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How to Get Started in Real Estate Investing Without Cash

Aug 17, 2007
So you want to get involved in real estate investing, but you just don't have any extra money to get started? This is a common situation, but what most people don't realize, is that you may already have enough resources to get started. If you own your own home, you can leverage this asset and be well on your way in no time.

Unless you purchased your home with an interest-only loan, you are building equity each time you make a mortgage payment. To figure out how much equity you have in your home, subtract the balance on your mortgage, from the value of your home. If you have any other loans attached to your home, or other liabilities, subtract them as well. Most people are surprised to learn how much equity they actually have. In many cases, it's more than enough for a down payment and improvements on your investment property.

There are several ways to use the equity in your home to raise cash for real estate investing. Here are the basics:

1. Refinance Your House. You can refinance your home in order to get an improved interest rate, but you can also get a cash-out refinance mortgage, and use the cash to purchase an investment property, or you should have least enough for a down payment. Your current lender may have rules about cash-out refinancing, so check with your mortgage advisor before you begin the process. Keep in mind, a cash-out refinance mortgage can have higher interest rates than other mortgages.

2. Take Out a Home Equity Loan. A home equity loan is a loan using the equity in your home as collateral, and is separate from your mortgage. The amount is of the loan is based on a percentage of the equity in your home, you may be able to borrow 90% or more of your homes value; less if you are taking out a home equity loan on a second property that you do not occupy. The advantages of a home equity loan the option to pay the loan back early without penalty, and you may choose to pay off those high interest credit cards.

3. Open a Home Equity Line of Credit. A home equity line of credit has a credit limit just like a credit card. Like a home equity loan, the amount of the limit is based on your credit worthiness and the equity in your home. You can transfer funds from your home equity line of credit, or even write checks directly from the account. Interest rates are generally lower than cash-out refinance mortgages, and there are tax advantages as well. Another advantage is you are only paying interest and making payments on the amount you owe, not the entire amount of the loan. You may also be able to renegotiate in the future for a higher credit line when the equity in your home increases, especially if you have made above-minimum payments on timely basis, or home improvements.

Investing in real estate is not only for the rich; the average homeowner can become a real estate investor even without a lot of money in your bank account. You can use cash-out refinance mortgages, home equity loans, and home equity lines of credit to purchase your first investment property, and many more properties to come.
About the Author
Kevin Kiene is founder of ezLandlordForms.com, a state-of-the-art website
dedicated to to providing landlords a complete library of documents for
effective property management. Our Lease builder wizard with state assist helps
landlords to create a state specific Lease Agreement in minutes. We also offer
free articles, landlords question and answers and
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"Landlording just got EZ"
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