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7/25/07

Multiple Streams of Income: Real Estate as a Business

Many entrepreneurs get their start in the real estate business. The real estate business can be extremely lucrative, you just have to know what, where, and how to get in. The real estate market, like so many other businesses, is cyclical. You have to know how to survive and be profitable in the bad cycles in order to create the wealth that is truly befitting an entrepreneur.

First and foremost, before you jump headfirst into real estate, you have to learn about the business and the market. Many would be entrepreneurs are hypnotized by the lore of getting rich quick. They think that every deal that they come across is the next million dollar investment. You can not be “star struck” by every real estate deal that comes your way. You have to carefully analyze every deal and even call in a second opinion when necessary.

As I mentioned, you have to know the market. Many entrepreneurs make the fatal mistake of jumping into the real estate market when it is “hot.” This type of market is called a “seller’s market.” You will know when the current market is a seller’s market by, amongst other things, dramatic raises in real estate prices occur. People think that this is the best time to get into the market, but this is simply not true. This is the time when you want to sell, hence the name “seller’s market.” It is simple economics; when more buyers exist than sellers, sellers can raise the price of their property and thus get more return on their investment.

In the worst case scenario, which occurs more often than you may think, would be entrepreneurs buy all their investment properties in a seller’s market. Once the market cools off (as it inevitably will), these would be entrepreneurs find that their investment properties have negative equity and the mortgages or obligations to investors become too expensive to bear. They end up losing their properties and their investment dollars.

The best time to buy is when the market is in the toilet. You can get property cheap, and if you have the knowledge, money, and time, you can follow the most well known real estate money making formula: (1) Buy, (2) Improve, (3) Hold, and (4) Refinance.


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