Monthly Archives: November 2016

Purchasing Real Estate With No Cash Money

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Have you often wanted to purchase real estate but didn’t have enough money? Or maybe you are new to real estate investing and don’t have good credit, but want to purchase real estate. How do you go about accomplishing this task? One way is by using ‘no cash money down real estate investing’ both a person without the funds or credit can purchase real estate. In this article I will explain one scenario in which this form of acquisition can be accomplished.

First off, let us understand what is required to secure a payment other than cash. Yes, I said other than cash! Remember this is no cash money down real estate investing . Other means can be used to secure a payment as a ‘consideration’ for payment. They can be anything that the seller agrees to that has value, i.e., a car, motorcycle, painting, jewelry, silver, etc… or even the promise to pay as in future rental payments.

The promise to pay means that you are not putting any money down at this time, however in the future once the option is exercised, you will then make payments. This is like the ‘egg’ in a recipe that binds the transaction and makes it a true no cash money down to purchase real estate investing acquisition.

There are obviously different methods and scenarios that could be used to purchase real estate with no money down . But for this example I am going to use what is called a ‘ sandwich lease option’ . In this scenario you not only want to acquire the buyer’s payments but also the equity in the property without ever having the risk of true ownership. To do a sandwich lease option you need a combination of an ‘option to purchase agreement’ and a ‘lease agreement’ . Both should be written in your favor, allowing you the ability to back out at any time with no recourse to you outside of the loss of the ‘consideration’. The option to purchase agreement binds the property for you by giving you the ‘revocable right’ before you purchase.

Is there a downside to no cash money down real estate investing ? Of course there is. For instance, if you are not offering to take the property out of the seller’s name leaving them free and clear of the title, then obtaining the option to purchase can be a difficult task.

Another thing to consider is why is the seller having such a hard time selling the property? This can obviously cause a problem for you as well in the future. And if you are looking at renting the property out, since you are not purchasing the property, you have to consider financing problems. What happens if the rental market is below what your payment is? Then you take a loss! And what if the seller is making interest only payments, later changing to interest and principal payments, greatly increasing your payments leaving you in further financial trouble?

Now knowing this it only begs the question; is there a better option to no cash money down real estate investing ? The answer is of course, yes there is! That is if you have a self-directed IRA (preferably Roth) or good credit and a relatively decent income of about $70,000 annually. But we are discussing the scenario that you do not have the funds or do not have good credit to acquire real estate through other means. Besides that would be a topic for another article.

So now that you know the ups and downs of no cash money down real estate investing , the only thing you need to do is ask yourself if this is the vehicle for you and if so, how to go about it. There are teams and companies out there for you, just for this purpose.
Have you often wanted to purchase real estate but didn’t have enough money? Or maybe you are new to real estate investing and don’t have good credit, but want to purchase real estate. How do you go about accomplishing this task? One way is by using ‘no cash money down real estate investing’ both a person without the funds or credit can purchase real estate. In this article I will explain one scenario in which this form of acquisition can be accomplished.

First off, let us understand what is required to secure a payment other than cash. Yes, I said other than cash! Remember this is no cash money down real estate investing. Other means can be used to secure a payment as a ‘consideration’ for payment. They can be anything that the seller agrees to that has value, i.e., a car, motorcycle, painting, jewelry, silver, etc… or even the promise to pay as in future rental payments.

The promise to pay means that you are not putting any money down at this time, however in the future once the option is exercised, you will then make payments. This is like the ‘egg’ in a recipe that binds the transaction and makes it a true no cash money down to purchase real estate investing acquisition.

There are obviously different methods and scenarios that could be used to purchase real estate with no money down. But for this example I am going to use what is called a ‘sandwich lease option’. In this scenario you not only want to acquire the buyer’s payments but also the equity in the property without ever having the risk of true ownership. To do a sandwich lease option you need a combination of an ‘option to purchase agreement’ and a ‘lease agreement’. Both should be written in your favor, allowing you the ability to back out at any time with no recourse to you outside of the loss of the ‘consideration’. The option to purchase agreement binds the property for you by giving you the ‘revocable right’ before you purchase.

Is there a downside to no cash money down real estate investing? Of course there is. For instance, if you are not offering to take the property out of the seller’s name leaving them free and clear of the title, then obtaining the option to purchase can be a difficult task.

Another thing to consider is why is the seller having such a hard time selling the property? This can obviously cause a problem for you as well in the future. And if you are looking at renting the property out, since you are not purchasing the property, you have to consider financing problems. What happens if the rental market is below what your payment is? Then you take a loss! And what if the seller is making interest only payments, later changing to interest and principal payments, greatly increasing your payments leaving you in further financial trouble?

