Real Estate Investing 101 – Steps to Get Started

Residential real estate investing is a business task that has waxed and waned in popularity dramatically during the past couple of years. Paradoxically, there always seem to be a lot of people jumping on board with investments such as gold, inventory, and property once the market’s going up and jumping OFF the wagon and following other activities once the market’s slumping. In a means that is human nature, but it also means a lot of real estates investors are earning money on the table.

By understanding the dynamics of your residential real estate investment marketplace, and acting in opposition to the rest of the market, you can often earn more money, as long as you also stick to the property investing fundamentals. 

Property investing, if you’re purchasing a residential or commercial property, is not a get-rich-quick scenario. Sure you can make some quick cash flipping houses if that is your bag, but that is a full-time business activity, not a passive, long term investment. The word “investment” suggests that you’re dedicated to the action for the long haul. Frequently, that’s just what is needed to make money in real estate.

Therefore, while the pundits are yelling about the residential real estate market slump, and the speculators are wondering if this is the base, let us go back to the essentials of residential real estate investing, and find out how to make money investing in real estate for the long term, in great markets, as well as poor. Learn how to start investing in real estate, start here.

A Return To The Basics of Residential Real Estate Investing

When the property is going up, up, upward, investing in real estate may seem easy. All ships rise with a rising tide, and even if you’ve bought a bargain with no equity and no cash flow, you may still make money if you are in the ideal place at the ideal moment.

However, it is difficult to time the market without a great deal of research and market knowledge. A much better strategy is to be certain you understand the four profit centers for residential property investing, and ensure your next residential real estate investment deal takes ALL of these into account. Click here to know more!

1. Cash Flow – How much cash does the residential income property bring in every month, after expenses are paid? This sounds like it ought to be easy to calculate if you know how much the rental income is and how much the mortgage payment is. However, as soon as you factor in everything else that goes into taking care of a rental house – things like vacancy, expenses, repairs and maintenance, bookkeeping, advertising, legal fees, and so on, it begins to add up. I love to use a factor of approximately 40% of this NOI to estimate my property expenses. I use 50% of the NOI as my ballpark goal for debt services. That leaves 10 percent of the NOI as a profit to me. If the deal doesn’t fulfill those parameters, I’m wary.

2. Appreciation – Having the land goes up in value while you own it’s been the most lucrative part about owning property. However, as we have seen recently, real estate can also go DOWN in worth, too. Leverage (your lender in this case) is a mythical sword. It may raise your rate of return if you buy in an appreciating place, but it can also boost your speed of loss when your property goes down in value. For realistic, low-risk real estate investment, plan to hold your home real estate investment property for at least 5 decades. This should give you the capability to weather the ups and downs in the market so that you may see in a time when it makes sense, from a profit perspective.

3. Debt Paydown – Each month when you make that mortgage payment into the bank, a tiny part of it is going to reduce the remainder of your loan. Due to the way mortgages are structured, a generally amortizing loan has a very small amount of debt repay at the start, but if you do manage to keep the loan in place for many years, you’ll notice that as you become closer to the end of the loan term, more and more of your principle is used to retire the debt. Of course, all this presumes you have an amortizing loan in the first place. If you’ve got an interest-only loan, your payments will be lower, but you won’t benefit from any loan cover down. I find that if you are planning to maintain the property for 5-7 decades or less, it is sensible to check at an interest-only loan since the debt pay down you’d accrue in that period is nominal, and it may assist your cash flow to possess interest-only loan, provided that interest rate adjustments upward don’t raise your payments sooner than you were anticipating and ruin your cash flow. If you plan to hold onto the house long duration, and/or you have a fantastic rate of interest, it is sensible to acquire an accruing loan that will eventually reduce the balance of your investment loan and allow it to go away. Make sure you run the numbers in your real estate investing plan to find out whether it is reasonable for you to receive a fixed-rate mortgage or an interest-only loan. Sometimes, it might make sense to refinance your house to raise your cash flow or your rate of return, as opposed to selling it.

4. Tax Write-Offs – For the correct person, tax write-offs can be a big advantage of real estate investing. But they are not the panacea that they’re sometimes made out to be. People that are hit with the AMT (Alternative Minimum Tax), who have a lot of properties but aren’t real estate professionals, or who are not actively involved in their real estate investments might find they are cut away from some of their sweetest tax breaks provided by the IRS. Even worse, investors who concentrate on short-term real estate deals such as flips, rehabs, etc. have their income treated just like EARNED INCOME. The short term capital gains tax rate that they pay is just the same (high) they’d pay if they got the income at a W-2 job. Following a lot of investors got burnt from the 1980s by the Tax Reform Act, a lot of people decided it was a bad idea to invest in real estate solely for the tax breaks. If you meet the requirements, they may be a fantastic profit center, but in general, you should think about them with the frosting on the cake, not the cake itself.

Any residential real estate investing arrangement that stands up under the scrutiny of this fundamentals-oriented lens should maintain your property portfolio along with your pocketbook healthy, whether the residential property investment market goes down, down, or sideways. But if you’re able to use the actual estate market trends to provide you a boost, that’s honest, too. The trick isn’t to rely on anyone “plan” to attempt to offer you oversized gains. Be realistic with your expectations and stick to the principles. Purchase property you can afford and intend to remain invested for the long haul.

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