Real Estate Investing 101

Six keys to help you find the right properties at the right price

real estate investing
Investing in real estate can be a tricky business. If you're just getting started, you have lots of questions: How much of a discount should an investor get? What are the best ways to find good deals? Is it better to buy a fixer-upper or a pristine, perfectly cared for property?

You're wise to be cautious. There are plenty of success stories about investors flipping properties for huge profits, but there are also horror stories about people paying too much and losing money on their real estate investments...and you don't want to be one of the latter.

"A lot of people get into real estate these days because of the instability in the corporate world, or else they've seen others get wealthy and they want a piece of the action," observes Scott Frank, who along with Andy Heller wrote the new book Buy Even Lower: The Regular People's Guide to Real Estate Riches (Kaplan Publishing, September 2006, ISBN: 1-4195-3574-9, $18.95). "To such newcomers I would say there is great money to be made in real estate investing, but it's critical to do your homework before you jump in."

"It's for these people?regular people?that we wrote our book," adds Heller. "In Buy Even Lower, we provide information about two important factors that we have never seen in any other real estate book. First, we teach you how to choose the best real estate investment strategy for you based on how much time and money you are willing to spend and based on how much risk you are willing to take. Second, regardless of the strategy you choose, we teach you how to always make a profit. We believe this is vital information for any property investor just starting out."

Combined, Frank and Heller have about forty years of experience investing in real estate. And in that time they've discovered that the easiest way to be successful is to follow their proven formula. A lot of people have helped them through the years. That's why they're so excited to share their Six Golden Keys that will help first time investors buy the right properties at the right price.

Below is an outline of the Six Golden Keys. Take a look and learn how to apply them so that you can become a winner in the real estate game:

? Golden Key 1: Determine Your Minimum Investor Discount. The Minimum Investor Discount is one of the most important aspects of real estate investing. However, it is also one that is often overlooked, especially by novice investors. Buying a property at Minimum Investor Discount assumes that it is in mint condition and has no problems. In other words, whether it is a house, office building, or a piece of vacant land, the Minimum Investor Discount assumes that the investor will have no repair or improvement costs, no negative features, and so on. If any additional costs will be incurred, they need to be considered for additional purchase price discounting. When you are ready to get in the real estate game, apply the appropriate Minimum Investor Discount while using the right investment strategy. There are three strategies from which to choose: the Buy and Hold strategy, the Buy and Lease/Purchase strategy, and the Buy and Flip strategy.