Now knowing this it only begs the question; is there a better option to no cash money down real estate investing? The answer is of course, yes there is! That is if you have a self-directed IRA (preferably Roth) or good credit and a relatively decent income of about $70,000 annually. But we are discussing the scenario that you do not have the funds or do not have good credit to acquire real estate through other means. Besides that would be a topic for another article.

So now that you know the ups and downs of no cash money down real estate investing, the only thing you need to do is ask yourself if this is the vehicle for you and if so, how to go about it. There are teams and companies out there for you, just for this purpose.

Why Do Would-be Real Estate Investors Fail?

Let’s face it, there’s tons of real estate investing information out there.  But of all the people you’ve seen at seminars lapping up the words of wisdom from the real estate gurus, or the people you see at Barnes and Noble skulking around til 11 PM reading all the real estate investing books they can get their hands on (A charge of which I am guilty!), how many do you think actually succeed in their real estate investing businesses?

I don’t have exact figures, but based on my experience as a real estate investing information provider and coach, I would guess it’s close to only 1-2% of people who want to be real estate investors get into the business and stay in the business and make it profitable.

Those figures are so disappointing.

Why is it so hard? Why do so many would-be investors fail before they begin?  And why do others, who are able to take the first steps of their real estate investing career successfully, still fail to meet their goals long-term?

I realized the deck was stacked against me as I begin as a real estate investing student at a seminar a few years ago.  I bought all the real estate investing courses, signed up for private coaching, and watched as many of the people around me fell by the wayside.  There were many times I wanted to quit, myself.  You probably have your own story of struggle in your real estate investing career.

It’s the million dollar question.  Here are the conclusions I’ve been able to come up with.

Why Do Real Estate Investors Fail In Spite of Great Real Estate Investing Information?

1) The Myth of Get Rich QuickWhy do would-be real estate investors fail?

Just because there are real estate investment strategies, such as flipping homes, that can be implemented quickly (60-90 days), that doesn’t mean that it is easy to find deals, negotiate them and close them in the first month or two after you start your real estate investing career.  In my experience, most people need to take a little time to become familiar with the real estate markets in their area, real estate terminology and strategies, and then get started implementing so they can practice finding and negotiating with motivated sellers.

Even with a good deal closed, you might only walk away with $5,000 or so from a flip.  With a subject to or lease option deal, the property may take years to “ripen” in your portfolio before you are able to sell it for a significant profit.  The biggest money I’ve seen people make quickly is coming from rehabs and short sale negotiations.  Pursuing these types of deals can verge onto a full time job.  They do work, and work quickly, but they take a lot of time to implement.

2) The Myth of No Money Down

So many times, I have heard students come on coaching calls with me and say, “I just lost my job, so I am really motivated to make this work quickly.”  or “My goal is to flip one house a month every month because I need some cash for start up capital.”  These sentiments are probably being perpetuated by the gurus out there who encourage people to think that real estate investing is a no-capital-required business.  Even after you get the formula down, it can take years before a paper-profit becomes cash-in-hand if you own rental property or do lease/options.

The exception proves the rule and I’m sure it’s true that some people during some periods of time are able to make “thousands” quickly, when they need it most. For example, I know folks who get a lot of free deals off of craigslist or calling through the newspaper.  However, for the vast majority of real estate investors, some money is required for marketing to find motivated sellers if they want to keep their deal pipeline reasonably full.  In addition to marketing to find motivated sellers, deals take money for due diligence, legal fees, inspections, and so forth.  If you plan to hold property as a landlord, the costs escalate even more steeply.  If I had to put my finger on one major reason for lack of success in this business, besides false expectations, I would list lack of funding right at the top.

3) The TRUTH in “It doesn’t work where I live.” 

There’s a cliche in the real estate guru field that speakers like to joke about.  It’s that a lot of students like to say, “Your strategies won’t work where I live.”  Guru’s play it off as a joke, like the person is making an excuse for not getting started in their investing, because they “can’t.”

The truth of the matter is, there is a LOT of variation in the performance of real estate markets across the country.  In some areas, like the South and Midwest, property values are relatively stable and properties cash flow well.  In other areas, Southern California, Florida, and Las Vegas come to mind, property values fluctuate wildly and you can make a fortune or lose your shirt on the changing tides of appreciation.

