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 online. Here are some good rental websites to check out:
1) zillow.com- Zillow has been an increasingly popular place to list rentals. The website is easy to use and allows for lots of photos. Over the last few years, it seems to be the best place to look.
2) apartments.com- Much like Zillow, Apartments has a 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.
They say home ownership is the American dream. Do you desire to own your own home? Or maybe you are content with renting and less responsibility for maintenance? As long as you plan to stay in the same area for an extended period of time, owning makes a lot more sense than renting. Here are the top 4 reasons why paying a mortgage is better than paying rent.
Great info on everything real estate.