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Should You Invest in Real Estate?

[Dec 28, 2009.]

 

There are bargains to be had for people ready to buy real estate. But potential real estate investors should consider a few things before swooping in to pick up bargains.

What Is the Goal of Investing?

Anyone interesting in real estate should decide what they want to accomplish with their purchases. Buying and holding property and renting it out can result in a regular income stream. Although many people purchased properties to flip before the housing market crashed, that strategy isn't very feasible in most cases these days. That's because many homes have lost a lot of value and are sitting on the market unable to be sold.

Does the Buyer Need a Mortgage Loan?

Investors who have cash to purchase homes are likely to do well in this real estate market. But anyone relying on getting mortgage loans to purchase properties may have a tougher time. That's because many mortgage lenders are reluctant to loan money to people who don't have the best credit scores and healthy incomes. Buyers who require financing should compare deals from several mortgage lenders or look for other creative financing. Borrowers can search for a mortgage loan here.

Monthly Payments on a Mortgage

Buyers who are already paying on a home mortgage are going to face heavy scrutiny to determine if they can also afford monthly payments on a mortgage for an investment property. A rental property needs to make enough money after all expenses in order for the owner to make the monthly payments on a mortgage. Buyers must be careful to run the numbers to make sure any real estate purchase makes financial sense.

Who Wants to Be a Landlord?

Many people want to own investment property but don't want to headache of being a landlord. Before even purhasing a rental buyers must decide if they plan to handle repairs, maintenance, and collecting rent from tenants. Anyone who doesn't want to be bothered with these tasks needs to hire a property manager.

Buyers Must Understand Housing Market

The U.S. housing market has taken some hard knocks over the past couple years. However, not all cities and states are experiencing the same issues. Real estate investors must familiarize themselves with the conditions in their area to make smart purchases. They should look for real estate investing classes or get plugged into a local real estate investing club.

Investing in real estate can be very lucrative. It's important, however, to learn as much as possible about buying property before taking the plunge.

 

About Author:

Francine L. Huff is a freelance journalist and the author of The 25-Day Money Makeover for Women. She has appeared on a variety of TV and radio shows.

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