It’s very important to understand real estate market cycles and where your market fits within the current phase of the market.  You implement to take strategies that work in your marketplace if you want to be successful locally.  Otherwise, you need to do what I’ve done and learn to invest where it makes sense, without being constrained feeling a need to invest where you live.  There are pros and cons to each strategy.  However, my point is that it’s not right for the gurus to mock people who raise this objection.  It’s a valid concern raised by thinking investors, even if it doesn’t help sell the guru’s real estate investing courses.

So, I’ve raised a lot of concerns about the mis-information being circulated in the real estate investing industry.  Have I disappointed you too much?  I are you “off” of investing now?  If you are good – if you can be talked out of it that easily, I’m glad I got you out BEFORE you invested any more of your precious time and money pursuing a strategy that doesn’t appeal to you.

If not, even better. it is certainly possible to take a realistic approach to real estate investing and make it work for you.  You can grow your net worth to millions, but it does take time and perseverance.  I hope you’re willing to stick it out.

Real Estate Investing For Beginners

As a new real estate investor, when you begin researching information on real estate investing for beginners, you’ll find that there are a lot of gurus and mentors out there looking to sell you high priced information. You’ll also find plenty of chatter-boxes at local real estate investing forums and other watering holes that will share (brag?) all day long about their investing trials and tribulations, especially if they have tenants or rehabs. (Those types of projects tend to be fraught with problems, something that can scare beginner real estate investors off – when maybe it should be attracting them!) You can also find some excellent offline resources at the library, bookstore and your local investor club. Maybe you’ll even find someone who’s out in the trenches on a regular basis and is willing to take you out on the streets to show you some of his properties.

What you won’t find as often, especially for free, is a coherent, executable business plan detailing what it takes to get going with real estate investing as a beginner.

What you really need is a handbook entitled: Real Estate Investing For Beginners that lays everything out for you A to Z, with what to do at every step along the way.

Unfortunately, putting together a super and useful reference like that is time consuming and you have to consider that a) If someone is already making money investing in real estate, her time is valuable, and b) if she’s going to invest her valuable time in putting together a real estate investing guide for beginners, she’s got to have an angle.

That’s an excellent thing to keep in mind – everyone in the real estate investing education industry seems to have an angle. They are directly incentivized to make you feel that real estate investing is easy, you can do it, and if you just part with some money, they will give you the handbook with all the answers.

BEWARE: If you can’t figure out how they’re getting paid, you’re missing something… Everyone wants to get paid in this business.

Well, I hate to tell you… I don’t have that comprehensive handbook for you either.

That’s the bad news.

The good news is that I can give you some very important words of wisdom that helped me when I was getting started in real estate investing as a beginner. (And I started right out of college without a good job or anything, so don’t think it can’t be done.)

Real Estate Investing Observations – What Every Real Estate Investing Beginner Needs To Know:

1) You will have to trade time or money to get what you want in real estate. You can’t get something for nothing, so even if you buy an expensive course to get someone else’s experience and shave years off your learning curve, you’ll still HAVE a learning curve. Plus, you’ll need to find leads, and that type of marketing takes (you guessed it) time and/or money.

2) Leverage cuts both ways. When the market is going up, leverage can be a great ally in helping you acquire more property with less of your own money. However, when the market is soft or declining, as also happens with real estate market cycles, having a lot of leverage can put you “upside down” on your equity and cash flow – a very risky situation. Protect yourself by “making your money when you buy” and passing up those “skinny” deals.

3) It’s all about NEGOTIATING with the motivated sellers. A lot of courses make you believe that if you find the motivated sellers, you can just pluck up the deals like daisies in the orchard. That’s almost true. Whether you’re working in commercial or residential real estate, you’ll get much better deals when you negotiate with a motivated seller. However, the key is that you must NEGOTIATE. You have to make offers that will work for you and engage the sellers in conversation. Very rarely will the buildings be lying these listed for 50 cents on the dollar (if they are, they’ll be snapped up by other investors). You have to find sellers that you think may be motivated and offer them your low cash offer or terms offer in order to see if they’re willing to work with you. Engage them in the conversation by making lots of offers, and NEGOTIATING with the ones that are motivated.

4) Figure out your rate of return. Sometimes, when you don’t have a deal, it’s easy to think “any” deal would be good. However, sometimes the best deals are the ones you PASS on – you “make” your money by saving yourself from some expensive mistakes. Don’t waste time on property that doesn’t make sense when you run the numbers. Don’t get emotionally attached just because someone says they’re motivated or willing to work out terms with you. Run the numbers. Always focus on the numbers.

