10 Important Tips to Successful Real Estate Investing

When it comes to investing, everybody has certain goals and
aspirations. However, we have found that there are certain guidelines
every aspiring real estate investor needs to know.  These could be called the ten important secrets of investing: 

1. Compare Property Values and Rents 
Financial statistics only go so far; the best measure of a property's
market value is often the sale prices of nearby properties. The same
holds true for area rents. A low price can often be justified by a
reasonable rent; renters who can afford a high rent can afford to buy 
instead, so reasonably priced rent is a need. 

2. Be careful - Tax Laws May Change 
Don't base your tax investment on current tax laws. The tax code is 
constantly changing, and a good investment is a good investment 
regardless of the tax code. The right property with the right 
financing is what you should look for as an investor. 

3. Specialize in Something You Know 
Start in a market segment you know. Whether you focus on fixer-uppers, foreclosures, starter homes, low-down payment properties, 
condominiums, or small apartment buildings, you'll benefit from 
experience by specializing in one aspect of investment real estate 
properties. 

4. Know the Costs Going In! 
Know the financial statements inside out. What are operating expenses? What are loan payments? Vacancy costs? Taxes? What does the cash flow statement look like? These are key issues that must be addressed before making a solid investment. 

5. Know where your tenants are coming from 
If the last rent increase was recent, your tenants may be considering 
a move. If tenants have a short-term lease, they may be living there 
simply to attract unsuspecting buyers. It is also important to collect 
the tenants' security deposits at closing. 

6. Assess the tax situation 
Taxes are an integral part of successful real estate investing, and 
they often make the difference between a positive cash flow and a 
negative one. Know the tax situation, and see how it can be 
manipulated to your advantage. It may be a good idea to consult a 
tax advisor. 

7. Investigate insurance coverage 
If seller's coverage is based on lower-than-current replacement value, 
your insurance cost may increase when you pay a higher purchase price. 

8. Confirm Utility Costs 
Ask the local utilities to verify recent utility expenses, especially 
if any of these costs are included in your tenant's rent. 

9. Consult Your Accountant 
Taxation is a key element of successful real estate investing, so be 
sure to find an accountant who is well-versed with the constantly 
evolving tax code. 

10. Inspect! 
Make sure that you always perform a thorough inspection of the 
property before buying it. Never, ever buy any property without at 
least examining the site. In some cases, hiring professional 
inspectors to examine the structural mechanical system may be a sound 
investment. 

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