Real estate investing could be a great way of making money both in the short and in the long term. It gives you the opportunity to keep your day, full-time job (and thus the salary that comes with it), while at the same time you make money in real estate. However, many people are hesitant to become real estate investors and miss on excellent changes. This is because of a widespread, long-standing myth in real estate: namely, that you need A TON of money to start buying rental properties and making profits from them.
Debunking the Myth
Well, it is time to debunk this myth. Whereas it might be easier to start a career in real estate investing if you have a million dollars – because you will have access to bigger and more luxurious properties – the reality is that very few people sit on this type of cash. The good news is that you can actually start to make money in real estate with just A FEW THOUSAND DOLLARS. This means that if you manage to put aside a couple of hundred bucks from your salary every month, in a year or two you will be able to enter the world of real estate investing and to make money in real estate.
Always Start Small
Indeed, real estate investing is very much a learning-by-doing process, so it is generally recommended to START SMALL and GROW GRADUALLY. Buying, managing, and renting out income properties is not easy; therefore, even in case you have a million dollars, it is not a good idea to jump into a million-dollar investment. This means that you should by no means feel down by the fact that you cannot afford throwing a million into real estate investing. If you start well, learn fast, make smart decisions, and play your cards right, in a decade or two you might have actually made this one million or more in worth and profits.
But let’s look at the specific ways in which you can begin to make money in real estate right now, regardless of how little savings you have:
1. Rental Property in Cheap Markets
Believe it or not, there are many markets across the US where it is possible to buy a rental property with a down payment of just a few thousand dollars. Usually such properties would be small, single-family homes but also clean and safe. If you are a first-time real estate investor, it is advisable to start off with a relatively small, cheap, and simple property. In this way, you will avoid overwhelming yourself with an income property that requires too much time and money (in the form of fixing, furnishing, maintenance, management, insurance, property tax, and others). At the same time, you will have the opportunity to learn important lessons about buying rental properties, managing them, and being a landlord which will make you better prepared for your next bigger and more complex purchases. Meanwhile, you will begin to make money in real estate immediately, without waiting for years to accumulate a large amount of money for a down payment.
If you opt for this method to make money in real estate, Mashvisor will be of great help. First of all, Mashvisor allows you to search for available properties in various locations in the US after entering the money which you have available for investing. So, you can base your property search on your own budget. Second, if you are already aware of US cities with affordable real estate markets, on Mashvisor you can get the average property prices per neighborhood for this city, which will allow you to further tune your property search.
2. Real Estate Partnerships
A second option for how to begin to make money in real estate with little money is to enter into a real estate partnership. This simply means that you will pull your money (and expertise) together with the money (and expertise) of other real estate investors in order to buy a common property or properties. While this hides some potential risks (being cheated, unfair distribution of tasks, unexpected liabilities, etc.), a real estate partnership also offers some very important advantages, the most significant of which is that it allows you to buy a property that you cannot afford on your own. That’s also a particularly good idea for new real estate investors as it will let them learn from the experiences of the veterans in the partnership.
3. Real Estate Crowdfunding
Crowdfunding has been on the rise in recent years, and that holds true for real estate too. It is similar to a partnership in that you end up owning a rental property together with a few more people, but in this case it is a lot more people. Real estate crowdfunding has two advantages over a partnership: 1) It allows you to make money in real estate by investing even a smaller amount than in a partnership; and 2) Thus, it allows you to own small parts of a few properties which will diversify your real estate investment portfolio.
4. Real Estate Investment Trusts (REITs)
Yet another possible way to jump into real estate investing with little cash is through a real estate investment trust (REIT). Actually, for some time now REITs have been the strategy of choice for people with low capital who want to make money in real estate. Buying shares in a REIT is very similar to investing in any other type of stocks, however, your profits will be coming from rents and appreciation. The most important advantage is that this allows you to make money in real estate with very little initial capital. Moreover, you will not be engaged in maintaining a rental property, dealing with tenants, arranging with contractors, and any other inconveniences of being a landlord. However, there is one serious disadvantage: investing in a REIT is much less exciting than buying a property because you will have no first-hand experience. Nonetheless, you should consider this option – at least initially – because it might provide you with enough money as profits to allow you to purchase your own income property.
5. Wholesaling Real Estate Properties
The final major way in which you can make money in real estate right now, regardless of the size of your capital, is wholesaling. This is similar to fix-and-flips, but you don’t have to fix – or repair – the property. Wholesaling a real estate property means that you will contract with a property seller, market the property to potential buyers, and finally assign the contact to the buyer. Therefore, you will pay nothing to the seller, but you will need to spend some money while looking for buyers. You will receive a fee for the services that you deliver to the seller. Wholesaling is more exciting than a REIT because it allows you to deal with the property yourself. It is especially beneficial for new real estate investors as it will teach them a lot about real estate properties, sellers, and buyers.
In sum, you should not give up the idea to make money in real estate just because you don’t have a few hundred thousand dollars to invest. You can enter real estate investing with just a couple of thousands. Regardless of which strategy you choose, you can soon end up with a solid amount of money to purchase your dream income property. If you opt for buying a cheap rental property with a minimal down payment, don’t forget to check out Mashvisor for thousands of properties across the US.