As the result of an on-going discussion among some friends, I'm looking for some good real estate investment resources (residential, not commercial). Namely, I'd like to find any or all of the following:
- Web sites
- A local REI (Real Estate Investment) club
- Someone local who's been at it a while
- Bloggers who have written or still to write about it
Nothing may come of this, but I've gone past the "idle curiosity" phase and am moving into the "gather information" phase.
Does anyone reading this happen to dabble in the real estate market and want to chat or exchange a bit of e-mail? Anyone local? I'd gladly buy you dinner in exchange for a bit of your experience.
Some initial web searches and rummaging around have uncovered an assload (technical term) of sites that seem to have been designed to sleazy SEO companies in a not so futile effort to abuse PageRank. Needless to say, they are not helpful.
Posted by jzawodn at July 06, 2004 10:47 PM
Worth a read before you make any significant cash outlays:
How to Profit from the Coming Real Estate Bust:
Money-Making Strategies for the End of the Housing Bubble
It's not the imminent doom and gloom book that it sounds like. It does a great job of explaining the price surges in recent years, and should give you some things to look out for -- espectially select (geographic) areas where you should think twice before investing.
The book also explains the methods the banks are using to finance houses, which completely changed when Fannie Mae/Freddie Mac moved to the split risk derivatives in the mid 90s. Many mortgage companies are so isolated from risk by the new system that they've started selecting appraisers who net them bigger loan deals, rather than more accurate valuation.
I got my copy used on Half.com for quite a bit less than the above prices.
I personally didn't like that book. As an investor it was too simple and vague on some of it's ideas. In general Real Estate is hard to time but can be done, easier than stocks. My opinion if you are thinking of REI my suggestion is to either start small (like a condo) and/or partner with someone who already owns a few properties. Also make sure you have a decent amount of cash reserves. Read Read Read!! Not only find books on purchasing (which may just are) BUT also on property mgt.
CNN also has some intresting articles of people doing REI "Tycoons in the Making"
Try searching for 'REIT' or 'Real Estate Investment Trusts'. It's my understanding that they're a bit like mutual-funds for Real-estate investments in that they let you buy shares of real-estate investments. These might be a way to get started in real-estate investing without the involvement that direct investment requires.
As someone from Hong Kong, I'd suggest you think twice before committing to anything. Here property prices have plunged 50% these few years, so people'd still be in debt after selling their apartments.
I recently bought two books on the subject after much research. The first is "Flipping Properties", which is where you go in and buy properties cheap. You do this, they explain, by finding "motivated sellers", people that own distressed properties.
What they say is pretty common sense. Buy properties that are at a major discount and that is it. I personally wont look at a property unless it has been on the market for at least 2-3 months because then you know you have a better chance of finding a motivated seller but to each their own. Again the book has very common sense ideas in it but it helps you realize you need to have everything setup right to make a good deal. Like a wise man once said, make your profit when you buy not when you sell.
The other book I bought was "Financing Secrets of a Millionaire Real Estate Investor". I have not gotten though this book yet so I connot comment on it but both of these books were reviewed on amazon so that is how I came to get them.
I also have all of Donald Trump's books, seeing as how he is the king of real estate you might want to pick them up as well as he covers how he has worked a few deals. I think the most important part of real estate is to make sure you get yourself a good deal because if you don't you will be stuck paying for it forever.
We just bought a house while keeping and renting out the townhouse I bought 2.5 years ago. So, I'm officially a real estate investor. We live in South Florida where there's been a boom (bubble??) in the last five years.
In the process we collected a lot of information that I've been meaning to blog. This post won't do much of it, but I promise I will, and that I'll link to it.
I liked 'Investing In Real Estate' by Eldred. I hated 'Rich Dad, Poor Dad' because it was very simplistic. I will admit it does have some useful large ideas, but I personally think the guy's made more money from marketing himself than from investing. On the principle that you should get diet advice from thin people, I think you should get investment advice from investors.
There's a ton of snake oil sales in real estate investing. He's quirky, but I like reading the guru ratings at www.johntreed.com and I suspect that his books are useful, though I can't confirm that officially, yet.
Thank you for blogging your home-buying experience. If you don's see me blog mine (virtualpragmatics.typepad.com), feel free to annoy me.
p morrison at virtualpragmatics dot com
Dabbling in real estate in California is a bit dodgy - especially when the "big one" earthquake is waaaay overdue.
A possible severe devaluation of the dollar is a distinct possibility (which is one way that U.S. can reduce their severe budget deficit).
