Many people enjoy the idea of becoming a real estate investor. An abundance of infomercials and HGTV programming make it seem so easy and glamorous. The reality is that it is not always easy. Real estate can be a great investment, but educate yourself and understand what you are getting into before you make the plunge.
BUYING THE PROPERTY
When purchasing a property, the first step is to get pre-approved for a home loan. Be sure to specify whether you want to purchase a single family or multi-unit residence, and whether you plan to occupy it. Based on this information, there are different types of loans available, and different requirements for each loan type such as down payment amount, interest rate, and other costs. Typically when purchasing investment property, larger down payments are required. When house hunting, you will want to consider a number of factors that make a rental desirable. Location is first and foremost. Size, condition, and neighborhood amenities are other important factors.
I often have people call me to inquire about rental properties. It is common in large cities for Realtors to help people find rentals, but it is not really the case in Grand Rapids. I do not have any special access to rental property information like I do with homes for sale. Although I do not work with renters, here are some tips and resources that will help you in your search.
The first place most people will start to look is on the web. Here are some good rental websites to check out:
1) apartments.com- Great website that is easy to use, has good search functionality, and multiple photos of properties. A popular site that has a lot of inventory.
I recently wrote an article that explained in detail why thinking of your home as an investment is simply faulty logic. So, by the title of this post, it may seem that I'm contradicting myself. Not so. While I don't advocate considering "investment value" when purchasing a home, there are still plenty of valid reasons to own instead of rent, especially in the current low rate environment. Let's take a look at why home ownership simply makes more sense than renting, especially over a long-term basis.
Great info on everything real estate.