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Wednesday, November 26th, 2014


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How to Invest in Real Estate Without Using Your Own Money

Like most people without an extra $100,000 or so in the bank, you probably aren’t considering a sizeable real estate investment at this point in time. After all, the average house prices in your area may be anywhere from $100,000 to $400,000 depending on the market. Why would a college student or someone with a new career even look at such a substantial business enterprise?

One of the most common false impressions about real estate investing is that you need a lot of money to get started. But what if I told you there are several ways to invest without using your own money? That’s right! Although property typically does require a pretty good chunk of money to acquire, it doesn’t have to be your money. Now, in my biased opinion as a full-time real estate investor, that is one of the great perks of the business!

There are literally thousands of banks, lending institutions, and private individuals eager to loan money to those with some cash and/or credit. These benefits can be illusive, but there are still plenty of ways to finance a deal when you find the right one. After I got out of college, I used “hard money lenders” to purchase several of my first properties. These lenders rarely require any money down or even a credit report when the loan to value is low enough. Of course, you need to be sure you have negotiated the best possible price on the property in order for the deal to work (but that is another article, altogether). Hard money lenders usually lend up to 70% of the property value.

Early in my career, I used a hard money lender to purchase a house that was going into foreclosure. The homeowners saw one of my ads in a local newspaper and called me. I went out to take a look at the property but discovered that they owed $110,000 on a house that was only worth $120,000. These numbers did not work for me, but instead of giving up, I contacted the foreclosing lender. With some negotiating, they agreed to accept an $80,000 payoff of the property. I went to a hard money lender and borrowed $86,000 (acquisition cost plus $6.000 for repairs). After having it renovated, I sold the house for $120,000, paid off the hard money lender and walked away with a $25,000 profit.

Another great way to structure a purchase if you don’t have the money yourself is to partner with someone who does. I was a full-time college student and a new investor when I found a house for sale in the newspaper. The owner was motivated to sell because of health problems, and we agreed on a price of $205,000. The house was appraised at $235,000.

I took the deal to a friend of mine who I knew had some money invested in the stock market. Using his cash, we made a down payment and secured a loan to purchase the property. We repainted the inside of the house and put it back on the market. A few months later, it sold for $235,000. My friend and I split the $30,000 profit and started looking for another deal! That was my first house sale.

I hope that at least one of these ideas has helped to make real estate investing seem a lot more feasible right now. Do not let a common misconception or doubt keep you from taking a step that could transform your life. Start looking for ways to invest while you are young by focusing on how you can put together your first deal instead of on the hindrances that you might face. Do your homework. Check all the numbers before you buy, and implement one of these creative deal structuring ideas.

As a 21-year-old college student at The Citadel in Charleston, S. C., I started investing; and it radically changed my outlook on life. Real estate investing has become my life’s work and I continue to build my portfolio through innovative ways of finding and funding the right deals. I consider it one of my greatest privileges to help other investors do likewise.

© 2006, East Coast Investments

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7 Responses to How to Invest in Real Estate Without Using Your Own Money

  1. response says:

    Hi, My name is John and I was very impressed when I read your 2006 article re: Real estate investing. I lost my job last week and am looking in to go to a new career direction. I was positively affected after reading your article and just wanted to write and say thank you. I do hope that you get this communication and maybe we can even network and share with each other re: what we learned in real estate investing. Thank you

    Best of luck,
    John Han
    successim678@yahoo.com
    October 27, 2008

  2. talk says:

    To whom it may concern,

    I read your article and I was impressed by what I read. I’m struggling with finances myself. I hope we can chat over the phone and maybe get together sometime. Please e-mail me back at Jack3745@aol.com

  3. 1/22/2008 says:

    Hi my name is Angelique, I was also impressed with your article. I am 21 years old and just graduated college in December. Right now I am striving for my real estate license. I am also interested in real estate investing. Keep it up. You can contact me at: angelique.smith76@yahoo.com.

  4. Swannee says:

    Great article and all the things your are talking about are possible. Right now I’m put my focus on commercial multi-family with sellers carrying back 20% and getting 80% financed. This has been very hard and I have lost some money in the process of trying to get deals. What would you suggest. I’m sick of working the corporate 9-5! brianswanson@swanson-investments.com

  5. T-Money says:

    Email your successes and how you’ve accomplished your goals. I’d love to hear from you!

  6. tatenda matsika says:

    was really impressed by ur articles jus a lil confused tho.. here in zimbabwe our financial crisis is teribly affecting us such that people dont have money to spend on property deals so how then do u invest in real estate with ou money given this situation…

  7. jacob says:

    ive been looking at real estate investment for a couple weeks now but have come upon some fundamental issues. I live in greater vancouver, British Columbia, and house prices are too high for me to start here. I never thought i would be able to invest in vancouver, but even as i look further i dont see much (anything) under 150,000$. I don’t want to flip, i want to rent, so i need to be close or hire a property manager, but that would cut into my profits. I’ve been looking at mobile homes, upcoming mining towns, and vancouver island properties. Im 20, full time student and work full time in the summer, i will have around 20k by september and dont know what to do? In the meantime i will continue to look for the right oppurtuniy, but im particularly interested in mobile homes. any advice?

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