JCKC Realty

Real estate office located in Sturbridge, Massachusetts. Articles and blog posts located on the Internet.

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How to Keep Your Real Estate License Active in a Slump Market and Still Earn Commissions.

Slump Market

The Real Estate market has recently taken a down turn in some major cities across America and have sent a lot of up and coming Real Estate agents running back to their “day jobs”. In my recent research for additional real estate prospects, I have found that the Real Estate industry has a number of other opportunities to offer a licensee who would like to keep their real estate license active and still earn commissions without jeopardizing all of their hard work that they put into the business. Here are a few suggestions on how to keep your real estate license active and still be able to earn commissions.

Real Estate Agent Referral Programs


Real estate referral programs have been around for quite some time, however referral programs exclusively for real estate agents has recently been developed into a very lucrative and much needed vehicle for agents who do not want to actively participate in selling real estate. A Realtor Referral program is a program that accepts licensed real estate agents who refer family, friends and/or associates to purchase or sell real estate transactions within the network. Once the agent is accepted into a referral program, that agent is not allowed to participate in the selling and/or the buying process of any transaction but receives a referral fee (percentage) on any closed deal. I especially like the referral program option because as an agent, you do not have to pay Multiple Listing Service (MLS) fees and Association dues however there are some referral programs that require a membership fee. Real Estate Agent referral programs have to be sponsored by a broker in your state therefore research local real estate agencies in your area who sponsor referral programs, such as the TexasAgentNetwork, an affiliate with Century 21 Mike Bowman and The Referral Center, who affiliates with various states around the country.


Why Not Take on Rental Clients


There are a number of real estate agencies that cater strictly to rental clients and are consistently busy all year round. I found that when I was selling real estate full time, there was always a need for rental property. A lot of the clients I solicited were not ready for a number of reasons to actually buy property but they had to have a place to stay. Therefore, taking on renters and finding them that perfect short-term or long term rental property was one of my biggest moneymakers. If you are currently working with a broker, ask about their rental property division or start to research other agencies and apartment locator services. The commission is based on a percentage of the rent once the client has signed the lease and paid their deposit. Taking on rental clients is a pretty decent part time gig especially if you want to sit back and wait for the real estate market to warm up again.


Become a Part-time Real Estate Associate


On the flip side of the real estate market, there are still some real estate agents who are making a decent living and beating the odds of the market. However, I found that these agents have been in real estate well over 10 -15 years and have paid their dues (literally) by networking and developing partnerships during their tenure. The real estate market is very competitive so I found that viable and qualified clients are more likely to go with the tenure real estate agent than take their chances with a newbie. Therefore, these hot shot real estate agents are busy and still have to hold open houses, conduct phone calls, home showings etc. and they cannot do it alone. If you want to stay abreast on the real estate market and still make some money, solicit one of the hottest real estate agents in your area to find out if they need help in managing their client base. Even if it is sitting at open houses or pre-qualifying clients in your spare time you will be able to keep your real estate skills sharp and still earn a percentage out of the deal.


Real estate is a tough field but it can also be exciting, rewarding and a great industry to meet a lot of interesting people, therefore do not let all that hard work go to waste. Start checking out some of the other opportunities that the real estate industry has to offer.

Flipping Houses: Five Tips for Greater Profit


There are many ways in which one can invest in real estate these days. Very few however, have gotten quite the press recently that flipping houses for profit as a real estate investment has received. With all the media attention we are seeing a growing number of would be real estate investors branch out into the world of flipping houses in hopes of quick and hefty profits.

With so many people getting into the game there are a few things you should keep in mind when it comes to flipping houses as a form of real estate investing that will keep you ahead of the curve. The most important thing to keep in mind however when making any sort of investment, real estate or otherwise is that there are no absolutes and there are no guarantees. Real estate has made and lost fortunes over the years and it is a fickle market. You need to be aware from the very beginning that if your plan is flipping houses for profit, you are taking a risk.


1) Have a plan. So many people go about this literally flying by the seats of their pants. Flipping houses is a serious investment and should be treated with the seriousness of the money that is on the line. You need to have a plan of action that is detailed, achievable, and well thought out.


