Many self-acclaimed real estate gurus state that everyone should quit their jobs and immediately jump into full time real estate investing. They often claim incredible results from students with little experience. We would like to caution that life-changing decisions are not usually simple and that full time investing is not for everyone. Let’s discuss some pros and cons of full-time versus part-time investing.The Full-Time InvestorEntering into the real estate profession on a full-time basis offers several advantages over a part-time commitment. Being successful requires you to develop knowledge in many aspects of real estate, and more time focused on real estate leads to greater knowledge. The more your learn, the more you earn, since you do not need to rely on as many professional services or partners for help. You also learn to recognize a deal (or a dud) faster, which gives you more time to do more business or spend with your family.As a full-time investor, you work your own hours. When we say “full-time,” that may mean as little as twenty hours per week if you are good at finding deals. The rest of your time can be spent pursuing other vocations or hobbies. Or, if you are so inspired, you can work forty or more hours and use the extra cash flow to buy rental properties or diversify your holdings in the stock market. The point is that you need to satisfy your cash flow needs before you can start “investing” your money.One final point you should consider is whether you want to be “self-employed.” If you have always worked for someone else, being your own boss sounds very attractive. In some, respects, this isn’t quite the truth. Being your own boss means being an accountant, bookkeeper, stock clerk, receptionist and office manager all-in-one. You have to do deal with tax returns, payroll, office supplies, customer service, bills and all the other hassles that come with a business. You don’t have friends to chat with at the water cooler. You don’t have paid health insurance, a company car and a 401(k). You take your problems home with you every night. Sound like fun? It is, once you learn how to master your time and run your business. Being the master of your own life and career is well worth the other hassles of dealing with your own business.The Part-Time InvestorThe part-time investor holds a “regular job.” This may be by choice or for the time being until his real estate ventures are bringing in enough cash to quit his job. If it is the latter reason, don’t quit your job because the real estate “guru” told you so. Quit your job when it is not worth the income that it brings you. In other words, if you are making more money per hour flipping properties on the side, you are at the point that where your regular job is costing you money. Only then, is it time to quit!One of the advantages of starting out part-time is that you can maintain cash flow while learning the business. It may take weeks or possibly months to find your first deal. That same deal may take several months to turn around, especially if you decide to fix it and sell it retail. Think twice before telling your boss you’re leaving; you will have plenty of time to make the career switch once you have real estate experience. You may, on the other hand, like your occupation. If so, continue to work at it, and invest in real estate on the side.The best case scenario, if you are married, is to have one spouse work a regular job. The other spouse work the real estate business for creating wealth, retirement income and a nice college fund for the children. Of course, in today’s market, you could be laid off due to unforeseen circumstances. If you earn additional income flipping houses and invest the proceeds into rental properties, you will be covered if your main income is lost. This is especially the case for married women that often forego a career and raise a family, only to find themselves divorced with no means of making a living. We don’t want to sound cynical about marriage, but with a fifty-percent divorce rate in America, it never hurts to have a system for making money.Someone with a full time job tends to have little free time to focus on real estate. A part-timer should learn most of the same skills as a full timer. Thus, the key disadvantage to flipping properties on a part-time basis is that it takes sacrifice to learn the business. Something has to give; television, lazy weekends, meaningless hobbies and even some family activities must be compromised. As with any education, time spent learning about real estate will bring its own rewards, especially if the people in your life understand your goals and your plan to achieve those goals. If you are married, make sure your spouse reads this material with you and participates in the fun process of making money.Treat Real Estate as a BusinessPeople are lured to real estate because of the quick buck that it promises. Don’t hold your breath, you won’t get rich quick. An “overnight sensation” usually takes about five years. More than ninety percent of the people who take a real estate seminar quit after three months. Real estate investing should be treated with the seriousness of a career. It takes months, even years for a business to cultivate customers and have a life of its own. You need to treat it like any other business.
You can not be successful in anything without an effective plan. This is the same principal that you have to apply when it comes to investing in real estate. We have highlighted a few ways that you can use to get started.If you do not already own a home then that is a great place to start. With the current economic downturn many feel that one requires a good credit score and a lot of money for them to be able to get a mortgage for a house. Talking to a financial advisor may surprise you.The connection between home owners and real estate investorsIn the world of real estate, any home owner would automatically be classed as a real estate investor. Buying and owning a home is always referred to as real estate investing. Seeing that you have bought the house for what ever reason, whether it is to live in or sell for a profit, due to the market your house price would increase in value over a long period of time. This is seen as a real estate investment. Others may even want to buy a house to simply out it back up on rent. What ever reason you buy a house for, it will be classed as being a real estate investment.If you decide to put it up on rent, you always have the option of breaking the mortgage between yourself and the tenants. This simply means that you do not have to pay for all the equity your self.The way to beginThe traditional way is to start of by buying a home. Then simply save money while living in the house to look at a property that they can invest in. We are going to look at possible ways you can skip those saving years.1. Refinance – If the value of your house has increased since the last time it was bought, then it is a good idea to refinance your house. That simply means that you will get a payout of the extra difference in your house value. You can use this for a great investment opportunity.2. Move – Another possibility is to simply buy your very first home and then to rent it out. As long as you have a good credit rating, you shouldn’t have any problems.3. Sell and then move – You can simply sell your existing home and then by two cheaper homes; one to live in and the other to rent out or sell.4. Buy a second home – Another great option is to buy another home, preferably a holiday home that can be refinanced so that the money can be used.There are many ways to make money in the real estate business. All you need to do is have a good plan of action.