by Charlotte Wood
(last updated February 21, 2009)
Real estate investing covers a broad range of investments ranging from risky to secure and everything in between. Investing in real estate can be a side hobby you have or it could also be your career—it all depends on how much you want to put into it and what you're willing to risk. Really anyone can invest in real estate; you just need the initial resources and a little bit of know-how around the market. Real estate investing can be highly lucrative and produce exciting dividends if you know how to play your cards and know what risks to take.
One of the more common and recent forms of real estate investment is house flipping. Essentially what this is, is taking a run-down house (often purchased as a foreclosure property—something relatively inexpensive), gutting it, and completely redoing the inside. You then would either sell the property at an increased price to make a profit or you can rent it, depending on your preference. There are countless television shows focusing on house flipping, all of which give you ideas and the basic know-how of how to get involved in this new real estate trend.
One of the things you must be able to discern well is the people you work with. Choose reliable and honest contractors and make sure you can trust the people you work with. You'll have to work a lot with other people and so you're personable skills should ideally be pretty good. You need to be a decision maker and be able to stick to deadlines if you want to be successful. The great thing about house flipping as a way of real estate investing is that you can ease your way in without too much commitment but you can still become really serious about it.
The one thing you'll have to have if you want to enter the world of real estate investing is money to get you started. Once you're on your way you can use the money from the previous sale to help you with the next project, but you'll need something to get you started and that's usually the hardest part for most people. You can take out a home equity loan or something of the like but try and stay out of debt as much as possible because you don't want to end up using the money you make to pay off debts. Not fun!
Shop around to find the best deals on things and talk with investors who already are successful. Tips from the pros are some of the most useful tools when you first enter the market. Real estate investing is widespread and a great way to make a little bit of extra cash or a lot of extra cash. You're in control of how much of your time you invest into your endeavors and you can play it safe or go out on a limb. It's all up to you!
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