Hi, I am located in Florida and fresh out of college!! I was possibly considering real estate as a way to make money since I'm still undecided as in what direction to go. I was thinking along the lines of buying a house for low and selling it. I heard at auctions you can bid on houses for really low prices. My question is how do you GET $$ to bid on houses and WHERE do you go? Also if there are any other avenues I can take with real estate please let me know. Thanks
You need three things to be a real estate investor: 1. Capital (money). 2. Knowledge. 3. Patience. Forget trying to flip houses on a shoestring budget. Those days are over.
Go the library and get some books about real estate investing, rentals, flipping, and appraisals. It's a lot more complicated than it might think and you will want to do all the research you can before investing. You're going to have to be able to identify the values of houses so you know which are a good deal. You're going to have to understand how buying a house works, there's tons of extra expenses which makes profiting on flipping hard to do. You're going to have to know how to identify and do house repairs yourself, because paying contractors to do everything will probably break the budget. You're going to need a lot of capital for the down-payment and any renovations you plan to do. You're going to need backup money in case the house doesn't sell right away. There's lots to think about.
You need a lot of capital up front to make money in real estate, it is NOT a good no money down business the way some people tell you. Florida has a lot of great deals on property for sale but the problem of how to get the cash to buy them (because many of those auctions aren't going to wait for you to go get a loan, you got to have cash going in). AND once you have the property it may be a while before the market recovers so you need money to support the property if it sits vacant a while. PLUS any costs to fix it whether from damage by the former tenants or just typical maintenance. You can go talk to a bank about a line of credit or find some family or friends to go in with you as investors (but then you have laws on how to treat investor's money), but don't listen to those TV infomercials--if there was not a LOT of risk the prices would not be so low. The TV infomercial people made their money from selling bogus programs, not from selling real estate. But you will probably need another job to support this for a while. That said, if you can get the capital together, find some real professional advice and have some stomach for risk this may be a great time.
You get money by working. They are really cheap b/c they were foreclosed on, and many times are in horrible shape. If it was that easy, everyone would do it...