Real NEastate: Is this the right time to invest in real estate?

Q: I’m a beginner investor. Investing in stocks seems too scary for me right now so I’m ready to get into the real estate game. I have cash. Is there any special advice you have for someone who wants to make money investing in real estate? Is there still money to be made?

A: It can be financially beneficial to invest in real estate at any time. This market is no different. The right property in the right location at the right price can make an investor money in any market. Real estate is a unique, solid investment that, when done correctly, should yield a positive cash flow from capital appreciation, equity build up and tax shelters. Savvy investors understand the value of real estate, know how to leverage their investments, calculate when and how long to hold on to their investments and know when it’s time to buy and sell. Traditionally the real estate market goes up and down, like all markets. Investors have seized the latest opportunity and have been all over the market the past couple years buying up properties while interest rates and costs have remained low.

Due diligence is the key to success. Know your carrying costs. Don’t think of real estate as a short term-investment. Although many are tempted to try and do quick a quick flip of a property to make money in real estate, something that was done easily five or more years ago, you’d be wise to invest your money in properties that you can hold on to and can rent out.

If you correctly calculate your carrying costs and successfully manage your cash flow, you can make money in this market. Here’s a tip: Rentals in Philadelphia are filling up and in high demand. Good Luck!

Stacey McCarthy is a real estate agent with the McCarthy Group of Keller Williams. Her Real NEastate column appears every Wednesday on NEastPhilly.com. See others here. Read other NEast Philly columns here.

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