Real estate offers a solid investment opportunity that can provide not only an income stream, but long-term value appreciation as well. It’s never too late to begin investing in real estate. Regardless of the ups and downs of the market, people will always need housing, so real estate will remain a good way to create wealth.

By understanding some of the basics of real estate investing, you can begin to create a successful investment plan.

• Start Now – Every market offers opportunities for buyers; there is no perfect time to get started. 

• Understand the Risks – Before investing, you should be certain that you can hold the property until conditions are right to sell.

• Do Your Homework – Know the market and understand the trends which can affect your purchase and ownership.

• Invest for the Long-Term – Real estate investing should not be viewed as a “get rich quick” scheme. While you might find an opportunity to have a quick flip, most real estate equity is realized over years, not months.

• Understand your Expected Cash Flow – In simple terms, cash flow is what is left over after all expenses are paid. For a rental property, expenses could include mortgage, interest, maintenance, insurance, utilities, rental agents, and more.

• Budget for the Unexpected – Even the most carefully planned project can have unexpected costs. Have a back-up plan to meet these costs.

Real estate can offer solid investment opportunities. Even a first-time investor can realize profit and positive cash flow with careful planning and research. Start building your real estate portfolio now; a real estate purchase could provide a low-risk addition to your other investments for both income and asset value growth.