by Dan Jensen
Relocation Services Director - Equity Northwest Properties Group
Investing in Real Estate is a dream for some, a practical activity for others, and the path taken by so many people over years and years of our Country's history to amass significant financial holdings and net worth!
Okay, so RE is a sound path to building your financial empire, but what if you don't have a ton of dough to start with? Is it still possible to invest in real estate?
Short answer is 'Yes Indeed'.
Example/Tool Number One - Option
You see a house you like that's for sale or may be soon... someone you happened to be talking with who said they need to sell their house in the foreseeable future but aren't quite ready at this point. Maybe next year after the kids finish the school year. You express interest in the "possibility" of buying their house and ask if they might consider selling you an Option to Purchase the home - say $500 for the option right to buy the home at a price you both think is "fair".
The Option can be good for any length of time, but let's say this one is good for one year. As time moves along, the value of similar homes increases just a bit, 5% in this case, and the agreed upon price you and the owner set is now a few thousand dollars less than "Fair Mkt Value" for the home. You run an ad in Craigslist offering to sell your Option for $2500 and whoever buys your Option owns the lower price for the house that you negotiated. Whether they exercise the option and buy the house or not, you've made a little extra that allows you to do 2 or 3 similar options and roll up the totals over time to "bankroll" your other RE investment strategies that do require a bit a coin to complete.
Example/Tool Number Two - Lease Purchase
You do your research and find a couple of houses that haven't sold for several weeks. One of the owners just lowered the price on their house to try to attract a buyer, and the other one is running ads that have words like "Urgent", "Hurry", "Must Sell NOW", and the like, telling you they really need to get out from under their mortgage.
You make a couple of calls and ask if they will consider you taking over their payments IMMEDIATELY and put together a Lease Purchase for 3-6 years. The IMMEDIATE relief from their next mortgage payment is enough to persuade one of the owners to accept your Lease Purchase proposal, you write it up with a "Fair" price for their home stipulated, and run a different ad on CL this time...
You're looking for a buyer-tenant for the house. You've made the first mortgage payment ($1600 or so) to your home owner, which buys you a month to find a suitable and interested buyer/tenant for the home. Your Buyer/Tenant wants to own a home, but they can't get a mortgage for whatever reason, so your Lease Purchase offer makes home ownership possible for them as they repair their credit, season their time at their job, or whatever the case may be.
In short, your are providing them with the opportunity to own a home, something they deeply want, and in doing so, they are not only fulfilling the terms of your Lease Purchase agreement with your seller, but your new Agreement with your Buyer/Tenant is sweetened a bit and will yield money down and a little monthly cash flow for you as well. Well constructed and negotiated, there's likely another bit of cash for you on the back end of the deal when your Buyer/Tenant buys the house!
Not a bad deal throughout!
The details are key here, and too many to try to summarize here, but this Tool allows you to create 1.) cash in hand on the front end, 2.) cash flow throughout the agreement term, and 3.) profit spread on the back end when your Buyer/Tenant executes the purchase of the home.
In both examples above, you have never "OWNED" either home, but you negotiated "CONTROL" OF both homes that results in PROFIT FOR YOU!
As small pieces of profit begin to add up, AND WITH SMALL amounts invested by you, it opens the door to additional Investment Tools that benefit from having more of a financial capability. We'll cover a couple of those ADDITIONAL TOOLS in our next post here.