5 Rock-Solid Real Estate Investment Strategies

Investing in real estate is more complex than simply buying and selling homes. To help new real estate investors to decide which strategy might work for them I put together 5 rock-solid strategies. It is up to you which strategy you feel more comfortable with.

1. Buy and Hold

This real estate investment strategy is commonly known as rental properties. Becoming a landlord is easier than you think. You buy a property, you advertise it as “for rent” and you sign a contract with your new tenant. That’s where the love story ends. You need to know a lot about your duties and your rights as a landlord or you will find yourself in trouble.

Screening your prospect tenants is your first line of defense. Protecting your property from damage is your first duty. I might paint a little bit dark picture of being a landlord. But dealing with tenants can be the most frustrating job you ever had. Do yourself a favor and visit a bookstore or library and get as many books on landlording as you can get. Armed with this knowledge you will be able to create a positive cash flow and a long term relationship with your tenants every time you put the “For Rent” sign in the yard.

With the buy and hold strategy you basically have 3 income streams going at once.

Amortization; while paying your mortgage you also lower the amount you owe.

Appreciation; while owning the property it increases in value.

Tax incentive; as a landlord you will be able to deduct your investment cost over several years. (See you tax advisor for professional advice).

Based on this information you can easily see that even if the rent doesn’t cover 100 % of your mortgage payment you will still be able to create a positive cash flow.

2. Flipping

This is the art of “buying” and “selling” real estate investment without actually taking ownership. In a flip situation real estate contracts get assigned and the person who assigns the contract to someone else typically gets a commission for their services. That’s how you can make money with real estate without credit checks or no money down. Because you never take possession of the property, you don’t need to apply for a mortgage.

You only need 2 things to be able to flip a home. First, you need to find an attractive property that will sell very quickly. Second, you need to find a buyer within a very short period of time. Typically 2-3 weeks. Then you simply flip the contract to the new buyer and you will collect your commission at a so called “double closing”.

This sounds complicated at first, but with a little bit practice you will be able to create a nice income from this. By the way, this is the preferred concept of most real estate “gurus” who appear in late night infomercials.

3. Rehabs

Rehabs are the most risky form of real estate investments. You hunt for a cheap, run-down property and you hope that your preliminary remodel cost estimates will leave enough room for a nice profit. Well that’s the theory. Most real estate investors are failing with this type of strategy.

You either didn’t get the property cheap enough to make a profit or the damages are more extensive than estimated which will offset the cheap purchase price. To make matters worst. If during the rehab phase of typically 3-4 months the market is going south all bets are off. Trust me, I made my share of experiences with this and I told myself, never again.

4. Commercial Real Estate Investment

What comes to your mind first when you think of commercial real estate investment? Big factory complexes, shopping malls or maybe huge office buildings. Well, my answer is much simpler. Anything bigger than a 4 unit apartment building, some call it fourplex, is considered commercial. The great thing with commercial real estate is that the value of the property is determined by the rent income it generates and not by how crazy people are going with bidding on residential real estate.

Theoretically there’s no such thing as sellers or buyers market for commercial real estate. I wrote a complete article about the pros and cons of commercial real estate. So I keep this brief. Personally I love commercial real estate. Of course, commercial real estate is more or less off limits for beginners, because commercial real estate lenders want to see some form of prior experience in real estate investments. However, if you got some experience, go for it. As an added benefit; the competition is far less.

5. New Construction

This is the most affordable and easiest way of real estate investment. Getting into the earliest phase possible of a new development is a sure thing to make money. Keep an eye on the market and you will be able to sell your new home before construction is finished. The construction companies don’t like this, so they limit the number of homes an individual can buy. Even so, keep one or two homes constantly under construction and you will make some nice profits. Of course this works only in a sellers market. Stay away from this strategy in a buyers market or when you see big changes in the local real estate market.

Sincerely,

Peter Dobler

(c) 2005

Why Real Estate Investment?

Why should you invest in real estate? Well, investing in real estate for profit is one of the most popular approaches to generating additional income in the United States today. In fact, if you pay attention to recent press you will have seen numerous reports about the real estate investment craze that seems to be sweeping the Nation.

