Common Risks Involved in Real Estate Investments

While a good many millionaires will agree that their fortunes were made in real estate, the honest ones will also tell you that they’ve probably lost a few fortunes in real estate along the way. This is a risky business and every property purchased doesn’t always pan out to become a successful investment.

There are many risks involved in real estate investing and you would be going to battle unprepared if you didn’t take a moment to carefully study these risks and work to avoid them when planning your property investment strategy.

Unfortunately, there are very few one size fits all risks for real estate investing, as each type of investing is inherently different. This means that each type of real estate investment will involve a new set of risks.

Below you will find a brief overview of different styles of investing and the common risks that are involved in each.

Rental Properties

This type of investing offers some risks that are unique and some that are also risks when investing in properties that are lease-to-own or rent-to-own as well. First and foremost is the risk of failing to make a profit. If the property in question cannot achieve an adequate monthly income to cover the expenses of operating the property then it is not a solid investment.

Other risks include the risk of getting bad tenants. This is particularly hard on first time investors. Bad tenants are costly and in some cases destructive (which leads to even greater expense).

Vacancies are another risk for rental properties. These properties are only costing money as they sit empty rather than earning money as they were intended. Short turnovers are in your best interest as are long-term tenants.

“Flipped” Properties

This is one of the most enjoyable types of property investments for many ‘hands on’ investors. This allows the investor to roll up his or her sleeves and take an active role in creating the masterpiece that will eventually bring in serious revenue (at least that is the hope). This is also one of the riskier investments, particularly when trying to turn a profit in what is known as a buyer’s market.

The risks are simple but often overlooked and they can have a significant impact on the overall success or failure of the project. First of all, the biggest risk is in paying too much for the property. Other risks include underestimating the costs of repairs, over estimating the ability of the investor to do the work him or herself, taking too much time, experiencing a down turn in the housing market, making the wrong judgment call for the neighborhood, becoming overly ambitious, and getting greedy. Sometimes it is much better to walk away with a lesser profit than to end up loosing money by holding out.

Personal Residence

Keep in mind that your personal home is essentially an investment. The intention is that your home will gain in value over time and that equity in your home will build as you age. There are risks involved in this transaction as well. Buying a home that is in a ‘borderline’ area or one that is not showing obvious signs of growth is one of the biggest risks. This puts your home in the position to lose rather than gain value. This can make your home a burden rather than the investment it was intended to be. Other risks involve is becoming involved in a loan situation that is not at all beneficial (such as an adjustable rate mortgage or an unreasonable balloon payment).

Perhaps the biggest risk of all when purchasing a personal residence as an investment, is failing to get a proper inspection that could rule out potentially costly and even dangerous problems within the home your purchase for you and your family.

Toxic mold is one problem that comes easily to mind that most proper home inspections would almost immediately rule out. Others include structural problems that are costly to repair and dangerous to leave in disrepair. Each of these risks should be considered before an offer is made on any property.

For those seeking to turn impressive profits in short order, real estate is one way in which this can be accomplished. It is in your best interest, however, to be aware of the risks that are involved and take careful steps to minimize those risks. Taking these steps now may cost a little more on the front end but in many cases, the pay off for doing so well outweigh the expenses.

Investing in Real Estate – A Beginners Guide

Many people who are looking for extra income are now looking into real estate investing. With home values increasing, it is an excellent way to earn extra cash, and possibly a gateway to a new and profitable career. You just have to learn the ins and outs of the business.

I would suggest starting out with residential real estate, which is something that most people are familiar with. If you are good with your hands or know someone who is, you will start off with an advantage.

When you are first starting out with investing in houses, you should always look for ugly or bad houses that need a moderate amount of work. These homes are much cheaper to purchase, although they will take some work to improve. You should start out by looking for houses that need some work, such as clean up, painting, and in some cases new carpet. You don’t want to buy something too run down, as it could cost a fortune to repair.

As I stated earlier, if you think of yourself as a handyman and feel that you can do the repairs yourself, you can save a lot of money. On the other hand, if you need to hire someone, you should always make sure that the individual or company that you hire is qualified to do the repairs. If you aren’t comfortable with doing any of the repairs, you should inquire about a subcontractor or company that will do it for a reasonable price, or perhaps a share of the money once you have resold the house.

If the house you are thinking to purchase and resell has any type of structural problems, you should always get an estimate from a reliable contractor before you make the purchase. If you decide to stay in the business, you’ll learn a lot more over the years, although you should always hire a contractor when you first start out. Once you get all of the estimates together, you can make the final decision on how much of an offer you want to make on the property. You should also make sure you can obtain mortgage financing on the house, unless you are able to pay cash.

