By Ryan Velez
Many may sing the praises of real estate as a revenue stream, but it is also an easy way to hurt your finances if done improperly. Indeed, many real estate buyers get some of their prime locations from other would-be investors that have their properties foreclosed on. You may not have to be rich to get started in real estate, but it pays to have a proper financial foundation to cover when things go wrong. Black Enterprise has compiled some important information that you may want to know to be prepared for investing in real estate.
The first thing to keep in mind is getting educated. It’s easy to get excited about the potential of real estate and dive right in, but it’s unlikely to succeed unless you understand fully how the game of real estate works, and how exactly the success stories in this field build their wealth. The good news is that there are many sources to get this education, from books to podcasts to forums to blogs to meeting up with professionals in person. Choose the format and sources that work best for you, and start learning before you get started.
It’s important to understand that while your aim at real estate is to increase your wealth, you will likely have some immediate constraints on your finances, due to down payments, reserves, and emergencies. As a result, you need to start thinking about a budget now and putting it into practice. Whether you prefer using a simple spreadsheet or an app, start finding ways to save your money now, even if it means making sacrifices. Setting up a separate savings account is a good idea as well, just be prepared for the many ups and downs of real estate.
Perhaps one of the biggest hurdles for getting started in real estate is your credit score. The reason is simple, the initial purchases that you make will likely be done with a mortgage, but the requirements can be stringent for qualifying for one. Many banks will want a credit score of at least 625, some will want even more. After finding out your score, the time will come to improve it. While the mechanics of raising credit score are a bit nebulous, the best way you can get started is by paying your bills on time and reducing your debt.