I'd say hold back Jeremy - and buy some Krugerands or invest in precious metal commodities instead.
You could also dabble in currency - maybe make a bet on the Euro being stronger in the future ( and thus get more dollars back when you convert back)?
I never said I'd buy in CA. Stuff is too expensive here!
I'm not sure if it's terribly helpful, but one of my sites details a fair bit of the junk we went through in finding a chunk of land, the purchasing process, dealing with realtors and notaries, info on easement issue, etc. It's at http://cordwood.gadgeteer.net
I'd like to suggest you these links:
I think you should consider this book:
"The One Minute Millionaire: The Enlightened Way to Wealth" by Robert G. Allen and Mark Hansen
A big problem in investing in real estate is having to manage it once you own it. You have to ask yourself if it is worth the time for the profit. Investing in REIT's gives you the benefit of being an investor, without having to manage the properties being purchases.
I have done well in the stock market on one of these REIT's called HPT (Hospitality Properties). They buy hotels and rent them to companies that manage them. These companies include Wyndham, Marriot, and others. The way they run their business is the most important thing to look at.
I am also personally invested in rentals and manage them myself. I only buy homes that are in good neighborhoods, have few problems, or have been recently remodeled. That way I can keep the costs down and not have to fix things all the time. Alone this is a lot of work and not something I suggest to people unless they have the time.
A better option for busy people like yourself is to partner with someone who has properties. You could buy into a property for 25% and share the tax deductions, appreciation, income, and so forth evenly with 3 other people. You would not have to manage the property because someone else is getting it rented, fixing problems, and doing the work. You just put in your money, and at the end of the year get a dividend check and K1 tax form to file with your tax return.
Good luck with what ever you do but remember to research things out as much as possible. There are a lot of crooks out there I have found, and they don't care for one second what a bad deal will do to you.
I really like John Adams' stuff on Real Estate investing. He has a lot of free stuff on his website and there are quite a few good courses to order as well. His website is:
I track real estate investor's issues in my blog, Diannah.blogspot.com. I focus on national and local Chicago issues that investors should be concerned about, such as taxes, appreciation, interest rates, and cost effective property operations. I try to track and refer readers to new trends that can help them reduce the risks of real estate investing.
For example, a new product exists for home buyers who want to "insure" their investment. It's an option one can buy on the direction of furture interest rates in certain markets. I found out about these products in a very good article in CNN/Money, which can be read online at: http://money.cnn.com/2004/08/06/real_estate/investment_prop/hedging/index.htm
I have forwarded this link to three investors who wrote to thank me, and to say that they actually "bought" these products to protect themselves as they build new houses.
It is the most interesting thing I found for real estate investors this year.
We put together a blog with some resources-- articles from the FED, buy vs. rent cash flow model, etc.
I just started a real estate forum dedicated to creative financing. It is located at http://www.equitybegone.com/board/
Also, I do not recommend "One Minute Millionaire" by Robert G. Allen. It is actually sort of off-topic and more like a novel. I do however recommend his "creating wealth" and nothing down" books. I bought my first house with zero down and F credit with those books as my reference.
I also use carlton sheets software and contracts.
I have started a blog full of tips for finding motivated sellers and prospering in real estate investing.
Here is the link:
I also offer some helpful resources here:
These are regularly maintained sites and not search engine spam.
I am a realtor for a company that has exclusive rights to condo conversions in south florida before its open to the public.
That means - a great deal for investors. You're getting in at the base price.
At this point in time when housing is so inflated, condo conversions and pre-construction is the way to go...
If interested in learning more about it,
reply with your email address.
If you're looking for a real "No BS" guy to learn from, Darin Garman is the guy. His information is NOT a bunch of no money down - get rich next week stuff. His info is real, and more importantly, actionable info that I have invested in and would give my highest recommendation.
His email newsletter is great and I highly recommend checking it out. Much better, it's free. :-)
You can read about investing or you can do it today.
I am a successful real estate investor as well as a successful real estate Broker in Florida. We have an investment formula which will outperform others. We guarantee the highest potential return to qualified investors with absolute minimum cash requirements.
I just brokered a deal for one of my investors who put up less than 4k out of pocket and he netted, after all expenses 35k. He did not make any mortgage payments! He did not buy property insurance. He did not pay real estate taxes. He will pay Capital Gains Tax - the penalty for making a profit!!
This investment profile requires investors have good credit (700+ FICO), some cash and be deemed worthy by the lenders. We take advantage of available leverage and couple that with smart buying and a solid sales plan on the back end.