2) Set daily goals. In most instances when flipping houses, there is a great deal of work that must be done in order to take a property from dud to diamond among real estate. For this reason you should set daily goals to keep you on target for completing your project one time. Every day that the house is not on the market is a day that you are definitely losing money in the investment. You need to make your daily goals aggressive but achievable and you need to hold yourself accountable when you find you are getting behind. In many cases it will cost less to hire someone to help get you back on track than you will lose by getting too far behind.


3) Know when to hire a pro. Check with local regulations and building codes to make sure that the work you are planning to do yourself doesn’t require a professional to either perform the work or an inspection on the work you’ve done yourself. Additionally, I have yet to meet anyone who is good at everything. It is better in some cases if you do not know what you are doing to pay to have a professional get it right the first time rather than waste time and money trying to muddle through yourself.


4) Stick to your budget. This is the one that most who are flipping houses for the first time fail to achieve. It is difficult to anticipate everything you will need during the process of your real estate investment. It is very important that you keep up with the bottom line each and every day in order to make sure you aren’t going far over budget and potentially placing your project in the red.


5) Don’t make it personal. This would be where far too many who are flipping houses end up going over budget. Do not get caught up creating a home where you would want to live. Create a home that will appeal to your target market and do not use upgrades that the market will not support. There is no point in putting top of the line stainless appliances and granite countertops in a home for a lower middle class family. You will not make enough return on the investment to make it worthwhile because the market can’t afford the upgrade.


While there are many details that go into a successful real estate investment, particularly one that involves flipping houses, the five steps mentioned above will give you a competitive edge. Flipping houses isn’t the only way in which to invest in real estate but it is one of the best ways to turn a hefty profit in a matter of months if you hit the right market at the right time.

Real Estate Tip: Know Your Documents


When you sit down at the table to sign your mortgage papers, that big stack can be intimidating. I’m a notary signing agent, and I see the hesitancy in people’s eyes. “I’m signing my life away,” they often say with a sigh.

Don’t be distressed. If you know what you’re signing, you can get through the pile faster and feel better about what you are doing. Here is a guide to some of the more common documents you will find when you purchase or refinance a home.




This is the main document, and it is usually 8 to 15 pages long. You don’t need to read every word, but you should know what it means. You will probably initial most of the documents before signing at the end. This document is one of several that will be notarized.


The mortgage states that you are taking control of the property, and if you default on the loan, the property will go back to the bank. You also agree to occupy the home and to carry insurance.




Here is where to find your interest rate. This document is usually three pages long, and it lays out the terms of your loan. When you sign the note, you promise to pay the loan back.




This is a big grid with lots of numbers on it. This document is important, because it contains all of your closing costs. It also details which debts will be paid off by the loan. If you need to pay money at the signing, you can find the amount on line 1601.




In some states, you have the right to cancel the loan within three days. This is another reason why you can go ahead and sign the documents without worrying about every little word. You could have four days to cancel if there is a Sunday during that time (the recission period).




This is a breakdown of all of the payments you will be making. It usually contains a page explaining some of the terminology.




This document details how the loan company will (or won’t) share your personal information.




This contains all of the information from your loan application. It details your employment, income and debts.




This is a document that verifies your name and signature. If you have any other aliases, you would list them here.




This document verifies that you are the true and rightful owner of the home. It also lists any liens or improvements on the property.




This document simply states that the bank can correct any typographical errors without having to re-draw new documents. Don’t worry – they aren’t allowed to use this document to change anything important.


These are the main documents. There are several more, but knowing the basics should give you some peace of mind.

Road Appeal: The Key to Selling Your Real Estate Quickly


When it comes to selling real estate, most people assume the first impression hits prospective buyers when they enter the house. They’re wrong. That’s the second impression. The first impression comes much sooner and learning about a little concept called road appeal will help you as an agent or seller move your real estate properties quickly.

Road appeal is just what it sounds like – how your house looks when prospective buyers drive by. There are some very basic, but often overlooked, elements to increasing your property’s real estate road appeal.


Remember, some buyers are not good at viewing a piece of property for its potential if it already has a lot of pieces filled in. Make your real estate property a canvas so your prospective buyers can imagine their lives in it. If they like what they see when they imagine themselves enjoying your yard, they will buy it.


If that first impression is of a cluttered, trashy yard, they will subconsciously view the rest of the house that way, no matter how clean and neat.


First, give everything a trim. The yard should be neat and well groomed. It does not have to look like the Biltmore Estates, but the grass should be mowed, hedges pruned, large clumps of weeds pulled. All the basic yard grooming things you should do, but might not think of as priorities.


