Lessons most real estate investors learn the hard way
Investing in real estate can be one of the most exhilarating things an investor does. There is a thrill that comes with finding a good deal, improving a home and, making a killing off of the sale. Most real estate investors don’t start out that way, however. In fact, many, if not most, real estate investors will tell you that they have made many mistakes and lost quite a bit of money as well. They will also tell you it was worth it because of the lessons learned that could be utilized later down the line.
Here are a few mistakes real estate investors typically make in the beginning. Avoiding them can save a lot of heartache.
Hard money loans can be an incredible tool. If you have not heard of hard money loans, they are quick loans that are based on the value of the asset (the home, or piece of real estate) instead of the person getting the loan. This means someone with bad credit good get a hard money loan, as long as it is a good deal and the house is worth a lot more, or has a lot of potential.
Hard money loans are usually less than a year, and are just used to snag a quick deal, maybe fix things up, then sell or convert to a regular loan. They have incredibly high interest rates – often as high as fifteen percent.
Because of the high interest rates, investors usually hold hard money loans for as little time as possible. If a mistake is made and they end up holding the loan significantly longer than expected, the interest expenses can rack up and put them in a miserable place. If they hold past the original time of the loan, things can get really ugly.
Simply put, if you are going to use a hard money lender, be careful, have exit strategies and backup exit strategies to be sure you are not stuck holding the bag.
Most good investors are able to use signals and see when the signs point to selling and when they point to buying. If you are able to recognize these signals then you are able to capitalize much quicker and make money much faster.
If you think you are getting a good deal on a piece of property then it is time to be careful. There is often a reason a piece of property is priced the way it is. While good deals do exist, bad deals disguised as good deals also exist.
Research the neighborhood, the history of the home, the future of the area, rental prices, the real estate market as a whole, and everything else you can think of. If everything checks out, you can feel confident in the deal you are getting.
Your mortgage will absolutely not be your only expense. There will be random expense all along the way. Try to have an emergency fund for when something big comes up. New investors are often surprised to realize how much some home repairs can cost. One recommendation that some investors will give is a home warranty. A home warranty is a warranty that gives you the ability to insure almost everything in your home that can break. From water heaters, stoves, microwaves, refrigerators, and more. While these are not killer expenses if broken, it may be a good idea to have a warranty in place until you have a large enough savings that you can replace and repair these items yourself.
This list is not comprehensive in the least. New real estate investors make mistakes every day. It will happen no matter how big the list. Find a mentor who has done what you are looking to do. Get advice and confirm your first few deals with them. Someday you may be that very mentor.