This week I had the good fortune of purchasing my first investment property (pictured above). Through this process I learned a ton about real estate and the art of buying a property for investment purposes. My intent in sharing this experience is to empower anyone looking for their first or next real estate purchase. Buying a home for yourself or as an investment does not need to be a terrifying experience.
(Real quick…why real estate? I’ve got money in the stock market like most folks but I wanted to both diversify and get into a realm where I have a tad more control and can take advantage of four layers of wealth creation…in real estate investing you get rental income, loan paydown, property appreciation and tax breaks! Plus real estate is an asset that I can pass down to my daughter to create generational wealth!)
Ok, back on topic, in the late Spring of this year I decided I wanted to pursue my first investment property purchase. My first thought was to just target a great house in a great neighborhood near great schools. But, as I started to do a bit of research I quickly realized that when buying a property solely for investment purposes there are many other considerations and in order to make a solid purchase I knew that I needed an education. Here are some of the sources I used:
I have a 1.5 hour per day commute, so for me turning to real estate podcasts was a no brainer. They are free and provide a wealth of information and ideas. My favorite is the Bigger Pockets Podcast, these run 1+ hour each and are released weekly…there are over 250 episodes so you can start at numero uno or choose the ones that seem like they’ll be most interesting to you. I can honestly say that I learn some great tips and tricks on every episode no matter the topic. The other podcasts I like are Joe Fairless’s Best Ever Show and Lifetime Cashflow with Rod Khleif. All of these can be found on iTunes or through your Podcast app. If you’re still rocking a flip phone you can probably download the podcasts to your iPod Shuffle…or maybe your Microsoft Zune! Seriously, podcasts are awesome and a great way to educate yourself on real estate during your daily commute or whenever you have time to listen.
I’m not much of a reader, but in order to prepare for a major real estate purchase I made an exception. See my Education Resources page for some real estate books that I like.
Local Investor Meetups – Real estate is truly a business of relationships and a great way to both educate yourself and build relationships is to attend a meeting at your local Real Estate Investors Association or a similar investor meetup. You can find them at the Bigger Pockets Events page, by doing a Google search or by asking other real estate investors or agents in your area (if you know any). Panama City kind of sucks in this regard as I haven’t been able to find a decent investors group but most decently sized cities should have something. They usually charge a small fee for their meetups and will have guest speakers…some meetings are free! Another great aspect of meetups is that you can potentially build a relationship with an investor who has money but no time…perhaps leading to partnering up a deal…you do the hustling and they provide the down payment…happens all the time and it’s how many investors get started.
YouTube – In case you’ve been living under a rock and don’t know…YouTube has great resources on just about any topic you can think of to include real estate investing. There some great videos on the Bigger Pockets YouTube page (I swear I’m not paid by Bigger Pockets…they simply have outstanding free resources!).
Real Estate Bootcamps (live or webinars) – There is a ton of stuff out there in this realm. I’d recommend using extreme caution when considering any bootcamp that charges a hefty fee…I personally have not paid for any and have heard that many of them are a rip off…again, do your research before paying big money for a real estate class. You can also do online webinars…some are free…including, yep, you guessed it, the Bigger Pockets Webinars.
There are undoubtedly other ways to educate yourself on real estate investing but in my opinion these are the best ways to do so. So start reading/listening/watching your medium of choice and enter the world of investing in real estate. In the next chapter of the chronicles I will go over the finding and purchasing of this investment property.