Next, consider pressure washing your house and driveway. Years of dirt and grime can make a house seem old and dingy. Pressure washing removes all that build-up for a clean glow. A few paint touch-ups on the porch or gables is also a good idea. Any repairs you’ve been putting off? Go ahead and fix that creaky step, rotten banister rail, or missing rail post. It may seem silly since you won’t get to enjoy the repairs. But the impression of a needed $10 repair can kill a prospective buyer’s interest.


Now, step back and take an honest look at your house from the road. Imagine you are a prospective real estate buyer. What do you see? As a parent, you’re used to seeing your kids toys scattered around, but as a buyer all those balls, bats and Tonka trucks clutter the yard. The trampoline, which the kids never use, makes the yard look small. And those adorable pink flamingos suddenly seem a little, well, . . . tacky. Those big, Miami green planters your wife loves? Also tacky. Be honest with yourself about the decorative elements of your yard and make an effort to keep them appealing to the widest audience possible.


Believe it or not, one of the things real estate agents have to do frequently is ask their clients to remove junky cards, furniture and trash from their front yards. Many families overlook the trashy elements of their yards if they do not spend much time there.


Another key element to road appeal is to remember your location. If you are in the country, the first impression should fit that setting. If your home a log cabin? Keep the yard and patio furniture in tune with that theme. If you have a house in a subdivision, follow all the subdivision codes.


Finally, remember is that keeping the yard free of toys and debris is not just important when you have an appointment to show the house. Prospective buyers may drive by your home at any time, with or without a real estate agent. In fact, prospective buyers often drive by a property many times before even contacting their real estate agent.

Buying a House: Working with a Real Estate Agent

Buy House

If you are in the market to purchase a new home, a real estate agent can be an invaluable help to you.

Several years ago I was in real estate sales, but quit for health reasons. Following is my perspective on working with a real estate agent.


If you are like many buyers, you will start your search by reading the classified ads and going to open houses. This is a great way to get familiar with the market. Once your search becomes more focused a good real estate agent can be a big help and tremendous time saver.


There are many ways to find a real estate agent. Once people know you are looking for a house, you will probably get referrals, which may be good or not-so -good. A great way to find a agent is to go to an open house in the area that you want to buy in. Agents know that the likelihood that the right buyer will happen into an open house is rare. Agents who are showing open houses are frequently interested in finding buyers to work with.


There are certain agents who do not like to work with buyers, because buyers are time consuming. I used to work in an office where agents refused to show buyers more than three houses. If you think you want to look at more than three houses, you probably don’t want one of those agents.


There are lots of agents, who aren’t as focused on spending their time getting listings, who will be happy to spend time with you, and help you find the perfect home. Agents who are overloaded with clients may not take the time with you that you deserve. Agents who have been in the business for over a year and are familiar with the market are often excellent at spending the time necessary to help buyers find homes.


You should be aware that most real estate agents work on straight commission. When they take you out in their cars they investing their time in you, as well as the expenses occurred in driving their car. The reason that you should know this is that you should respect their time. Make appointments with them in advance so they can schedule their time. Don’t just drop in on them and expect them to drop everything and show you houses. It takes time for the agent to make arrangements to show properties.


Some customers think they will get a better deal by working with several agents or contacting the listing agents directly. This isn’t the case, because all of the agents have access to the same inventory of houses. If you are curious about a house that is listed, ask the agent you are working with about it.


Buyers that attempt to work with more that one agent get a reputation as tire kickers.. The risk of that is that agents won’t invest their time in you if they know that you are not loyal. It’s amazing how fast word can get around that customers are working with more than one agent.


This is not to say that if you feel that an agent is not giving you good service that you have to stick with them. You have the right to switch agents. Just don’t try to work with multiple agents at the same time. It’s confusing to you and not fair to them.


Once you have found an agent that you feel you can have a good working relationship with, the agent will spend time helping to define what you are looking for. It’s at this point that you will probably talk about what you would like to have and what you can afford. The agent will also prequalify you or have you talk to a mortgage loan officer directly. Mortgage lenders have relationships with real estate agents and will spend a short time asking you the necessary questions and ask to run a short credit check. The credit check is important, so that your agent knows that you are working with the right price bracket.


