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Real Estate Investing 101: Get Started in 10 Steps

Young woman holding a house shaped key ring with a key to her new house, set in the background.Starting as a real estate investor can be daunting, especially when trying to sort through the mountain of available information and advice. Finding someone or a resource who can break down that information into bite-sized actions that you can do right away is critical. A great real estate investing strategy is made up of several interlocking pieces. On the one hand, there is the problem of financing and locating appropriate properties. You must learn to manage your properties and grow your portfolio when you scale those two.

It takes time to develop the ability to manage these various pieces effectively. Most property investors never find a way to do it, so they stay small or abandon real estate investing entirely. Success as a real estate investor is possible, but much depends on how you get started. Hiring a property manager from the beginning is one of the best things you can do. Browse the websites of property managers to find the best one for you.

This article describes the ten most important steps every new property investor should take before purchasing their first property. These steps assist you in laying a strong foundation for future investments. Best of all, these ten steps are simple to implement.


Ten Steps to Begin Your Real Estate Investing Journey

1. Define your goals

It is not enough to say you want to make money; you must also explain why you want to make money. Are you planning to invest in real estate to retire? Is this to allow you to travel around the world? What stage of life are you in, and how much risk are you willing to take?

Close up and focused on man's hand writing on paper with a pen.2. Get your finances in order

Your credit score, income, and level of debt are the three most important aspects of your finances. Your credit score determines whether you qualify for a mortgage and the loan terms. You should be able to afford mortgage payments on two homes. Debt repayment should not exceed 35% of your monthly income.

3. Raise cash for the down payment

Lenders anticipate you will have enough money to pay a home downpayment. This is typically 25% of the house’s value. You should also have enough money to cover the loan’s closing costs and cash reserves to cover six months of mortgage payments.

4. Create your real estate investing strategy

Which type of investor do you want to be: a buy-and-hold or a house flipper? Pick a plan and see it through. Your investment objectives determine the best strategy. Choosing a specific strategy does not bind you to only that one; rather, it allows you to learn that method thoroughly.

5. Evaluate a target market

Stacked Documents With Colorful Paperclips And EyeglassesAs with your investment strategy, you should begin with one location. Concentrating your efforts on a single area allows you to master the art of analyzing markets and deals. Whatever location you choose, consider the following factors: jobs, population, crime rates, public transportation, rent/price ratio, school districts, neighborhood covenants, taxes, and infrastructure.

6. Select a property type

You can easily become lost and overwhelmed if you don’t know what you’re doing in the real estate market. Determine which properties you will invest in right away. Real estate is classified into four types: residential, commercial, industrial, and raw land. Residential properties like single-family or multifamily homes are the best place to begin.

7. Create a profile of your ideal property

This type of profile is based on the numbers behind the investment rather than the home’s outward appearance. Before purchasing your first home, you should examine several properties to learn how to determine the viability of a property as an investment. Make a list of the key numbers that a property must have before you consider it.

8. Line up financing

What financing options are available to you? The best way to finance an investment property depends on your finances, goals, and investment strategy. Conventional mortgages, hard money loans, private lenders, and seller financing are all common options.

small group of business professionals sit around a table as they meet to brainstorm some ideas9. Pull together a strong team

Do not try to go it alone; surround yourself with competent and trustworthy people. Financial advisers, Certified Public Accountants (CPA), mortgage brokers, realtors, attorneys, maintenance men, handypersons, and general contractors are all needed on your team. You will get the best advice if some of your team members are also real estate investors.

10. Consider how you’ll manage the properties

To be a property investor, you will need a property manager. Managing the properties yourself turns what should be a passive investment into a job. A property manager frees up your time so you can do other things. Although, managing your first property during the first year may be a beneficial way to learn the ins and outs of running an income property.

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