What is the fastest way to lose money investing in real estate? Paying too much for a property? Selection of bad tenants? Take out a mortgage at an adjustable rate? It’s none of that. But all of these assumptions may result from not knowing the fastest way to lose money investing in real estate.
Let’s look at the steps a typical new real estate investor can take to start a business.
1. The new investor hires a real estate agent to find him a good investment property. There are good agents that can really help a new investor, but not all of them are. The agent in this example unloads a house on the new investor who has been in the market for a long time. The new investor is not in love with the location, it seems like a tough area, but he likes that it’s a top fix, and he buys the house.
2. Since the new investor is not good with tools, he pays professionals to paint, fit out and repair the house. It turns out expensive, but the house now looks good.
3. The new investor is not a social person and thinks tenants could take advantage of him, so he hires a management company. He assumes the company knows what it’s doing, so he rarely drops by to check on his new rental property. Later, the new investor discovers that he is not making money on his property. The house is difficult to rent because of the location. And, he finds that the management company has made unnecessary repairs.
The new investor is discouraged and decides to limit his losses by selling his house for less than he invested in it. He swears never to watch another Carleton Sheets infomercial.
What went wrong?
The critical mistake was that the new investor relied on “experts” to do everything for him instead of learning to do things himself.
The main thing is not to trust the so-called real estate professionals. It is in your long-term interest to learn how to do all of these things yourself, just as you will learn all aspects of any profession or hobby you pursue. It’s harder to do it all yourself, but it’s more financially rewarding, more deeply satisfying, and you’ll learn a wide range of skills that will serve you well throughout life.
Adopt a new philosophy that pushes you to become independent and autonomous
My philosophy in real estate is that you make money by paying close attention to detail, finding homes that need repairs, adding value to them by fixing them yourself, renting out the property, managing tenants and making repairs when tenants leave.
I believe in holding on to what I have and being independent. My money is earned in the trenches, doing what many people don’t want to do or don’t think the hard work is worth.
But let me assure you that it is worth it.
If you learn:
1) analyze and identify investment properties with potential,
2) enjoy doing the repairs, and
3) apply proven methods for dealing with problematic tenants, you will succeed where many people fail.