Real Estate Investing - How to Get Started

Sunday, 29 September 2013

You've heard the stories about people making millions in real estate, so is it really any surprise why so many people view real estate as a serious investment vehicle? Real Estate investing offers more security than the stock market and provides returns of at least equal magnitude, coupled with attractive tax benefits. Apart from that it really does sounds cool to be 'in real estate'. Let's face it, anybody can trade stocks from their phone or home computer. Real estate investment, however, is a real head turner whenever it comes to tangible assets.

One of the greatest challenges in real estate investment is finding the money up front to acquire your first real estate investment property. Surprisingly, though, this is not your biggest obstacle. That's right! Finding the cash upfront is NOT the greatest obstacle to real estate investment. Facts are, hardly anyone who buys real estate has the money in their personal account to pay for it. And that's where your banker comes in. Let's face it, do you know anyone who owns their own home? I mean really owns it? Of course you'll know lots of people who have a property in their name they call their own. Take a look, however, into their personal finances and soon you'll discover who really owns their property. It's the bank, of course. Remember, your liability is your bank manager's asset. So if these people can use the bank's money to buy a property, then why can't you?

I know 'owning' your own home may sound like the obvious way to go, but if you really want to get on the first rung of the real estate investment ladder, then this is the best way to get started in real estate investment. Why then is this first step completely overlooked by many people? Just take a look at how many are still renting instead of buying property. Now of course the relationship between rented and private housing prices varies from country to country and even from area to area. But wherever you go you will still find many people renting, simply because in their minds "they don't have enough money to buy a house." In reality, though, it would be much cheaper for them to buy!

When you rent, you are more or less throwing good money down the drain. Of course you have the pleasure of a home, but from the point of view of real estate investing, you are not actually building for the long term. Remember, every dollar you spend on rent is a dollar you will never see again. Whereas if you own your own home, instead of paying rent you are paying your mortgage. And even though there's such a variance in terms of what mortgage deals are on offer across the market, the basics of mortgages are more or less the same. Every month you make a payment which consists of two parts: interest and principle. You might compare the interest part to rent. These dollars are gone once they're paid, however, the part of the payment that goes to the principle is money you keep. Every dollar that is used to pay off the principal is a dollar in YOUR own pocket.

So if you're thinking about getting started in real estate and you don't yet 'own' your own home, now's the time to take your first step towards building capital with your own real estate investment. Financially, it makes sense because the real estate investment vehicle also supplies greater opportunity for building your net worth. Simply put, when real estate prices go up, so does the value of property. Conversely, the money you owe at the bank -- your mortgage -- remains the same. Compare this to the financial reality of those people who continue paying rent. Their net worth remains the same. However, their landlord's net worth is doing very nicely, thank you, and their landlord is happy for the status quo to continue. So if you would rather build your own capital, then consider buying your own home!

Many home owners accumulate more money through appreciation of their property assets than they do working a full time job. Be warned, though, this is not always the case. As you know, the price of real estate can go down as well as up. If for some reason you have to sell your home in a down market, it can be a costly venture. In fact, you wouldn't be the first to end up with a house worth considerably less than the mortgage resting on it. So make sure you don't overstretch yourself financially by taking on too much. In the long run real estate prices have risen, but in any cycle there are down periods. By staying within your limits and being patient, you'll be able to sit tight through the hard times yet profit from the long term upwards trend in real estate investing.