When done carefully and intelligently, real estate can yield fantastic benefits that can not be achieved through any other type of investment. Here are just a few examples of why real estate investing can be such a powerful wealth generator.

1. Real Estate Markets Are Slow to React – Although real estate, like everything else, has ups and downs, it is generally a lot slower to react than the stock market. For example, you won’t get up in the morning and discover that your real estate investment is worth ten or twenty percent less than it was yesterday.

2. Leverage. You can borrow money to buy real estate, whereas, generally you can not borrow money to buy stocks. You can control a large dollar value of real estate with a small amount of your own money by using loans and mortgages. The stock market, by law, limits the amount of leverage (margin) you can use to buy stock. There are no such limits with real estate.

3. You Can Purchase Real Estate For Less Than Its Market Value. In many cases you can purchase a property for as low as 60 to 70 percent of the market value. When buying stocks, you may be able to find a stock that is considered “under valued” but generally it’s tough to do that on a regular and consistent basis.

4. Real Estate Offers A Tremendous Amount Of Tax Advantages Through Depreciation. Real estate basically has two values, the land and the building(s) on the land. For example, if a property is valued at $250,000 and the assessed value of the land is $75,000, the building would be worth $175,000.

The government allows real estate investors to depreciate the value of the building in equal parts over its “useful life” which is defined as 27.5 years. So for example, based on the $175,000 building value above, the annual depreciation value would be $6,363.63 ($175,000 divided by 27.5). This means that for tax purposes, the investor would be able to reduce his/her annual income by $6,363.63!

Many people find the notion of depreciation to be confusing since it’s not really a loss of money. I recommend you check with a qualified tax professional for more details and how this can benefit you.

5. Real Estate Markets Are Insulated Local Markets. For instance, when the stock market falls, it takes down just about everybody and everything involved with it. When home values drop in one city such as New York, generally it does not affect property values in other cities like Boston or Chicago. To protect yourself, you can have a “geographically diversified” portfolio of real estate investments to hedge against these types events.

6. You The Investor Can Control The Value. Another aspect of real estate investment is that unlike any other investment, this investment is controlled by the investor. For example, as an investor, you can increase the value of your investment property by making some modifications to the property such as adding a garage or replacing the carpet, etc. With stocks or any other investment, the investor can’t do anything to increase the value of the investment.

7. The Efficient Market Hypothesis (EMH). When a market has prices that always “fully reflect” available information, it is called “efficient”. The stock market for example is considered by most to be an efficient market. When you call your broker to purchase or sell a stock, you can be sure of one thing – the price you bought or sold the stock for was indeed the “correct” price for that stock on that day and at that time. Why? Because the existing price for the stock will already incorporate and reflect all relevant available information about the company such as earnings, and other metrics.

With real estate, the market is very inefficient. Unlike the stock market, with real estate, the “correct” price discovery mechanism is left to each buyer and seller to figure out on their own. There is the almost always uncertainty as to whether the price offered by the seller is too high or too low. Moreover, there is typically little to no help available from analysts and research agencies (like when dealing with stocks) in this respect. This inefficiency is the very reason why real estate offers such a great investment opportunity to be smart and win! But it requires experience and a sharp eye for good deals and great negotiation skill. This expertise can be developed.

If done correctly, real estate is probably one of the smartest investments you could ever make. Hopefully this short rambling has provided you with a fresh perspective of the many benefits of real estate investing. So be smart, continue to learn and above all don’t wait for some magic moment, just get started.

To Your Success!

Rik Foote

Florida Investment Real Estate and What Are Considerations Before Buying

Investment Real Estate, First Things First

Considering investing in property? What are some pertinent things to consider before taking this leap? Of all the investment possibilities, investment in land generally produces the most positive results. It is vital, however, to carefully investigate the pros and cons, benefits and deficits of real estate investment. Most people look at investment real estate as risky and feel woefully inadequate to tackle this form of investing. They feel lost, not knowing where to even begin!

