Making Money in Real Estate - Ten Basic Ways
By Steve Gillman - 2007
Making money in real estate is an endless subject which includes
all the various types of real estate investments - land, apartment
buildings, homes, commercial buildings and more. Whichever type
however, you'll make your profits in some of the basic ways listed
below. Why not use this list to get yourself thinking of the
1. Appreciation in value. Making money in real estate
can be as simple as waiting. To really get the most appreciation,
however, you should buy in an area where demand is growing faster
than the supply.
2. Depreciation write-offs. After all the tax law changes,
you still get to declare a loss for depreciation that doesn't
really exist. This can save you a lot at tax time, meaning more
after-tax profit. To maximize your write-off, buy property with
its value primarily in the buildings, since you can't depreciate
the value of land.
3. Mortgage loan pay-down. You gain equity with every
mortgage payment you make. Get the lowest interest rate to have
more of each payment go towards the principal.
4. Cash flow. When you buy income property properly,
you have your tenants paying all the costs and paying down the
mortgage loan, and also have positive cash flow.
5. Buy below market. When you buy low you get instant
equity that will be converted into a profit when you sell. Offer
reasons for the seller to sell low: a fast closing, cash, assumption
of debts or liabilities, etc. Or just make a low offer. Sellers
often have their own reasons to sell cheap.
6. Sell above market. Clean it up, make it easy to buy,
and find the right buyer to get top dollar. The following four
on the list cover ways to create value, so you'll get more when
7. Offer seller financing. You often get substantially
more for a property if you offer financing. This is especially
true if you let someone buy with less money down. You can also
get good interest on the loan, which is another source of profit.
8. Change the use. If there's a higher use, convert
the property to make it worth more to the next owner. This could
mean making condos into apartments, or apartments into condos.
Perhaps converting a home into office space will get the biggest
9. Make improvements and repairs. Repairing things
is obvious, but you need to look creatively and carefully to
find the right improvements to make. Concentrate on those that
raise the value several times more than what they cost you.
10. Sell it in parts. In real estate, the parts are
sometimes worth more than the whole. Splitting off an extra lot
to sell for $30,000 will rarely decrease the value of a home
by that much, so you'll make more money in the end.
Making money in real estate is a wonderfully creative process.
Try looking at the sources of profits listed here, and thinking
of ways to maximize a few of them on your next real estate investment.