Should You Do Real Estate Full-Time?

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.

Kerala Real Estate Checklists

Last few years Kerala, the beautiful south western state of india is going through a real estate boom. Kerala is one among the third worlds longest-lived, healthiest, gender equitable literate region. Its human development index and standard of living are best in the nation. The hardworking, educated skilled people migrated to different part of the world just for work is adding over 20% of SDP through their remittance. Lion share of this amount is invested in the real estate business and it has resulted in a total revival of the economy. This investment goes mainly on construction of houses and few spend it as a long term investment. Nowadays real estate investment is the most profitable with stability and security. As I mentioned people buys properties for building houses, business, for agriculture and as an investment. In any case the following check list must be a matter of consideration while buying properties. They add value and comfort to you and your property when years pass by.A) Accessibility
Access to the property is critically important. In kerala it is common that to find an affordable property with no direct road access. Quite often the only access may be through other properties. The access to the property may be permitted by the adjoining holders. But this may invite problems in the future, which will eat most of your time, peace of mind and money. There are different types of access from public road to pavements and it is common in villages having foot path to the property not segregated with fence or walls. Before buying the properties you have to make sure that it has deeded access to the property. If there are no properties between yours and the public road the fewer problems will arise. Without a deeded access you can expect this investment making good margins in the future. Also you may find difficulty in selling off when you are in need of money.B) Water availabilityKerala has 44 rivers and a network of inter connected canals, lakes, ponds and other small streams. We depend on water for granted and more than 50% of keralites rely on wells for drinking and irrigation water. Though kerala gets good rainfall through out the year it faces acute water scarcity in the summer season. In towns the piped water also available along with the wells. In villages only very few properties are hooked with piped or treated water supply. Depending on your investment plan you may need to make sure that the property will have continuous and adequate water supply. If the property has a well you may need to test the quantity, quality and availability of water. The quality of the water must be checked before you buy the property. This is particularly important when you are planning to stay in a congested place, since in villages the sewage disposal is through the septic system which in most cases may not be properly cemented. If there is no proven water supply you may need to consider digging well or bore well which costs thousands of rupees. It is better to have a study or consult and expert to know about the ground water availability and check the ground water levels in the adjoining plots through the year. This is very important if you are planning to live in that property.C) Power and Communication ConnectivityNowadays we cannot imagine a life without power and communication connectivity’s like landlines or mobile phones. In kerala, scores of places still doesn’t have power and communication connectivity. While buying the property you may not foresee a need in the near future, but still I suggest that it is better to have a research on the cost to get it connected before you buy the property. It is not uncommon that the property owners claim that the electricity lines and phone lines are available in the nearest properties and you may get it through their plots. But remember we have hundreds of petitions in the court on this issue and may be you never get permission to take the lines through their property even if you are ready to bear the costs. Again it is costly if the connectivity is far from the property.D) Sewage DisposalMalayalees usually gives less attention to sewage disposal when buying a property, though they face different health hazards. Kerala is going through many deadly epidemics like chikungunya, dengue, cholera and other seasonal epidemics which took many lives. As we all like to live and brought up our kids in a hygienic environment it is necessary to give necessary attention on this issue. In Almost all places sewage disposal is through the septic tank system. Most cases the sewage is absorbed in the ground. It is a health hazard and may contaminate yours and your neighbor’s water supply. If wells are around, it is always better to have a test done. This is not a joke; since there was a report recently which claims that most of the wells in kerala are contaminated. You can have a visual inspection of the site for obvious leaks and have a test done on your well water.E) Boundaries and deeded access to other properties.In kerala, you can see many of those property advertisements specifies areas like between 10-12 cents, more than 20 cents etc. Most of the properties are not properly surveyed. And if you ask them on the corners they may say like it may be some where here or there. There are no fences to identify the borders. These types of issues have lead to fierce battle among the neighbors. So it is better to confirm the boundaries and corners of your land before you purchase the property. Also you may need to check issues like deeded access to other properties through the specified property which may split this property in to two.F) Natural hazards and pollutionKerala have good rainy season with a moderate summer season. In some of the areas both goes to extreme and on worst it affects many peoples daily life. Geographically kerala can be categorized into three like highlands, midlands and lowland. The highlands have gorges and deep cut valleys resulted in many mudslides in the past and have lost many lives. Relatively flat costal belt is frequently facing floods in the rainy seasons. Because of mining and draught of the Bharathapuzha River its basin seems to be little prone to seismic activity, and it is reported to have few tremors in the last decade. Since kerala lies in the center of indian tectonic place most of the state less prone to seismic and volcanic activity. Also a lot of unnatural phenomena’s are reported from many part of kerala recently like sliding wells down to the earth, changing color and smell of the water in the well, colored rains etc… Its cities are much polluted because there are only few measures to check the pollution level from the vehicles and industries. Though in most cases these issues may not be directly affecting your property value but still there are chances.G) OthersSoil test: – If you are planning to use the property for agriculture you should do the soil test before you buy the property. Also you must verify the continuous water supply through the year as I mentioned earlier. Enquire on the neighbors, since they are the ones who contribute value to your property in the future.Author, offers free real estate property advertisement for sale and lease.