There are many questions to ask before starting a real estate investing career. However, the first and most important question should be whether you are truly committed to making real estate work for you. This is not a business for the faint of heart. In order to be truly profitable, you must be ruthless at times when dealing with buyers and sellers, but you must be ethical when it comes to the work that must be done on a regular basis to keep the property in a saleable condition.
In order to make real estate work for you, a serious commitment is required for one simple reason. Along the way, there will be ups and downs. The stock market also goes through periodic ups and downs. Just as you can’t dump all your stocks on a bad day, the same is true in the real estate investing world. Generally speaking, real estate values rise gradually over time. This means that even if the value of a neighborhood falters, it is possible that it will eventually recover.
Those who rely on the slow and steady increase in value are known as buy and hold investors. These investors are truly committed to their investments. Some of them choose to hold the property as a vacation property, while others choose to earn income by renting the property to other families or vacationers, whatever their choice may be.
This is a great way for many people to enjoy the luxury of a vacation property without all the costs of owning a vacation property, as the rentals will help compensate for some of the expenses when the owner (investor) is not available. This is a fairly common practice in high demand tourist areas where people often like to vacation. These types of investors are what some would call serious real estate investors, although all real estate investors need to take their purchases seriously.
Those who own rental properties must also be committed to making their investments work for them. Rental properties are not a “hands-off” investment because they need to be maintained to keep up with tenant demand. You must also continually work to keep these properties managed and filled, while making certain that you are collecting rent each month and that the property does not fall into disrepair or abuse by tenants.
Many investors retain the services of a property management agency to handle the monthly details and collections. This is a good idea whether you have a single rental property or a large portfolio of rental properties. Better yet, however, if you keep your rental properties in a reasonable state of repair over the years, they can become liquid assets in time. In other words, they could actually cost several times as much if you invest for the long term rather than looking at the present moment.
Regardless of the type of real estate investment you intend to make, it is important that you are prepared to make the commitment to profit or profitability that is necessary for your venture to be considered a success.