5) You get paid for solving problems. This is a business with a lot of problems. Sellers can get very emotional, or have a lot of financial trouble, at the time that you’ll be working with them. That’s stressful for anyone, especially when the transfer of a large asset like a house, apartment building or office/retail center is involved. Realize that you may go through some challenging emotions of your own. That’s natural. If you can hold it together and survive the up-and-down roller coaster, you should do okay.

No one says real estate is easy unless they have a course to sell you. It can offer some great returns, but there’s a reason not everyone goes after them. Not every property is a winner and finding and acquiring the winners can be a challenge. However, if you are committed to making your real estate investments work for you, then focus on getting yourself educated and staying in for the long run.

Investing in Real Estate

Many investors are turned off by real estate because they do not have the time or inclination to become landlords and property managers, both of which are in fact, a career in themselves. If the investor is a rehabber or wholesaler, real estate becomes more of a business rather than an investment. Many successful property “investors” are actually real estate “operators” in the real property business. Fortunately, there are other ways for passive investors to enjoy many of the secure and inflation proof benefits of real estate investing without the hassle.

Active participation in property investing has many advantages. Middlemen fees, charged by syndicators, brokers, property managers and asset managers can be eliminated, possibly resulting in a higher rate of return. Further, you as the investor make all decisions; for better or worse the bottom line responsibility is yours. Also, the active, direct investor can make the decision to sell whenever he wants out (assuming that a market exists for his property at a price sufficient to pay off all liens and encumbrances).

Passive investment in real estate is the flip side of the coin, offering many advantages of its own. Property or mortgage assets are selected by professional real estate investment managers, who spent full time investing, analyzing and managing real property. Often, these professionals can negotiate lower prices than you would be able to on your own. Additionally, when a number of individual investor’s money is pooled, the passive investor is able to own a share of property much larger, safer, more profitable, and of a better investment class than the active investor operating with much less capital.

Most real estate is purchased with a mortgage note for a large part of the purchase price. While the use of leverage has many advantages, the individual investor would most likely have to personally guarantee the note, putting his other assets at risk. As a passive investor, the limited partner or owner of shares in a Real Estate Investment Trust would have no liability exposure over the amount of original investment. The direct, active investor would likely be unable to diversify his portfolio of properties. With ownership only 2, 3 or 4 properties the investor’s capital can be easily damaged or wiped out by an isolated problem at only one of his properties. The passive investor would likely own a small share of a large diversified portfolio of properties, thereby lowering risk significantly through diversification. With portfolios of 20, 30 or more properties, the problems of any one or two will not significantly hurt the performance of the portfolio as a whole.

Types of Passive Real Estate Investments

REITs

Real Estate Investment Trusts are companies that own, manage and operate income producing real estate. They are organized so that the income produced is taxed only once, at the investor level. By law, REITs must pay at least 90% of their net income as dividends to their shareholders. Hence REITs are high yield vehicles that also offer a chance for capital appreciation. There are currently about 180 publicly traded REITs whose shares are listed on the NYSE, ASE or NASDAQ. REITS specialize by property type (apartments, office buildings, malls, warehouses, hotels, etc.) and by region. Investors can expect dividend yields in the 5-9 % range, ownership in high quality real property, professional management, and a decent chance for long term capital appreciation.

Real Estate Mutual Funds

There are over 100 Real Estate Mutual Funds. Most invest in a select portfolio of REITs. Others invest in both REITs and other publicly traded companies involved in real estate ownership and real estate development. Real estate mutual funds offer diversification, professional management and high dividend yields. Unfortunately, the investor ends up paying two levels of management fees and expenses; one set of fees to the REIT management and an additional management fee of 1-2% to the manager of the mutual fund.

Real Estate Limited Partnerships

Limited Partnerships are a way to invest in real estate, without incurring a liability beyond the amount of your investment. However, an investor is still able to enjoy the benefits of appreciation and tax deductions for the total value of the property. LPs can be used by landlords and developers to buy, build or rehabilitate rental housing projects using other people’s money. Because of the high degree of risk involved, investors in Limited Partnerships expect to earn 15% + annually on their invested capital.

Limited Partnerships allow centralization of management, through the general partner. They allow sponsors/developers to maintain control of their projects while raising new equity. The terms of the partnership agreement, governing the on-going relationship, are set jointly by the general and limited partner(s). Once the partnership is established, the general partner makes all day to day operating decisions. Limited partner(s) may only take drastic action if the general partner defaults on the terms of the partnership agreement or is grossly negligent, events that can lead to removal of the general partner. The LPs come in all shapes and sizes, some are public funds with thousands of limited partners, others are private funds with as few as 3 or 4 friends investing $25,000 each.