Real estate investing strategies have undergone major changes in the past four years. Before the banking crisis and economic recession, many investors were generating massive profits through rehabbing distressed properties and engaging in house flipping. Today, investors are using distressed properties to generate rental income or to offer creative financing options.
The first step to achieving real estate investment success is to become educated about the market. Investors should become familiar with the various types of investment properties such as residential, commercial, and vacant land, as well as investing in real estate notes and land contracts.
Residential real estate can be used as rental properties or placed for sale. Many investors are offering creative finance strategies to attract buyers who cannot qualify for bank financing. Popular financing options include lease purchase option agreements and seller carry back mortgages.
Commercial real estate includes a wide mix of properties such as condominium and apartment complexes, retail shops, warehouses, and office buildings. Investors often partner with other investors or investment groups when purchasing commercial property in order to cover the costs and management duties required to maintain investment properties.
Commercial property has the potential to generate substantial profits as long as investors evaluate market conditions. Investors may be entitled to tax incentives when commercial investments bring employment opportunities to the area or when properties are upgraded using energy-efficient technology such as solar panels or other forms of green energy.
Investors often seek out bank owned foreclosure properties because this type of realty is usually priced well below market value. Bank owned realty encompasses all types of properties and can range from mobile homes to swanky high-rise apartments and industrial parks to golf courses.
Locating residential and commercial foreclosures is relatively simple. Using the services of a realtor can expedite the process. Agents can access the multiple listings (MLS) database to quickly locate all types of properties for sale.
Once banks repossess properties they are first placed for sale through public or government auctions. The property is given back to the bank if it goes unsold at auction. Banks then sell foreclosure properties through their loss mitigation division or local realtors.
Prices of bank owned properties are generally higher than properties sold through auction. However, banks remove liens and judgments in order to sell the real estate with a clean title. Buyers are able to take quick possession and can move forward with preparing the property for sale or rent.
Many investors are buying residential properties through Fannie Mae’s Homepath Mortgage program. In addition to selling homes at deeply discounted prices, Homepath Mortgage offers low down payment requirements and special financing options to both individual buyers and real estate investors.
Many Fannie Mae properties qualify for grant money offered through HUD’s Neighborhood Stabilization Program. NSP grants are offered to improve properties located in areas with high rates of foreclosure. Qualified investors can obtain up to five NSP grants.
Investors who invest in commercial real estate must become educated about federal, state, and county property laws. Commercial buildings must comply with the Americans with Disabilities Act and be zoned for commercial use.
Although the real estate market continues to head in a downward spiral, there are still plenty of solid investment opportunities. Investors must stay abreast of market conditions and be capable of changing strategies when needed. Otherwise, they will quickly become another real estate statistic.