A multitude of information is available and knowing how to search can seem daunting. A web site search will produce boatloads of information, some valuable and some not. Some key words to search are real estate investment, investment property, and investing in real estate. This will begin the process for you. Not all available information is worth your time, however. Beware when the site promises high return for little down. Also beware of sites whose main goal is to solicit your money. Web searching is one form of research. Another is talking to a reputable real estate broker or real estate lawyer. One of the best sources of information is a friend you trust who has done real estate investing. A trustworthy friend who started as a novice and progressed to real investing is probably your best source of reliable information. Their voice of experience rings the loudest since they are a layman like you who had to discover for themselves each step of the way how to make successful investments.

Investment Real Estate, Rental Units

Let’s look at some sound reasons for investing in real estate. Real estate generally appreciates at a greater rate than the rate of inflation and offers great tax benefits. Selecting real estate in a desirable location will prove to be profitable especially in burgeoning areas, usually in suburbs which are a reasonable commute to city jobs. Of course the old adage, location, location, location is a very pertinent piece of advice to take to heart. Think of the most expensive housing markets today. If you have lived in an expensive housing market, or have visited there, you will notice that along with exquisite homes offered for sale at exorbitant rates, small, older homes you would never consider buying in another market are being offered for huge dollars. Why? Location, of course. When a housing area becomes desirable, even those small dumpy homes will sell for a considerable amount of money. Let’s stop for a moment and look at the advantages of investing in rental units as opposed to purchasing property for resale. One of the largest factors to consider in purchasing property for resale is finding properties that will resell at a higher rate than purchase, of course. Finding these properties is not as easy today as it may have been in the past. It used to be that fixer-uppers and foreclosures were avoided by homeowners and investors alike. Not so today, those same homes are being feverishly snatched up in the current booming housing markets.

Florida Investment Real Estate – Why Florida Is a Good Choice

Finding homes to purchase and turn over quickly for cash is becoming more and more difficult, leading many to consider purchasing property for the purpose of renting. What are some advantages to renting and what locations would be most desirable for purchase with a rental goal in mind? Owning rental property provides some unique advantages. If you have the time as well as the finances to invest, rental property could end up paying for itself in the long term. In order for this to be true, the most important thing to search for is property in a great location for renters. You don’t want to be searching for renters for months on end while you are being drained of capital. Those mortgage payments never stop, even when the list of renters has been exhausted. Buying rental investment property in a college town is a good bet for the possibility of continual renters and also buying in transient areas and tourist areas. Of all the above, tourist areas tend to be your surest source of consistent renters. Numerous high density tourist areas exist across the nation, but one of your best bets for purchase and consistent renters would be a sun-drenched spot with a year-round temperate climate. California and Texas would fit the bill, but as we all know, the most desirable locations in California may be out of reach due to the high cost. Texas may be considered a good choice, but only one state ranks as the premier tourist destination in the world and that would be Florida, the sunshine state.

Florida Investment Real Estate – The Orlando Area

With Florida’s burgeoning population, Florida investment real estate is a great option. Florida ranks 4th in population behind California, Texas and New York. Florida has one of the fastest rates of growth in the nation, making Florida investment real estate a very attractive option for investors. In the 1990′s, Florida grew by 23.5 percent with five counties increasing by more than 60 percent. Projected state growth would bring the population to over 19 million by 2010. An increasingly higher population obviously increases the need for housing. The increasing resident population being a great reason to pursue Florida investment real estate; let’s not neglect another face of increasing housing need. Florida has a tourism rate of almost 77 million visitors in 2004, making it the top travel destination in the world and producing $57 billion of income. Tourists flock to all parts of Florida, the beaches being one of the most attractive destinations. However, Orlando pulls in the most visitors, with 2.6 million international travelers, not including the steady stream of domestic tourists. This alone would offer sufficient reason to purchase rental property. But considering that the grand total of tourists visiting Orlando in 2004 was 48 million people, what great housing investment potential for investors! The biggest drawing card in the Orlando area is, of course, Walt Disney World. The area surrounding Disney has a hotel rate occupancy of about 80 percent. It’s obvious why the Orlando area is considered one of the most desirable tourist destinations in the world.

