Real Estate 101: Ten Tips On Getting Started
Anyone can get started in real estate, from the minimum
wage earner to the millionaire tycoon! It's just a matter
of setting your goals on what type of investor you want to
be, and getting the right 'team' in place to make your
goals happen. Here are 10 tips on how to get started in
the world of real estate:
1) Set your goals: Do you want to concentrate on
multi-family, single-family, commercial or apartment
buildings? Do you want to buy and sell (also called
flipping or capital gain) or do you want to buy and rent to
a tenant? (known as monthly cash flow)
2) Do your homework: Is there a particular area you'd like
to invest? Study the neighbourhoods. What is the crime rate
like? Are there a lot of rentals in the area? What is the
vacancy rate like?
3) Stick close to home. Buy within a 60-90 minute driving
distance. When the tenant's pipes burst, you don't want to
be driving halfway across the country to fix them.
4) Talk to a mortgage broker. Discuss your goals and plans
with them. They will tell you what you qualify for. Don't
get discouraged if you can't purchase the castle on the
hill! You may have to start with the small cottage by the
lake. A mortgage broker will go to the banks and find the
best deal for you. Best of all, they're free - they get
paid by the bank not by you.
5) Realize that you are going to make mistakes. Learn from
them instead of running away and burying your head in the
sand! What will you do differently next time?
6) Treat your tenants like gold. Remember, they are paying
your mortgage! Treat them with the respect that they
deserve. Treat them well, and they will treat you well.
7) Get to know your province's/state's Landlord and Tenant
laws - very well! Most of these laws are made for the
tenant's protection, not the landlord's.
8) Do a background check on all potential tenants. This may
cost you a few dollars for each background check - but it
will be a lot less than if they rent from you and destroy
9) Buy books, read newspapers, talk to other real estate
investors. But beware to not buy on 'hot tips'. This is
never a good idea and usually a recipe for disaster.
10) Find a good real estate agent, preferably one who
specialized in rental properties or investing. Again, trust
your instinct and make sure he/she has your best interests
Like everything else worthwhile, real estate investing can
be a fun and exciting adventure. Do your homework, your due
diligence and trust your instincts. Start small and have
clear goals in place.
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