Once you know what price range you will be looking in, you can discuss with the agent what kind of house that will buy in the market. It’s important to be realistic here. Talk with the agent about the size of house you need, he style you like and the location you prefer. You can start with what you need,such as: I need a three bedroom house with a living room, kitchen and bath. Then you can talk about features you don’t need, but would like to have, such as a full basement and workshop. You get the idea. The agent will help you get as much house as you can for your budget. Communicate with the agent about what you really want.


Real estate agents invest a lot of time in knowing the market. Once you have a relationship with an agent, they will constantly be on the lookout for new listings that just might be your perfect new home. This is where loyalty to an agent pays off. When the agent is out looking at new listings, you want to be the first person they are thinking of and the first person they call when a great new listing comes on the market.


Real Estate agents are hired by the seller, the person who lists the property. Their commission in paid by the seller, out of the proceeds of the sale. therefore the seller is considered the client, while the buyer is considered the customer. It;s a fine line of distinction, but one you should be aware of. Technically both agents in a transaction work for the seller, but have obligation to be ethical and honest with you.


When you find the perfect house, the real estate agent you are working with will help you write the offer. the agent will probably ask for an earnest money deposit. The agent will then present your offer to the seller and the listing agent. Chances are that there will be some negotiation of price and terms. Hopefully an agreement will be reached. During the following loan approval process, the agent will continue to help the process along and make sure that details are taken care of. Both real estate agents usually attend the real estate closing.


You can enjoy a good relationship with the real estate agent who helps you in finding and purchasing a new home.

Selling Your House — “For Sale by Owner” — is it Right for You?

So you’ve decided to sell your house. There are many things to do now, and one of them is to decide if you are going to use a real estate agent or go the “For Sale By Owner” route to sell your house.

Naturally, the most attractive thing about selling your house without an agent or broker is that you save the commission you would normally pay to the agent. This amount can vary, but often runs around 6% of the price at which you sell your house. With a $100,000 house, that’s $6,000! In your area of the country the average real estate agent commission may be slightly above or below this amount. Also, depending on the market, you may find an agent who is willing to negotiate a lower commission to sell your house.


What Does The Real Estate Agent Do To Sell Your House That You Can’t Do With “For Sale By Owner”?


So what does he do for his commission? Plenty. In addition to trying to sell your house to potential buyers, he also advertises it to other agents. This one fact alone is what usually makes the sale. He lists it in the Multiple Listing Service, and often spends time and money specifically to market your home to other agents.


What’s The Multiple Listing Service? How Can It Help To Sell Your House?


Most agents belong to the Multiple Listing Service, and they find houses for their buyers through this service. Your agent will list your house in this database, along with a detailed description. Here’s a common scenario of how the Multiple Listing Service works to sell your house:


A prospective buyer calls an agent on a house he may have advertised in the paper. The agent sits down with the person looking to buy, and asks him what all he is looking for in a house. They discuss price range, what they want in a house, what area of town they want to live in, etc. Then the agent consults the Multiple Listing Service to find houses which fit the home-seeker’s interests. The original house which the prospect called on may or may not be the one he buys. In fact, according to RealEstateABC.com only about 10% of “For Sale By Owner” homes sell successfully, and this is one reason why.


What does this mean to you?


When an agent lists your house in the Multiple Listing Service, all the agents in your city are now trying to sell your house. If you decide to sell it “For Sale By Owner”, you may not be able to list it in the Multiple Listing Service.


So, when selling your house “For Sale By Owner”, you need to be able to find prospects to buy it on your own. Every agent in the city will not be helping you to sell it. And you need to be able to catch one of those small percentage of people who buy the same house they called on from an ad.


Where can you find prospects when your house is “For Sale By Owner”?


Lots of places…


Your Job — Many people find a new house through someone they know at their work. Also, if you work for a company with multiple locations, they may be moving new employees into your area who are looking to buy a house. Depending on what business you are in, you may also have business customers who may be interested in buying a house.


Your Family — Perhaps a family member would like your house. Let them all know you are selling it.


Your Friends — Let them all know. Even if they don’t want your house, they may have friends or relatives who are looking for a house just like yours.


Newspapers — Advertise in every paper for your area, even the small community papers.


