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How To Buy Real Estate - Yes, YOU CAN!
If you want to buy a house but don't think you can for any of the following reasons, this article is intended to give you correct information so that you can make smarter choices and open yourself up to a world of wealth, possibilities and realistic expectations.
The truth is you are being unrealistic when you believe the following reasons to be true:
I can't buy property now because?
I am here to tell you that you CAN buy property, regardless of any of the above.
In this day and age, there is absolutely NO reason why anyone can't own their own home. The strict days of the 20%-down-excellent-credit-and-stable-well-paying-job loans are over, replaced by no-down-payment-prior-bankruptcy-and-stated-income loan programs.
With the wide array of today's diverse lifestyles comes an abundance of opportunities and programs created for each and every possible situation. Businesses need to make money, and the best way to open themselves up to a larger range of customers is to offer services for the vast and varied circumstances of each individual.
Many lenders today offer little to no down payment programs, poor credit leniencies and even no proof of employment or salary requirements (in lender speak, it's called "stated-income programs" where you simply state your income to the lender without having to prove it with pay stubs, W2's, etc. This is widely used by freelancers and consultants).
In addition to the countless programs offered by lenders, there are now government grants and (often free) services available for the low-income, low reserve home buyer as well as plenty of programs for first time home buyers. Government programs and many private loan programs also offer assistance for closing costs (the costs required up front to pay for lender fees, escrow & title charges, etc.), with some programs requiring the seller to pay for most of them.
For a list of government grants, go to cfda.gov (The Catalog of Federal Domestic Assistance) or firstgov.gov (The US Government's Official Web Portal). Click on "Benefits & Grants" to get to their grants page.
"Ok, that's great," you're thinking, "but the real estate market is so inflated now, even if I could qualify for a loan, how am I going to afford a house in the neighborhood I want?"
Welcome to the wonderful world of foreclosures, tax auctions and rehabs (otherwise known as fixer-uppers)! It is a myth that all foreclosures and tax-defaulted properties are in poor, run-down neighborhoods. One good thing about foreclosures and tax-defaulted properties is their indiscrimination. They occur in gang-ridden crack neighborhoods, middle class neighborhoods and elite million dollar communities alike.
Another benefit is that they are generally much cheaper than the lowest priced house in the same neighborhood. We all know the difference between retail and wholesale. You could go to the mall and buy a shirt for retail at $20 or you could go to the garment district in the city and buy the same shirt for wholesale at $10, or better yet, with the advent of the internet, you could do all your wholesale shopping online in the comfort of your pajamas.
The same is true for real estate. If you wouldn't spend that extra $10 dollars to buy a shirt at retail, why would you spend an extra $10,000 (or usually more) to buy a house at retail?
In the industry, houses that are listed on the market are considered retail. Houses you find through foreclosures and tax auctions are considered wholesale. These are discounted houses, available at a low price for a quick sale, usually because the Bank or County is seeking to simply make back the money they've spent on it before (and after) the buyer defaulted. This equals to huge savings for the educated buyer.
Rehabbing is buying houses that are a little less than perfect and fixing them up, either to sell for a profit or to keep as a residence. Some people enjoy the challenge of buying a property that needs a complete overhaul (new roof, extensive remodeling, structural fixes, etc.) while others prefer a "cosmetic fixer," a house which needs a little touch up paint here and there, some flowers planted in the yard, maybe even a new kitchen countertop, etc.
Cosmetic fixers are a fun and easy way to make money. You get to do a little artistic handiwork (even if you've never done it before) and make money at the same time. The quick profits you yield can be rolled over into a bigger and better house, you can repeat the process over and over again, working your way up from a $50,000 house to a $500,000 house within a few years - and the best part, it's all tax-free!
Called a "1031 Exchange," the gains you receive from selling the house can be tax-deferred as long as you continue to buy an equal or higher priced house with the proceeds you make from the sale. Unlike a straight sale of a residence, there are no occupancy requirements or live-in time restrictions for a 1031 Exchange. For a residence, federal law states that you must live in the home for 2 out of 5 years of ownership in order to avoid capital gains tax. You may choose to live in it for 2 years and bank the proceeds - yes, tax free! - or you may choose to flip it and do a 1031 Exchange - yes, tax deferred!
If you're sitting there scratching your head, thinking all this sounds like too much work when all you want is simply a house to call your own, chances are good you can still find a great deal in the retail market as well.
If you are convinced, or even slightly convinced that you just might be able to buy a home after all, here are some steps for the average, traditional home buyer.
Above all, the BEST thing you can do for your success is believe in yourself, believe it CAN be done and go out and do it! Stop wasting your time making up excuses why it CAN'T be done and start spending your time more effectively by finding ways it CAN.
Teresa Franklyn is author and publisher of The Daily Dose, a popular inspirational online publication. When she's not passionately typing away at her computer, she enjoys investing in Real Estate for fun and profit. For more information and helpful links about how to get into Real Estate, visit her website at followyoursoul.tk. To read about her adventures as an Owner/Builder, visit her Blog at followyoursoul.blogspot.tk
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