Tired of the ongoing flux in the stock market, more and more investors are moving over to real estate. Real estate is a relatively low-risk venture and provides greater certainty than other creative investment options. It is highly unlikely that the vacillating trend of the stock market will be mirrored in real estate. Therefore, if you decide to dive in real estate and buy investment property, it would serve as a profitable diversion as far as investing is concerned.

The real work begins once you have made the decision to buy investment property. Finding a profitable investment property is not a child’s play. It entails a comprehensive research, is a time-consuming task, and requires a lot of reliable contacts. Peruse further for a primer on how to begin with real estate investing.

Before you buy investment property, you must have a rough estimate of the time span for which you plan to own the property. This is because the longer you plan to own the property, the more you need to spend on the upkeep of the property. Small investors usually look for long-term ownership thereby enjoying the benefit of an ongoing rental income. On the other hand, the more experienced of investors quickly flip properties.

It helps to have a network of people who can find profitable investment properties for you. Joining a property owner’s association is also beneficial in making contacts. Almost half the battle is won if you have found a few lucrative investment properties.

To begin with, it is recommended that you leverage your initial few investments, as it’s reckless to put all your personal funds on the line at the outset. Loans can be acquired from banks, credit unions and private brokers, which often require a decent credit score. When you acquire a loan to buy investment property, you would normally have to pay higher interest and monthly payments, compared to when you purchase a property to live in.

Experts say that you should maintain a cash reserve for unforeseen repairs and a contingency plan for vacancy periods. It is also advised that you avert from entering into bidding wars or carrying out emotional purchases. You should rather look strictly at the numbers and discern if the investment is viable or not. If you overpay to acquire a property, it is unlikely that you will be able to recoup your investment.

Every real estate market is different, however, and what works in one locality may not work in another. The main thing is to ensure that the rental income covers the operating expense of the property. If you are aware of such basics, you can very well excel in real estate, no matter where you buy investment property.

Copyright © 2006 Joel Teo. All rights reserved.

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