Websites — There are now “For Sale By Owner” websites all over the Net. Do a search for some with listings in your area, and list your home. The most popular “For Sale By Owner” website is ForSaleByOwner.com. They offer many benefits to help you sell your house, along with listing it for you!


Your Neighborhood — Print up flyers and distribute them to all of your neighbors. They may be looking to switch houses, or have friends or relatives who may be interested.


“For Sale By Owner” — Some Other Things To Consider


Lower Offers When Your House Is “For Sale By Owner”


When you want to sell your house the “For Sale By Owner” way, you may have many people simply cut off the typical agent commission in their offer to buy. They know that you do not have to pay an agent, so they lower their offer. If you accept an offer such as this, then all your hard work and effort does not save you anything at all! So sharpen your negotiating skills to sell your house at the best price!


“For Sale By Owner” — Extra Legal Costs


“For Sale By Owner” also means that you will probably need to hire a real estate attorney. You’ll need to consult with him about your legal responsibilities, and to provide the proper paperwork. If you are using an agent, he can usually guide you through the proper steps without additional charges. So to whatever you save in agent commission, you need to remember to add back in these attorney fees to see your real savings.


“For Sale By Owner” May Take Longer


Since you are the only one promoting, it may take longer to sell your house because there are less people looking at it.


So is “For Sale By Owner” right for you? In making your decision, be sure to take the above circumstances into account. Do you have the time to sell your house? Do you have up-front money for advertising and for an attorney? Do you have the negotiating skills to make a successful sale? If you answered, “Yes” to these questions, then “For Sale By Owner” may get you an extra few thousand dollars when you sell your house!

Real Estate: Tenants and Property Owners, a Few Things You Need to Know

Some people buy real estate for purposes of making money such as renting it out to generate a good monthly income. Believe it or not thousands of people do this every year and make quite a bit on their investment. This is especially true about unattractive properties that need a little work. With a few weeks of cleaning and repair you can take a cheap property and turn it into a cash cow getting well $1,000 a month with it depending on size.

But with this type of real estate investment that requires a tenant to live in the property you do run a certain amount of risk. Even if you have a property management company which does make it easier, there can still be a couple of problems if your rent to the wrong ones. This article can show you current laws for property owners with this intent and even a few tips and pointers to tenants that can help to stop problems before they get out of hand. Think of it as common ground for both the renter and the landlord.


Real Estate: New California Laws


California laws may be different than other states but you will find in some cases it is the same. The best way to find out current laws in your state if you are looking into buying a property to rent out is to call a state office and they can direct your call or send you the information on this request.


There are two major laws that directly impact a property owner after 2006. These laws are very important and many don’t even know they exist.


Property taxes in cases with ‘Domestic Partners’, according to Senate Bill 565 registered domestic partners will be treated the same as spouses under California property tax laws. This is definitely something to think about.


In January 1, 2006, property owners can give a 30 day notice to vacate the premises to any of their month-to-month tenants, unless of course there are subsidized housing rules that apply. This, for some is a problem as the existing law that requires a full 60 days of notice before expecting a tenant to vacate no longer applies… there are, to my understanding, a few circumstances that would still be entitled to the 60 day notice but don’t count on it.


Real Estate: Tips for Tenants


If you are a tenant there are few things you should know that can help you avoid certain problems that can seriously damage your credit and leave you with a big fat eviction. If you follow these tips you can stay on top of your situation and remain the responsible party of anything should threaten your position.


First of all you should always read thoroughly your rental agreement before signing. If it states something about pets, guests or even something as simple as working from your home you should pay close attention to that before agreeing. This could land in trouble down the line.


Next, you should always correspond by e-mail or standard mail and have copies saved of everything that is written between you two. In case something were to happen regarding repairs or anything else for that matter you should be able to provide proof that you have tried to resolve the issues in a responsible manner. So, get EVERYTHING in writing.


Know your rights! There are so many rights that you, the tenant, have that should never be impeded upon. You have a right to privacy, a right to live in a secure environment, the right to have problems fixed at the property owner’s expense, and so much more.


Real Estate: Closing


It can be a difficult task to own a property but it can also be unsettling to be a tenant in the wrong circumstance. If you are in the right then the facts will prove such. This is why, for both parties, all things should be in writing and communication should always be open. Agreements in writing are usually the deciding factor in any real estate case, make the documents involved speak volumes about your credibility and responsibility.

