How is everyone doing this morning? Fine, I hope!
Where do I even start in terms of this topic? It is such a broad topic, and if you ask 10 different people, you might wind up with 10 different answers and multiple opinions.
Let's look at some of the angles of Real Estate Investing. Basically, the bottom line is that you purchase a property, hold on to it in hopes that the price will appreciate (possibly renting it out while you wait to recoup all or part of your monthly payments), or, you purchase a property and "flip" it, which means buying and selling a property quickly for a profit.
Where can you find properties? Foreclosures have spiked, and the homes that are foreclosed upon are often sold on the steps of the local courthouse (depending on where you are). The problem here is that these are very risky investments. In a story written by Veronica Chufo on the DailyPress.com ("Real estate investing: Is now the time to buy?"), some investors and real estate agents weighed in on the process and the risks involved.
In the article by Chufo, Greg Hatcher, an investor and real estate agent with EZ-Vest Realty, pointed to the fact that a majority of these homes are "underwater" (the value of the home is less than the outstanding mortgage). This means that it would not be a good investment, says Hatcher. There is also the potential for liens on the property, says Hatcher, which would need to examined via a Title Search. One other risk Hatcher mentions, which is probably one that we are all quite familiar with when discussing foreclosures; "an investor can't see inside the house, let alone have an inspection, as a traditional buyer could". In sum, Hatcher says that we would only recommend this to very experienced investors and those that "have cash that they can afford to chance".
A Less-Risky ("safer?") route is to find sellers that must sell, but do have home equity. Hatcher says that real estate agents could be very helpful in your search.
When you find an investment property and you're ready to purchase it, it's time to think about financing. Hatcher says that investors often must have a larger down payment (of about 20 percent), and that they also need money "in reserves and cash for upgrades and closing costs". He said that with lenders, "The theme would be cash is king", since they look for buyers who have liquid funds (lines of credit, cash in the bank, money available in 401(k)s or IRAs, per Hatcher).
What you do with the property boils down to the local market, financing, and your own desires. The typical decision is "Flip or Rent", and this is analyzed by Chufo. Flipping was popular during the Real Estate boom, but has slowed down dramatically, because the "buyer pool has shrunk because lending requirements are stricter", writes Chufo.
The other flavor is buying a home and renting it out (and sell them when the market rebounds). Other buyers, as Chufo refers to them, are "keep and hold" investors (they will act as landlords by renting the properties instead of reselling them). Patti Robertson, a HomeVestors franchisee in Norfolk and president of the Tidewater Real Estate Investors Group, adds that investors are getting "more rental income now than ever before", and she points to higher rental payments vs. lower housing costs. Specifically, she said, "Rents more than cover mortgage payments", and provides "instant cash flow". Of course, it would be a disservice not to mention Rent to Own, in which the home is rented out with an option to buy at a predetermined price during a specific term, i.e. 12-months, 24-months, etc. (Learn More on Rent to Own Homes Here).
To determine rent/hold or flip, Hatcher says that a real estate agent would need to conduct a "market analysis on comparable properties", and a post-rehab value of 75-80% of market value would be favorable to a keep-and-hold investor, but he says that a "flipper" would need a property at a market value (post-rehab) of about 60%.
Investors are still out there scouting for deals, says Chufo. Hatcher suggests that new investors should try to joint venture or partner with more seasoned investors, and can network with other investors via a Real Estate Investors Association (an REIA). One investor, Maryann Krzywicki, has done her homework, and found a business partner. She feels it's a good time to invest, "because it's a buyer's market". Chufo also quotes Patti Robertson (an investor for over 4 years), who is also positive on Real Estate Investing, and says that, "Most people have their money in the stock market right now earning zero, or in the bank earning half a percent. Real estate is on the bottom. It has to go up," she said.
Are you a Real Estate Investor? Are you a potential Real Estate Investor? What is your experience with the Real Estate Market? Please pass along any tips to our friends that are reading this article.
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Have a Great Week, and Happy Rent-to-Owning !
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TAGS: #RealEstateInvesting #foreclosure #fliphomes #renttoown #underwatermortgage #financing #renting #lending #landlord #keepandhold