More and more individuals are realizing that real estate is much safer, and a better return on investment than many traditional investment vehicles. Unlike stocks or bonds, real estate investments can usually be liquidated in order for the investor to access funds in far less time. Additionally, unlike many other investment vehicles, real estate does not come with the stiff penalties associated with early withdrawal. In most cases, investors can liquidate and not have to worry about losing large sums of money. Finally, real estate provides the assurance of a higher yield of return than other types of investment.
On average, real estate appreciates about 4% per year. That means that a property you purchased five years ago, under normal circumstances with no significant wear and tear, would be worth at least 20% more than the amount you paid for it five years ago. Some real estate markets perform significantly better than others at given times and with a mild remodeling or upgrade you could be looking at substantially higher returns on your investment.
Given these facts, it’s no wonder so many people are jumping on the real estate investment band wagon. It begs the question however; when will the real estate bubble burst?
There has been some speculation that the wild investment in the real estate market and they hype of outrageous investment returns has no where to go but crashing back down to Earth. After all; how is possible that real estate investments could possibly continue to double as they have in the last few years? Some critics even point to the fall of the real estate market in Japan in the late 1980’s. Homes that were worth thousands of dollars are now only worth a fraction of that amount while the homeowners still owe almost the entire full amount of the first mortgage.
While diversity is always a good idea and placing all of your investment funds in one vehicle, such as real estate, is never a good idea; there is reason to believe that the real estate bubble in the US is not about to end any time soon. This is true for a wide variety of reasons. First, simply supply and demand. Mark Twain once suggested investing in real estate because as he intimated, they simply aren’t making any more of it. What we have is all we have and when there is a strong enough demand; it can be quite valuable. Individuals and families are looking for safe, secure and affordable housing; however there is a dangerous shortage of this commodity. This is the primary reasons why flipping real estate has become almost a national hobby. It pays and it pays well.
Under ideal circumstances, an investor can purchase a property with financing from the credit union, provide a model renovation and then resell the property with a return of around 15-20% on their investment. This may occur anywhere between 3-6 months from the initial purchase date. Not bad. Professional investors have also learned how to tap into the huge profit potential of foreclosed homes, which they able to be purchased for under market value and then flipped for an even larger profit.
As with any type of investment, one of the keys to investing in real estate is in understanding when to sell. Holding a piece of property is rarely in the financial best interest of the investor. Some investors have found that a mixed strategy of holding and selling works well to provide income returns; however the best strategy in real estate investment remains flipping on short term projects to maximize profit potentials and reduce risks.
Nicole Soltau is the President and Founder of CreditUnionRate.com.
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