How to Avoid Buyer’s Remorse in Real Estate


We have all experienced buyer’s remorse at one time or another. Whether it was over that slinky red dress that looked so good in the store or that high-priced tennis racket you were absolutely sure you would use every day. Now both are sitting in your closet, and you are finally in the acceptance stage of buyer’s remorse. But buyer’s remorse in real estate can have a far greater impact on you than buyer’s remorse following any other purchase, even an expensive motor vehicle. After all, buying a home is the largest purchase you will likely ever make. Here are some tips on how to avoid buyer’s remorse in real estate.

Firstly, it would serve you well to keep in mind that there is such a thing as non-buyer’s remorse in real estate. Non-buyer’s remorse could result from over-shopping, from not making an offer on a piece of real estate that you truly want yet hesitate to buy for fear of buyer’s remorse. So, do not think that shopping around forever and ever will necessarily help you avoid remorse. You may still suffer it, just in a different form.


The best way to avoid buyer’s remorse in real estate is to become a confident home-buyer. And the best way to become a confident home-buyer is to do research, to know the real estate market enough to feel comfortable making important decisions. It also means studying your potential new home from all angles, including its distance from work, the type of school district it is located in, its proximity to shopping and other things that may be important to you.


You should also get pre-approved for a mortgage. Allow a professional lender to crunch the numbers for you before you shop for your new home, so that you know what you can afford. This is vital, especially for first-time home buyers who often bite off more than they can chew. Obtaining pre-approval for a mortgage will help you stay within your price range and thus, help you to avoid buyer’s remorse.


Ask the opinions of others. Get advice from friends, relatives, colleagues, or whoever else you trust before purchasing your new home. This will help to build confidence in your decision-making abilities and more importantly, it will help to eliminate the risk of buyer’s remorse.


Once you have finalized the purchase, make the home your own. Your new home may seem foreign at first, and that could lead to buyer’s remorse. Give your new home life and design the interior and exterior the way you would like. Paint, carpet, landscape. Whatever it takes to make you feel more at home.


If you still feel buyer’s remorse creeping in, keep in mind all the thought you put into this decision prior to making the purchase. You did your research, you got pre-approved for a mortgage, and you asked the advice of friends, relatives, and colleagues. Do not beat yourself up over it. Buyer’s remorse is common among home-buyers. Sometimes it simply cannot be helped.

Real Estate: Shopping for Property on the Internet


We buy books and videos, shop for clothing and computers, even cars on the Internet, so what is so different about buying property? A lot! This does not mean you should not shop for land, a building, or some combination of the two with the aid of the Internet, but that you should be prepared to go about it in somewhat of a different manner than you do other goods and services.

When we shop for goods or services, it is more than likely than not that if we are unsatisfied with the purchase that we can return an item or disagree with the way a service was provided, resulting in a refund or credit. Property is not returnable. Once you buy it, you own it. In addition, what you see in person is what you get, but what you see in a photo may be quite different, and that is often times where the problem lies. Seeing property via a group of pictures is not always representative of what you will see if you were to stand on that same piece of land.


Consider the Internet a Tool


Therefore, what should you do if you are interested in buying property, be it a house, acreage, building, or some combination in this manner with the aid of the Internet? Foremost, consider the Internet just one tool of many that you will use in helping you make your buying decision. Buying a property sight unseen save for a few exchanged photographs via email can occur, but I would not recommend it.


Tips to Increase your Shopping Satisfaction


The following tips will help you get the most out of shopping for property with the aid of the Internet.


Once you have found a property you are interested in, request a written description of the property. If the description is not clear, ask for clarification.


Never assume something is or is not included with the sale.


Check it out in person if possible. If not, contact someone that can. Most real estate offices are willing to take on such an undertaking for a fee. Just because a seller is not interested in listing with a realtor does not mean that a buyer must also forgo one. You might run into the occasional seller that wants no dealing with a realtor whatsoever, but most will be more than happy to accommodate a third party there to rep[resent you if it means a possible sale.


Ask if there are issues that the seller feels should be disclosed. You might think a seller would not tell you negatives, but some will, wanting a clean sale to a happy buyer.


Never assume an answer to any question you might have. Inquire about all applicable questions. For example, is there electricity run to a rural property, is there a well or city water, is the property in a flood zone, is there legal access to the land, what is the property and the surrounding area zoned, are there any restrictions in regards to the property or any buildings on it, is the title clear, etc.