After you have a team together and successfully renovated and resold several homes, you will begin to feel more confident with buying homes that need repairs. All it takes is time and practice – and you’ll be buying homes that the average investor wouldn’t think twice about. This can be a huge advantage when you are looking for homes to buy and resell, as there will be less competition to worry about. You’ll also be able to get a lower price when buying the home, simply because you can use the cost of the repairs to your advantage.

Once you are able to do repairs on homes, including structural problems, you’ll have a huge advantage in the market. You’ll be able to buy virtually any home, including those that other investors choose to ignore. Doing so can be very profitable for you, especially if the house is in a well known and well desired neighborhood. After you have done the repairs, you can resell the home for a much higher price than you paid to acquire the property.

When you start looking for houses that you can repair and resell, you should always take your time and buy the right homes. You won’t have the money, time, experience, or support to buy the bigger houses at first, which means you won’t have room for mistakes. Once you have purchased and resold a few smaller homes, you’ll eventually be able to work your way up to the bigger homes – which is where the big profits will come into play.

Always keep in mind that when you first start out, you’ll need to take things slowly. You can’t expect profits to come overnight, as it will take you some time to learn. Once you have been at it a few years and have several houses to your credit, you’ll be ready to tackle anything. At that point – you’ll make a lot of money in a career that is truly exciting.

How to Find a Good Real Estate Investment Property

There are many ways in which you can find a great property for your real estate investment. The problem lies in the fact that many would be investors aren’t exactly certain what specific types of investment they wish to make.

Unfortunately, the type of investing will greatly affect the type of property that will best suit your real estate needs. This article focuses on finding a great property for the purpose of flipping or rehabbing a property.

Seek Bargains

This is absolutely a necessary step when it comes to finding properties with excellent potential as flipped properties. Bargains are often sold at bargain prices for a reason. The good news is that many of these reasons are purely cosmetic and quite simple to fix.

Finding a realtor that is willing to work with you for lower prices, bargain properties offer an excellent place to begin. If he or she is a knowledgeable professional you should have access to properties that would have been unavailable to you had you continued the search without the assistance of a professional.

Another great place to find bargains of this nature is to search through foreclosures, auctions, and homes that are preparing to enter into foreclosure. While not always the case, there are many in these situations that are willing to be a bit more flexible with the price.

Never offer full asking price first. Start low and negotiate up. This may lose some properties but in the end it will be a much more profitable venture if you can get the properties you want for a smaller investment.

Know the Neighborhood

Before placing a bid on a potential property for flipping you need to learn as much about the neighborhood as possible. You do not want to place a family home in the middle of a retirement neighborhood, nor do you want to place a potential bachelor pad in that type of area.

You also want to avoid areas that are entering a state of decline, as the rehab efforts are unlikely to achieve the profits you are hoping to receive. Instead, look for bargains in areas that are approaching some sort of renewal or have very low crime and excellent growth potential.

If you are rehabbing a home that is meant to appeal to families make sure the neighborhood is safe, has a relatively low crime rate, access to good schools, and entertainment opportunities that may appeal to families.

These things will affect the price you are likely to be able to expect once the rehab efforts have been completed as well as the type of renovations you will need to perform on the property. Buying a property in an area that you know nothing about is like buying a property without an inspection-which brings me to my next point.

Get a Thorough Inspection

This is one of the most important steps in the process of selecting the perfect property for your real estate investment needs. A qualified inspection will prepare you for any problems that may arise during the course of your work on the home. These are things that will affect the amount of money you should offer on the home, the amount of money you will need to invest in repairs, and the amount of money you can expect once all is said and done.

Failing to have a complete and proper inspection can lead to disaster when the renovations begin costing extra money and time as efforts are undone in order to get to the root of the problems as you go. There are very few things that can save you the time or money that having a decent inspection can manage to save.

Inspections can also make you aware of any structural problems, code problems, and other problems that may mean the difference between this property offering a possible profit or a probable loss. It is much better to be armed with this knowledge before ever making an offer on the property in question.

Realize That You do not Need to Buy the First Property You See

This is an important thing to remember. If the first property doesn’t speak to you, move on until you find one that does. This process is part science and part inspiration. If you are uninspired by a property it is unlikely that this property will suddenly take on a life of its own in order to suit your real estate investment needs.

Keep searching until you find the property that meets all of your needs in order to find the perfect property for your first or your fiftieth flip.