Write Out Your 10 Year Vision. Where are you and who is with you? Most people will write all the big dreams they want but let’s go one step further. Let’s attach a monthly or yearly income to the lifestyle. Is this something you can attain and aspire to achieve? Write it down!
Read Rich Dad Poor Dad. This was one of the most inspirational books my wife and I read at the beginning of our investment journey. This is the book that made us realize there was an opportunity with real estate that we wanted to learn more about.
Get Learning. It’s too early in the process to decide on a complete strategy as you don’t know what you don’t know right now. You just outlined the dream life and attached an income to it. So now it’s time to learn all you can. Go to a few investment workshops and/or weekend events to gather knowledge and resources but be careful to not get caught in the sales trap they are offering at these events. You’re there to learn, not to overcommit yourself.
Make Some Decisions. Decide if you want to do this journey on your own or with some guidance. All the real estate groups are teaching textbook theory. No offence to these groups, but it isn’t always hands-on enough to be personal to you and your individual needs. The other option is to hire a coach. Be careful, as you want to use someone who is still currently in the investment realm. An investor who bought 100 properties 15 years ago may not work for you as their strategies may be outdated.
Evaluate Your Finances. It’s time to analyze your opportunities. If you have a coach, they should be taking you through this process. If you’re doing it alone, then take the time to evaluate your financial position. How much cash do you have? Do you have access to lines of credit? What’s your credit rating? How much will the bank lend you? Do you have equity in your house you can use? Take stock of all your resources.
Meet with a Mortgage Broker. The truth is if you only have $25,000 you cannot go and buy a $500,000 property that cash flows $1000/m. You need to know the product you can buy. If you want to flip houses and only have access to $50,000 then you need to know what type of property you can afford. A mortgage broker will help with this.
Research the Market. If your budget is $500,000 then spend the time looking at areas where that’s the average price of a house. Get to know the area, its shops, parks and features. The goal here is not to find the house yet but to understand the end user. Understanding the potential tenant you’re seeking comes before buying the house!
Get in Touch with an Agent. A real estate agent’s job is to sell you something as they need to pay their bills. Even an investment realtor needs to sell a product, so you should never fully trust their opinion. Nothing against agents, but they all have bills to pay. In the end, if the house isn’t good they will not buy it back from you. So do your homework and work with someone you trust.
Start Thinking Long Term. While connecting with your agent, it’s a good time to get reading the tenancy act in your province. Get thinking about managing your investment property. Do you want to manage the property yourself or do you want to hire a manager? Both have their pros and cons and you should consider exactly how you will manage your property before diving in.