July 21, 2012
Taking small steps
So I'm starting to get my feet wet in real estate and even though I have a plan in place...there are a few areas that I'm not an expert in. I figured that I'd just jump into this side of investing and everything else would "fall in place". But this is not the case. Before buying real property, one should have certain contacts in place to be sure that a place will be "move-in ready" shortly after closing. Contacts such as, plumbers, carpet installers (flooring), property inspector, etc.
Having such contacts in place will help your process run smoothly from start to finish. Also, joining a real estate association or organization will help to build your network and learn a lot from others who are in the same business as you are.
As the old adage goes, "you get what you pay for". Don't cheap out on everything! Find individuals who are experts in their craft and have several years of experience. Finding a good realtor would be the first place to start. S/he will be able to help you find the right property and possibly have contacts ready for you at a reasonable price...although I'd still encourage you to shop around to make sure you're getting a good price as well.
I went through maybe 3-4 realtors before I found the right one! In my experience, I like for my realtor to also have several properties of their own - because the insight from a realtor and from a property owner can help in selecting your property. Nevertheless, the decision is yours and you can only blame yourself if everything doesn't go as planned...but a good realtor will help you avoid several bad decisions.
I'm having a little buyer's remorse, but from what I hear is that this feeling is normal. It's a big purchase and having a little remorse is necessary - it's like having a gut check to make you really think about what you're doing. And to make sure that you're doing everything right.
Nevertheless, the lessons learned on this property should well prepare me for the next investment...whether it's another residential property or maybe something commercial. But no matter what - I'll be taking small steps until I'm off and running.