Florida Investment Real Estate – What are Reasons Tourists Come to the Orlando Area

Owning Florida investment real estate will give vacationers who visit the Orlando area a place to stay while you collect the rent. Theme park attractions are one of the biggest reasons Orlando has become a #1 tourist destination. The three most popular are Disney, which includes Disney World, Epcot, Animal Kingdom and MGM Studios, Sea World and Universal. Each attraction holds an appeal for people of all ages with families and singles alike enjoying each. Kissimmee is the town closest to Disney where families especially enjoy a few of the more laid back sights including Green Meadows Farm. Green Meadows is in an idyllic country setting with tours of the farm and more than 300 farm animals to touch and see. Also in the Kissimmee area is Horse World Riding Stables. The 750 acres of open pasture beckons horse lovers to enjoy a ride beneath the open sky. The Orlando Science Center beckons science buffs both young and old. Learning happens as a by-product here through the realistic, interactive and just plain fun exhibits. Fabulous night life is to be found both in Kissimmee which boasts two very popular dinner attractions, Medieval Times and Arabian Nights. Both serve delectable large portions of food with fabulous jousting and medieval type entertainment. For the shopper, Shopping and dining abound in the Orlando area also as do all sorts of natural environmental experiences.

Real Estate Investment in Florida – Bimini Bay Resort Florida

A well-kept secret but one located just 5 miles from Disney, in the center of Florida is Davenport, a treasure of a town close to the major attractions, yet a world away. On 80 acres of land in the Davenport area, you will find Bimini Bay Resort, Florida. A grand investment opportunity awaits you at Bimini Bay Resort, Florida where the investor participates in property appreciation but is not affected by negative cash flow during the off season. At Bimini Bay Resort, Florida you will find a planned community of luxurious town homes, offering 3 bedroom two baths that are fully furnished and equipped. Bimini Bay Resort, Florida is unique in that the investor can stay in the purchased unit while on vacation for a minimum fee while renting the unit the rest of the year. Management staff at Bimini Bay Resort finds the renters while you enjoy a guaranteed rental income each month. Planned amenities at Bimini Bay Resort include two major restaurants, a grocery, deli and food court and a sports bar restaurant. Bimini Bay Resort will also include a spa and exercise facility. A large business conference center and twin theaters are also planned at Bimini Bay Resort. Peace of mind will be yours at Bimini Bay Resort with its gated access with security cards. A fantastic real estate investment in Florida at Bimini Bay Resort awaits the investor who desires a consistent income without the headaches of day-to-day management. Bimini Bay Resort is worth investigating.

Our Featured Orlando Properties: You have an opportunity to join one of the fastest growing trends in the United States and the world. Orlando is one of the most explosive markets in the country and the Disney resort area has an average hotel occupancy of around 80%. Orlando is known as the vacation capital of the world and the top rated short term rental market, one that shows tremendous potential for real investors.

Tourism – with 76.8 million visitors in 2004 (a record number), Florida is the top travel destination in the world. The tourism industry has an economic impact of $57 billion on Florida’s economy. Click here for additional tourism facts and statistics.

City Population Rank (2000):

(Rounded to the Nearest Thousand)

1. Jacksonville – 736,000

2. Miami – 362,000

3. Tampa – 303,000

4. St. Petersburg – 248,000

5. Hialeah – 226,000

6. Orlando – 186,000

7. Ft. Lauderdale – 152,000

8. Tallahassee – 151,000

9. Hollywood – 139,000

10. Pembroke Pines – 137,000

11. Coral Springs – 118,000

12. Clearwater – 109,000

13. Cape Coral – 102,000

14. Gainesville – 95,000

15. Port St. Lucie – 89,000

16. Miami Beach – 88,000

17. Sunrise – 86,000

18. Plantation – 83,000

19. West Palm Beach – 82,000

20. Palm Bay – 79,000

21. Lakeland – 78,000

22. Pompano Beach – 78,000

23. Davie – 76,000

24. Boca Raton – 75,000

25. Miramar – 73,000

Most Populous Metro Areas (2000):

