and contractor community now for long lasting profitable relationships. You will probably make some friends along the way as well.