Notice we are NOT selling books, tapes, seminars, boot camps or other such nonsense. We do these deals for ourselves and our families, and our friends, and our investors.
I am not an experienced blogger, so if i commit any blogger sins, please forgive my ignorance. I look forward to interacting with anyone seriously interested in real estate investing.
It seems that the last really hot real estate market in the U.S. is just south of the Salt Lake City (Utah) valley, specifically areas around the championship golf-course communities of The Ranches at Eagle Mountain and Saratoga Springs. Home sales and price appreciations are strong. The reasons for strong home sales seems to be a limited supply of homes and the increased migration of Californians to this area as e.g. Micron is hiring 1,000 new workers and 60% of Utah companies are planning to hire this year. Also, its expected that approx. 1 million people will move to the Wasatch front within the next 10 - 12 years.
The home appreciations are taking place because the whole Salt Lake City valley is a few years behind the national average - after the Olympics the real estate market took a dive with real estate prices beginning to recover in 2005 and the momentum is increasing.
$300k will still buy you a very nice newer home in this area, although some surrounding areas have already appreciated a lot in the last 6 - 9 months like Highland, Alpine, Cedar Hills, and even Lehi and Pleasant Grove, and also Saratoga Springs is appreciating quickly followed by The Ranches at Eagle Mountain which is still lagging behind a bit. Where else can you get million-dollar views of a lake, mountains, valley, city, canyon and hills at a bargain price?
Besides the MLS sites you may also want to check out GreatHomesUtah.com website.
Anyone can come by my site...tons of articles and info. I try to post something new everyday!
Here's a new approach to finding tenants:
You can search renter profiles and send you rental listing to the people you select.
My husband and I have been real estate investors for the past 9 years. We started in CA central valley and just last month moved to Houston, TX. We are continuing our business here.
CA is very expensive for Real Estate and if you want to start, seriously, e-mail me. We started slow and are conservative, which was a blessing when the CA market started to dive. However, we did miss out on opportunities by not taking more risks.
Coming from CA where new houses start in the $300K, and in TX you can buy new houses for under $100K, it appears to be more doable unless you've got millions stashed away. The market here is appreciating, not in CA. There are always deals to be had if you are willing to do the work to find them...and that there is the secret - finding the deals. 99.9% of Real Estate agents think what we do is impossible, but we do it month after month, no matter what the market is like, you can always find a deal.
We have nearly every course created for RE investing and Bruce Norris in southern CA is the best guy to see. Not cheap, but if you are serious, go to him.
CA's market is a lot like AZ and FL, so do your homework.
I'd like to hear from Dennis London, if you could please e-mail me Dennis, I'd like to hear more about your plan.
International Property Brokers is an international real estate company offers personal brokerage service.Find real estate agents, real estate brokers, realtors ,home, apartments for rent.
For the last 2 years, my company (GreyStone Analytics) has been working on a software application that allows real estate investors to analyze the risk and return on potential investment properties. Our goal was to develop a solution that was easy enough for first-time investors to use, but powerful and flexible enough for experienced investors/brokers/agents as well. And given all the uncertainty in the market, we thought it was important to include robust risk and sensitivity analysis tools (including a Monte Carlo simulator).
I certainly encourage any interested investors to take a look at our website: http://www.greystoneanalytics.com. There's a free trial version if you want to test it out.
And even if our product isn't your cup of tea, I would recommend looking at other real estate investment analysis software packages (a quick search on google should do the trick). It's a very small price to pay compared to the potential value of your real estate investment.
One of the best places that I have found is at your local Real Estate Investment club. I by the Tidewater area of VA, and our local club is called TRIG. I have learned more there in the past year, then the two years that I spent working with the big real estate investing companies.
There is no economic recovery...and there won't be any time soon.
No bad debt has been liquidated. Debt levels are much higher than before. Government spending is monopolizing factors of production. Cash for clunkers and $8000 tax credits for home-buyers put people in more debt. Cap and trade will add costs. Soon-to-be reformed health-care will add costs. Alt-A and pay option ARM's will see impressive defaults within six months. Commercial real estate is atrocious. FHA delinquinces are also growing rapidly. Jobs of course are still being lost.
The economy is on government and Federal Reserve life support. All the new debt and all the monetary inflation is threatening the US dollar. US Treasures and the US dollar are the next bubble to burst.
Real Estate investing is not a tough job. You must have a proper knowledge before investing. Before investing you must calculate what will be the return on investment.