(Rounded to the Nearest Thousand)

1. Tampa/St. Petersburg/Clearwater – 2,396,000

2. Miami – 2,253,000

3. Orlando – 1,645,000

4. Ft. Lauderdale – 1,623,000

5. Jacksonville – 1,100,000

6. West Palm Beach/Boca Raton – 1,131,000

7. Sarasota/Bradenton – 590,000

8. Daytona Beach – 493,000

9. Lakeland/Winter Haven – 484,000

10. Melbourne/Titusville/Palm Bay – 476,000

11. Fort Myers/Cape Coral – 441,000

12. Pensacola – 412,000

13. Fort Pierce/Port St. Lucie – 319,000

14. Tallahassee – 285,000

15. Ocala – 259,000

16. Naples – 251,000

17. Gainesville – 218,000

18. Fort Walton Beach – 170,000

19. Panama City – 148,000

Home to 11 of the country’s 100 fastest-growing counties, a Florida investment property has high potential as a profit-maker, unlike most other areas. Port St. Lucie, Miramar and Cape Coral are the fastest growing cities in Florida. It’s unlikely you will make a mistake investing in Florida real estate considering the vast number of tourists and new residents flocking to the land of sun and surf. The most difficult decision to make will be which location in Florida to purchase. Good investments abound in each area of the state, from Miami in the south to Clearwater on the gulf coast, going east to Daytona Beach and north to the panhandle. Selecting a location depends on your goals for purchasing Florida investment property. Carefully consider what you intend to do with your Florida investment property. Will your purchase be used mainly as a rental property for vacationers? Do you intend to have access to the property during certain seasons? Or is your goal rental of the property to local tenants? Some of these questions will help you in narrowing down your search. Once you have determined whether your Florida investment property will be used primarily for vacationers or for local renters, and whether you intend on using it as a vacation resort yourself, it is easier to choose the location.

“Each year is better than the previous one,” said Abe Pizam, dean of the University of Central Florida’s hospitality management college. “But it’s not yet where it should be, or where it was.”

Pizam said that, while a weak dollar has helped renew interest in Orlando among some foreign visitors, many are continuing to stay away because of heightened security measures in the United States and the hassles that accompany them, as well as increased opposition to the war in Iraq.

“It’s a miracle that, despite that, we have improved our visitor counts,” Pizam said. “We cannot deny there is still animosity toward the United States in many parts of the world.”

Struggling economies in South America also put the brakes on many potential tourists’ travel plans in what historically has been a strong market for Orlando.

According to the bureau’s figures, the number of South American visitors have dropped substantially in recent years, from 659,000 in 2000 to fewer than 300,000 last year.

Other signs point to a recent upswing in international traffic, however. Orlando International Airport officials said in June that the airport recorded a 20 percent increase in international passengers compared with the same month last year.

On International Drive, a tourism corridor that benefits heavily from overseas travelers, merchants are noticing the difference.

“It’s maybe picked up,” said Zach Marino, manager of Texas de Brazil restaurant on International Drive. “In this area it’s hard to tell because this is the spot to be. We have a strong international clientele.”

Asian visitors increased by nearly 40,000 in 2004, and about 100,000 more Canadians traveled to Orlando last year than in 2003.

The visitors bureau noted that it has stepped up its national and international marketing of Orlando, having pulled back on such advertisements after 9-11.

“Our plan is more back-to-normal in terms of marketing thrust,” Peeper said.

New York remained the No. 1 source of domestic out-of-state vacationers to Orlando last year. The Tampa Bay area held on as the top source of in-state visitors.

Experts are predicting that 2005 will exceed last year in terms of both international and domestic visitors.

Earlier this month, Walt Disney World reported percentage growth in the low double digits among international tourists, while the number of domestic customers remained relatively flat during one of the rainiest Junes on record.

“If everything stays stable, we should come out on the international side real well” in 2005, Peeper said.