There are all kinds of questions - How do you know if and when it is the right time to purchase? What should you purchase? How should you finance it? What type of investment is right for your overall goals and strategy? As a real estate investor in Atlanta, I have found that although there are a lot of questions, the answers are fairly easy when you use common sense, evaluate your strengths, and know what you want.
The first question you should ask yourself is - why do you want to invest? For some it is to replace their income from a job.
For others it is for retirement.
Some just like to have a project and make a little money.
We have found that when helping other real estate investors, our first goal is to help them figure out the why and then help them determine the what.
For example, if you need money today to replace the income you get from a job, then you need to produce income today through Quick Turning a property.
Quick Turning is purchasing a property at a depressed value, adding value to the property and then selling it at a profit.
This is a great strategy and requires knowledge of the market to make sure that you are purchasing it correctly and then also some skill in determining how to maximize the return by strategically adding the value to your investment.
If having money for your future retirement is more what you are looking for - a Buy & Hold strategy might work best for you.
With this type of investment, you are looking for results in the future, so you want to find an investment that you can rent out for more than the mortgage payment so that you have some cash flow.
Over time, you will pay down the mortgage and the cash flow will increase giving you greater income in the future.
Both strategies have merit and typically we recommend that every investor have some of both types to round out their real estate portfolio.
Once you determine what type of investment you need, then evaluating a property against your overall strategy will help you determine which property is a good purchase for you.