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Getting Started in Real Estate - Rental Properties

Aug 17, 2007
For the purpose of this article, we will focus on acquiring rental properties, but the same principles can be used in flipping as well.

The hardest part of getting started in real estate is finding and purchasing your first property. The right property can form a solid base for future investments. The wrong property, on the other hand, can leave you exhausted and with a sour outlook on real estate investing as a whole. This is why it is very important to learn how to choose your real estate investment properties wisely.

When choosing rental properties, the first thing you need to do is familiarize yourself with the housing market in your area. Learn what homes are valued at and learn to recognize which homes are selling for 30 percent or more under their value. Granted, these might not be the best looking homes on the market, but the key to getting started in real estate is to purchase with your future in mind. If you spend all of your resources on one rental property, you will not be able to build multiple streams of rental income.

When you find a house that is priced right, you will need to check it out to make sure it is really a good deal and not a money pit with good numbers. Look for homes that have a solid foundation, newer roof, and windows in good condition. Also check for a sufficient heating system and adequate plumbing. Remember, rental properties do not need to be in perfect form. You do not have to offer designer kitchens and baths to your tenants. Look instead for houses with clean rooms in decent shape. Ignore cosmetic issues such as flooring and paint. You can buy these materials in bulk rather inexpensively. Landscaping is also not an issue in rental properties. Just make sure the yard is clean and neat.

Pay attention to the neighborhood where the home is located. If the house is a three bedroom home, it will likely be rented to a family. Is the neighborhood family friendly or is it too rough for children? What are the schools like? The answers to these questions can limit your ability to keep renters.

Granted, there is a lot to consider when getting started in real estate, but if you do your homework and make wise decisions, you could be well on your way to a very comfortable life with just one investment.
About the Author
James Klobasa, once broke with no job and $20,000 in debt made a choice that changed his life forever. That choice was investing in Real Estate. With the founder of, The Little Building Co. you too, can learn at Real-Real Estate Investing
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