I had a hard time at first with real estate investment. One of the reasons was that I tended to be a “lone wolf, " trying to do too much myself. I've since learned that to really do well investing in real estate, you need to have a team of people you can trust and rely on. Here are some possible team members, and what they need to be on the team.
1. Real estate agent. A licensed agent with experience in the area you invest in and access to the MLS (Multiple Listing Service), can be a great help. If she is a seller's agent, she can still ethically bring the best deals to you once she knows you're a serious buyer.
2. Real estate attorney. This should be someone familiar with the laws and legal customs of your area, and have experience with the type of deals you intend to do (If you are buying rentals, she should be familiar with doing evictions, for example. )
3. Accountant or bookkeeper. Keeping proper books for real estate investments is getting more complicated with all the tax-law changes. Find someone that understands the law, and what you want.
4. Mortgage broker or banker. The first can offer many options, but the second can make the loan decision. Each has their advantages, and you could use both. In either case it's important that they understand what you want (fast closings, lower interest, corporate loans?)
5. Appraiser. Not only can a good appraiser give you an accurate valuation of a property, but they should be able to suggest ways in which you can raise the value of a property. Use someone that will talk to you.
6. Inspector. In some areas it is easy to become an inspector with little experience. It's best if you use one that is or used to be a contractor, so he can find the problems AND give you some idea of the cost of repairs.
7. Insurance agent. A good one will understand what you want, and find ways to save you money. Insure all your properties with one agent, and you're likely to have discounts available, and better service.
8. Escrow officer. They will usually be with a closing company. Look for someone that's efficient, and can explain things clearly to both sides. If he is confused by a slightly creative contract, he should educate easily or be replaced.
9. Cleaning person. Having a trusted person or crew ready means a fast turn around when you buy a rental or rehab project.
10. Property manager. Be sure that the company you hire has exerience, is responsive, and will have time when you call. A good property manager can tell you BEFORE you buy, what you should get for rent in a given area.
Real estate investment is less stressful and more profitable with a good team on your side.
Steve Gillman has invested real estate for years. To learn more, and to see a photo of a beautiful house he and his wife bought for $17,500, visit http://www.HousesUnderFiftyThousand.com