There’s no doubt about it: investing in real estate can be fruitful. Many people find it attractive because it’s typically less volatile than the stock market while still providing strong growth over time. Now, after years in the workforce, more Millennials are taking the leap. (“Millennials” is the name given to the generation born between 1981 and 1996.) Many are first-time investors and could use tips on how to get started in the real estate game. Here are four important ones according to the National Association of REALTORS®.
Improve Your Credit
Investors need a good credit score to get certain loans—especially first-time investors. Money lenders comb through your finances to ensure you’re a good risk, so pay off previous loans to bump up your score. (For more information on how to improve your credit score, see my previous blog article “Six Smart Ways to Boost Your Credit Score.”)
Build Your Savings
Having a stable savings stream puts you in good standing with lenders. Save a percentage of your paychecks to store funds for your first purchase and create a smart and consistent plan to pay off your high-interest debts first.
Research can help you build a strong portfolio and learn about the industry. Calculate how much you can spend and how long it takes to renovate and sell homes in your price range. Use comparisons for similar real estate in the area to save time, money and stress. I regularly work with investors and can provide the comparisons you’ll need. In addition, I have experience doing my own fix-and-flips in the Denver metro area. Lastly, I find the information and resources at BiggerPockets.com can be helpful for investors in all stages. They offer free webinars, courses, and videos; a blog with more than 9,000 articles; and guides, forums, podcasts, and more.
Use Your Brain…Not Your Gut or Heart
Emotion can get in the way of real estate investment. What may seem too good to be true often is. Consult an inspector prior to making a purchase. And learn from any failures to become a stronger, smarter investor. You’ll find lots of learn-from-my-mistakes stories on BiggerPockets.com and in meetings of the Colorado Real Estate Investors Association (ColoradoREIA).