How to Become a Real Estate Investor

By: Scott Ficek

I can remember what it was like looking at the investment properties for sale on the internet. It was quite intimidating and a little overwhelming. It felt like being a freshman on the first day of high school! With any new venture, hobby, or career those initial nervous days will pass. First, you just need to get started. Second, it helps to surround yourself with advisors you trust to give you good advise.

Here are some steps to getting your Real Estate Investing career started:

1. Figure out what type of investor you want to be. Do you want to buy house to rehab and flip? Maybe you want to rehab and hold them. Conversely, maybe you want a turnkey investment that is fully rented. If you are uncertain, visit your local Real Estate Investing (REI) club meeting and talk with other investors.

2. Read everything you can about real estate investing. Read and participate in on-line investor forums as place to ask questions and learn. Find a local investor, take him to lunch, and have him explain the business. This lunch may turn into a friendship and this person may become one of your real estate advisors.

3. Find a mortgage broker that owns and specializes in investment properties. You can find great deals all day long, but if you don't have your financing in order, you won't be able to buy any of them. S/he should own investment property because it is important they understand the nuances of being a landlord. They can also become that trusted advisor that you can call to ask questions once you do become a landlord.

4. Ask your new mortgage broker to refer you to a real estate agent that also specializes in investment properties. Again, s/he should own and manage their own rental properties and/or do the same type of investing that you are interested in. If s/he doesn't own investment property, how are they going to help you find the best property for you to purchase? Your real estate agent will become another advisor to teach you about the market and how to evaluate property.

5. When you find the deal, analyze it thoroughly, but quickly. Too many new investors lose deals because of stage fright or analysis-paralysis. Lean on your advisors to help you know that is or is not a good deal. Then make the offer!

6. Once you get your first offer accepted and you are at the closing, ask questions about the process. Learn all you can about how the closing works by understanding the documents you are signing.

7. After closing, immerse yourself in the business. This is your business/property now. Ask questions and learn from anyone willing to give you advice (contractors, tenants, and inspectors).

Once you own your first property, you will want to add more advisors to your team including: attorney, accountant, and various contractors. Most of them should own investment property or at least have investment property clients.

Sometimes the biggest obstacle to becoming a Real Estate Investor is simply taking that first step. If you have found the right advisors, that step can be much easier and less stressful. Now go get started!

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