Should I Invest In Real Estate Today?

Lately, I’m finding that lots of my successful – non-real estate investor – friends are wanting to get their foots in the door with real estate investing. This is a sign that the tides are turning because “real” investors are wanting to get in on the deals!

The 5 most common questions that come up include:

1. Is this a good time to invest in real estate?
2. What if the market continues to go down?
3. Is this a good deal – or type of deal – for me to get involved with?
4. What’s the best strategy for this market?
5. How can I protect myself in the current economy?

Let’s take a quick look at each of these questions:

Q. Is this a good time to invest in real estate? It seems like “every” market is THE very best time to get started in real estate! You’ll hear gurus and experts tell you that there’s no time like the current time to invest in real estate, regardless of what the “current” time is!

A. Yes, this is a good time to invest in real estate. In fact, it’s probably one of the best times in recent history to invest, but we are in a different market than we were in just 3-5 years ago, and you’ve got to have the RIGHT strategy for the market. Q. What if the market continues to go down? A. There are lots of opinions on whether the market is poised for a “double dip” or if it’s getting ready to rebound. And since none of us has a crystal ball, we’re all kind of guessing here! But, there are certain markets, and certain areas within certain markets that are alive and doing very well!

The short answer, here, is to invest in your own backyard. This is NOT the time to do deals all over the country (for most people, and especially someone getting started in real estate). And take the time to LEARN your market and what’s going on locally. Then, base your investments off of actual trends and statistics.

Q. Is this a good deal?

A. I probably get a call or two a week from personal friends asking for an unbiased opinion on deals – or types of deals they’re looking at. There are a couple of things to consider when trying to decide if this is a “good deal” or simply an “emotional” reaction.

Here are the 5 things I always look at when someone calls me for advice:

1. Is there currently market activity in the area?
2. What is the “30” day price to sell properties in the neighborhood/community?
3. How much risk will you personally have (credit AND financial)?
4. What are the ACTUAL numbers on the deal including ALL costs?
5. What are your top 3 exit strategies and can you live with each?

Q. What’s the best strategy for this market?

A. Everyone always wants to know the “best” strategy. In other words, they want to know how to make the most money with the least amount of time and effort! The better question is: What’s the best strategy for my particular situation?

This simply depends on what you’re looking to do. Are you looking to build a long-term wealth portfolio? Or are you looking to generate quick cash? Do you have money to put into the deal? Do you have credit? These are just a few of the questions you need to answer objectively to determine the best strategy for your situation!

Q. How Can I Protect Myself In this Economy?

A. This question is generally really asking, “How can I guarantee that I won’t lose money on a deal?” Unfortunately, there are no guarantees. Investing involves risk. In order to minimize your risk, you need evaluate deals carefully and look at the long-term picture. Eventually, real estate WILL appreciate it. Can you afford to hold on to a property “long enough” or can you get in and get out “fast enough”.

The bottom line is that you need to get educated, evaluate deals objectively, and proceed with healthy caution.

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