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#1 Strategy for Profitable Real Estate Investing

By Charles Hopkins Published 04/21/2006 | Real Estate
Are you interested in the lucrative real estate market? Have you watched the Do-It-Yourselfers on TV who purchase a home, renovate or upgrade, then resell it for a profit of more money than most people make in a year?

It sure is tempting, but what are the pitfalls? What should a new investor know BEFORE putting money into real estate?

There is one mantra that successful real estate investors live by: "buy low - sell high". How can you apply this to your investment strategy?


New investors can easily get caught up in the sale. Without experience or a background in real estate you may think your instincts are good and quickly get in over your head.

Investment properties need to be undervalued and YOU need to do your research first. Don't plan to buy without spending a lot of time comparing values. Your goal is to purchase an undervalued property which can take time and experience to spot.

The best way to determine the true value of a property is by comparing similar properties and noting the common features. The properties MUST be in the same area since location can drastically affect price range.

Take note of the features and failings of each property, how long they're on the market and the price they sell for. Once you have a good understanding of the value of properties you will be able to tell when a property is undervalued - perhaps because a quick sale is needed or the seller is inexperienced. Don't hesitate to barter for the best deal possible.


You're not buying for yourself so spend time noting the trends in the market. You can often find data in the local real estate papers listing the percentage of growth for various properties in the area over the past year.

Keep an eye on what's moving quickly through the market and what features are promoted in new constructions. You can use this information to make your upgrades as market friendly as possible.

Be careful not to make the mistake of renovating to your personal tastes. Use neutral palettes and current styles to appeal to the broadest market.


The more time you spend researching the costs of your venture, the higher the profits you will see. Know how much you can spend, the price of materials and labor and the time frame to have it completed. Some experts would tell you to double or triple that amount. In any case, the more research you do the more accurate your budget will be.

Don't get swept away in the process either; concentrate on the most profitable renovations. Kitchens and bathrooms are important. Adding French doors or updated lighting can also be a good investment. A fresh coat of paint is a must.

Investing in real estate is a financial business. Plan your investment like a business; make well researched decisions, stick to a budget, don't let personal preferences get involved, and you're ready to make some money