August 26, 2016 at 6:40pm | Denise Bodman
Many people, especially in Austin, are beginning their investment portfolios with real estate. Given how much of a boon this economic sector has been, which I’ve talked about here, it’s quite a solid decision to make. If you’ve come to the conclusion that investing in real estate is going to be a part of your future, here are some tips to help you begin your journey.

Make a Plan
Making a plan can be the most intensive, soul-baring, and thought-provoking part of any real estate investment. In order to make a plan, you have to really understand your personal abilities. Ask yourself these questions:
  • How much can you afford to pay?

  • What kind of rental property is best for your situation?

  • Where do you want to invest?

  • What returns are you hoping for?

Thoroughly researching the answers to each of these questions is paramount, because they will determine your rental and purchasing strategies.

Follow Through
Writing down a plan, schedule, and some goals can help keep you on track in following through. Hold yourself accountable and, if you need, set up some external method of accountability as well. For instance, periodically meeting with a real estate agent about the nature of these investments will keep your investments secure.

Organize Your Finances
This is an important step in preparing for your goals. By making sure that your finances are in order, you can guarantee a safe transition to ownership. Talk with you bank about financing options, mortgages, leasing, and how much you can be credited for. Most importantly, do not start looking at properties until your finances are secured—otherwise you’ll likely overestimate how much you’ll be able to purchase.

Begin Your search!
Either with a realtor or on your own, start by developing an understanding of market values. Knowing how much nearby properties sell for is key, as it should determine when, where, and how you invest. By analyzing trends over the few months in which you’re organizing your finances, you can have a good recognition of stability and prices in the areas you want to begin renting to. Finding the right location and focusing on a low-cost home are the best ways to get into real estate, especially if you want a stable return on your investment.

Keep Your Expectations Realistic
As you move through the process of investments, remember that above all, you need to stay realistic and stay positive! If you feel that real estate might be too much for you on your own, there are always reputable realtors and brokers around who can help you through it.

Being a landlord is hard work, but can be very rewarding in financial gains and personal freedom!
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