Using the Internet as a tool when shopping for property can be invaluable. It can allow you to narrow your search before starting the legwork.

Ten Myths of Real Estate Investing


Even with all of the books and other materials on the market today that detail exactly how one goes about investing in real estate, there is still a great deal of mystique around the whole business. Mystique breeds fear. When people don’t understand a thing, whether that thing is a society from halfway around a planet, a species that doesn’t really resemble people or dogs or other animals they are accustomed to, or buying real estate, they become afraid. Sometimes they want to destroy a thing that frightens them. Sometimes they simply want to avoid it. Nine times out of 10, though, they will make up something about it. That’s why there are so many myths about real estate investing. Even intelligent, educated people believe these myths without so much as a second thought.

Let’s look at a few of those myths surrounding investment property, see if you have any swimming around in your head, and fish them out, shall we?


Myth No. 1: Only the disgustingly rich can get into real estate investing. Very popular assumption, but not true. In fact, a lot of disgustingly rich people got that way by investing in real estate. Rich Dad, Poor Dad guy Robert Kiyosaki said he was dirt poor when he started looking at investment property. There are things like bank loans and investors that can get you over the rough parts of buying real estate.


Myth No. 2: You have to be born into a family of real estate moguls to understand investing in real estate. Another falsehood. That’s like saying you have to be born into a family of brain surgeons to understand brain surgery. What you do have to do, in order to understand real estate investing, is study real estate. There are plenty of books and experts out there to help you along your way in buying real estate. Learn something about the business and then buy some investment property.


Myth No. 3: If you’re not extremely confident and smooth while buying real estate, people will see through you and you will fail. That may be true if you’re trying to manipulate them into believing something that isn’t true. But when investing in real estate, you are simply trying to look for a good deal. In real estate investing, you always have the power to walk away from a piece of investment property that doesn’t suit you. You can even stutter you way through the whole thing if you like.


Myth No. 4: In real estate investing, you have to know somebody to get your foot in the door. Not really. Of course, the more people you know, the more information about hot investment property will naturally come your way. It’s called networking. You can always meet people, just like you can always learn things.


Myth No. 5: You have to be a seasoned negotiator and a smooth operator to be successful investing in real estate. Seasoned negotiators are those who have been buying real estate for a long time. In order to have done something for 10 years, you have to first actually do something for 10 years. Which means that, for a while, you are a newbie at handling investment property. That is unavoidable. Everyone has to start somewhere. Practice real estate investing long enough and you will be a seasoned negotiator. You may even become a smooth operator.


Myth No. 6: You have to be a real estate investing expert. There is no way you are going to become an expert without first investing in real estate. You’ve heard of getting your feet wet? You have to just get in there and start buying real estate. It’s good to read a few books before starting, but there is no way you are going to be able to learn everything about investment property from books. Experience is the best teacher.


Myth No. 7: Investing in real estate is a big gamble. Sadly, people do approach real estate investing as though they were playing at the Roulette wheel in Vegas. These are the people who lose. When you start buying real estate, you need to learn as much as possible and plan your purchases to give yourself the best opportunity to succeed. Sure, some people will be better than others at finding great investment property. Those people will probably make more money. But they aren’t simply guessing. They are getting to know the markets and purchasing accordingly.


Myth No. 8: You can’t afford to make mistakes in real estate investing. Anyone who tells you that you can’t make a mistake isn’t being very realistic. It is human nature to make mistakes. It is inevitable. Try to minimize your mistakes when buying real estate, sure, but then use them to teach yourself how to approach investment property. Mistakes are your best teachers, and your most valuable assets.


Myth No. 9: One bad deal will sink you financially. If the deal is bad enough, sure. It could. But in learning how to approach investing in real estate, you should have learned not to sink everything you have into one deal when buying real estate. You should also learn that even a bad deal can make you some money. Aside from that, spend the money that you can actually afford to lose.


Myth No. 10: Real estate investing is just the latest get-rich-quick fad. If approached properly, investing in real estate isn’t a get-rich-quick anything. It is a methodical process of building your wealth. Ask Donald Trump.


Don’t let anyone feed you these myths. There is nothing mystical about investing in real estate. Buying real estate is simply a process, just like anything else. Investment property is big business, and it wouldn’t be if it were all a gamble.