Real estate investment opportunities abound
|By Kamil Skawinski
Real estate has its market cycles like any type of investment, and lately it's been getting bad press. Investors may have second thoughts about putting money in this asset class right now, what with all the talk about a bursting housing bubble, the glut of unsold condominiums and homes, declining property values and the growing number of foreclosures.
But there's still a buck to be made in real estate,
even in good and bad economic times. Everybody has to live somewhere, work somewhere,
shop somewhere -- and someone has to provide them with space in which to do those
In fact, the depressing news may mean that this is
an opportune time to get into real estate.
paid-for, income-producing real estate, in addition to having a solid portfolio
of other investments, can be a very good thing," says radio talk-show host
Dave Ramsey, best-selling author of "The Total Money Makeover."
investors willing to invest for the long term, owning properties "can be
a path to financial freedom for many," says Ramsey, adding that it has to
be done right. "It's a horrible investment when done wrong."
homes vs. multi-family units
Single-family homes make good first
properties because they don't entail the same hassles and headaches associated
with multi-unit apartment buildings.
which can be easily turned into rentals, are also much more affordable than, say,
multi-family units such as duplexes, triplexes, and so on," says Robert Sheehan,
consulting economist for the National Apartment Association.
sellers are now also more realistic with pricing, so the current housing market
offers a lot more choices for buyers, who can get better values for their money,
says Thomas M. Stevens, president of the National Association of Realtors.
are also offering lucrative incentives,
thanks to the greater competition for buyers," Stevens says. "Buyers
today can often have the seller pay for things like closing costs, remodeling
expenses, condo fees, etc., so buyers can look forward to not only lower prices
but also lower expenses and costs associated with the purchase of a property."
course this doesn't mean you shouldn't consider buying a rental property that
can be both your home and an investment property.
purchased duplex or triplex can also be a really good way to get started,"
says Ramsey. "You can almost live there for free in many cases. The biggest
downside, however, is that ... there's not going to be as much of a retail market
for that type of a property as there is for the single-family house with the cute
little 'Leave It To Beaver' picket fence around it."
then, of course, there's the issue of having your tenants living just on the other
side of the wall.