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Protecting Your Assets In The Real Estate Business

Aug 17, 2007
Real estate investing provides you with positive cash flows, tax benefits and the satisfaction of having impacted your life positively. Just like in any other business, in real estate investments too, there are intricacies that are personal to it, and can cause negative impacts when ignored. Many first time real estate investors make the mistake of investing hard earned money without a proper understanding. This induces a greater risk for their investments. There is a need in real estate investing to protect your assets.

Avoiding The Errors
The question to ask yourself, depend on why you are investing in a particular property. Do you intend to hold it for a long period, or do you intend to turn it around for selling at the earliest possible time? Let us look at some of the errors that certain investors make, which you need to avoid, in order, to protect your assets. This will ensure excellent returns on your investments.

Check The Property
Do not get sucked into the excitement of investing in a real estate property. There are rampant claims of high return on investment in the real estate business. Check the condition of the property, and how many modifications and renovations will be required. Ensure you have the right real estate agent, who will not overlook all the seemingly insignificant, but important details.

Inspect Thoroughly
Have a professional inspector thoroughly check the property. You need to exercise sound business judgment, as you are going to invest your hard earned money. If it is a rental property, check with the tenants regarding pest problems, structural damage, or any reoccurring problems.

Check All Documents
The documents involved in a property can be overwhelming. These documents include building permits, zoning laws, rental and lease applications, underlying loan documents, CC&Rs (covenants, conditions and restrictions), by-laws, title policies, inspection reports, purchase contracts, and insurance. The list can seem never ending.

Cash Flow
If your real estate investing is in a rental property, you should intend to hold on to the property for a longer period, as long as 15 to 20 years. You will need to ensure cash flow to take care of your property. This includes paying for the property"s maintenance, repairs, and improvements. There will be times when your rental property will be vacant and not earning you a rental. You still need to have cash for the upkeep of your property.

Short Duration Investing
If you plan to invest in a real estate property for a shorter duration, you may not feel the need to invest heavily on improvements. Sometimes, short duration investing can be risky, as the property may lose in value. Generally, property prices appreciate over longer periods.

Additional Help
To help you in real estate investing, there are professionals available, online as well as offline, who can guide you in protecting your assets. This help includes software packages, designed with small and large investors in mind.
About the Author
David Gass is President of Business Credit Services, Inc. His company publishes a free weekly e-newsletter on Small Business Consulting at their web site http://www.smallbusinessconsulting.com
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