Real Estate Investing Danger Zones

Real estate investing has made many investors very wealthy, but not unlike any business venture has also left many others disillusioned because it didn’t make them wealthy, and in some unfortunate cases, lost the investor money. glenn delve

In this article, I want to discuss some real estate investing danger zones-issues connected with the selection and acquisition of investment properties where real estate investors can (and do) get into trouble and wind up with less-than-desirable cash flows and rates of return.

Neglecting to Run the Numbers

Real estate investing is all about a rental property’s financial performance, and being able to run the numbers adequately so you can measure a property’s vital signs and judge its health as an investment opportunity is paramount to your investing success.

Whether you’re an experienced income property investor or beginner, you must develop a proficiency for measuring such basics as rates of return, cash flows, and estimates of value. Otherwise, you’re just guessing whether a specific property is profitable, meets with your investment objectives, and at the end of the day will make you money.

You must understand that the prudent investor always seeks a return on investment. It’s not an emotional matter (physical aspects of the rental property are secondary). Real estate investing concerns buying the property’s anticipated economic benefits called the income stream, and you must be able to examine revenue streams along with expenses, net operating income and cash flows carefully with some serious number crunching before you make a purchase.

Paying Too Much

It seems a warning to investors not to over pay for income property would be unnecessary because it’s difficult to conceive any reasonable person would pay more than fair market value for real estate. But they do, perhaps not knowingly, but by default.

Here’s what I mean. Investors that buy income property based on emotion, or because they are told that it’s a good buy without credible data to substantiate the claim, always run the risk of paying too much for rental property.

You must always research the fair market value in a given market area for the type of investment property you’re interested in beforehand and then base your offer accordingly. At the very least, do a comparable sold survey. You need to know the price per unit and capitalization rate comparable rental properties recently sold so you don’t get caught up in sentiment and sales hype.

Unrealistic Expectations

A tendency to accept or unwittingly fabricate high and unrealistic expectations surrounding the potential benefits of a rental property commonly occurs in real estate investing when investors become more anxious to make an investment than they are to make a good investment.

If you consider the income property in question having low rents, for example, don’t jump to the conclusion that you can raise the rents and still maintain an occupancy level able to produce the income stream you are counting on (at least not overnight). Moreover, look for underlying reasons why the rents are low and only afterward, base your rent estimates on comparable income properties in the surrounding area.

Don’t count on a bump in property value based on what the local planning department tells you without thoroughly researching it. Rezoning a property, for instance, generally requires a favorable vote from agencies other than the planning department such as traffic control and the fire department.

We can go on, but you get the idea. If you want to succeed at real estate investing, always do your homework. Bear in mind that that one-in-a-million investment opportunities to purchase a rental property guaranteed to make money is going to happen to the next real estate investor, not to you. So remain diligent.