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How to invest in real estate

Ryan / Inv Images
Ryan / Inv ImagesHow to invest in real estate

(Investing in real estate can seem a formidable task for the first time home investor, but there are steps you can take to make the process as painless as possible.)

You may want to invest in real estate because you need to live in your own home. Or you may want to invest because you want to make money in the long or short run – depending on market conditions of course. Fortunately, in most countries you can get loans which will pay for your investment and if you flip it, you can recover your money and even make more.

When to buy

If you are buying a house to live in, there is no right time to buy. However, if the market is very overheated, you may want to live on rent for sometime, till the market cools down, and then invest. Otherwise you can be stuck with huge mortgage payments on a properly whose value is going down.

Of course, in a high market, rents are also high, so you may have to compromise on the area you live in. When the market is low, that is definitely the right time to buy. If you already have a house, and you have enough credit to get another mortgage or loan, you can consider buying another property. In highly populated areas, property rates will go up with time, anyway.

Looking for property below market price

Occasionally you can get a good deal and get property even below the market price. This may happen when the property is about to get foreclosed. It can also happen if the property requires some renovation or work done.

You can even get lucky if there is a distress sale – sometimes properties need to be sold fast and the owner does not mind selling below market price because he requires the money.

Where to buy

It is always better to buy in an area which is up coming rather than depressed, unless the depressed area is coming in for redevelopment. There are many old areas in different parts which may get ‘gentrified’ with time. It is already happening in many places. However, you should have the capacity to buy and hold.

If the property you are looking at has a good view or has good schools, its value will appreciate faster. Check the location of amenities and conveniences around – all of which add to the value of the property.

Renting it out or selling

If you are buying a property to live in, you probably have some requirements which you need to be fulfilled before buying. So you will select a place accordingly. However, if you are planning to rent out the property, try and see that the rent will cover most if not all the mortgage payments. As the property appreciates in value, rents will also go up and eventually the property will become free for you.

Some properties can be resold after getting work done and improving the place a bit. Occasionally you may be able to flip the property immediately, particularly if it is in good condition to begin with and you have bought it at a low price. Just keep in mind that if you make profits by buying and selling property, you have to pay taxes, so factor those in.

Your finances

You should have all your finances in order before making a bid for a property. See how much of a loan you can get, how much down payment you need to make and what are the interest rates that the lending company is offering you. If you shop around, you can get good deals on interest rates as well.