When Socrates said, “Know thyself,” it is unlikely he was talking about real estate investing, but it is still good advice. Before considering any major investment, you need to make sure you know what you can or can’t do, what your goals are, and what you are comfortable with. Here are some questions to ask yourself, so you are prepared to seize a good investment opportunity when it presents itself.
Am I an Accredited Investor? Knowing your status is non-negotiable. Some investments are only available to accredited investors and knowing your status will help you to narrow your focus. An Accredited Investor is generally someone who has 1MM in net worth, not counting the value of their primary home.
Am I a conservative or aggressive investor? Do you like to play it safe with a lower steady fixed rate of return or are you someone who likes high risk, high reward situations? Risk tolerance, considering where you are in life, knowledge of the industry and the market cycle, should all play a part in this decision.
What type of investor am I, Passive or Active? Are you a hands-on type of investor who wants to be uber involved in your investments? If so, you may want to consider more active investments such as fix and flips, rentals, note buying, etc. Just remember that these types of investments take a lot of time and involvement.
If you are working full time or just starting out, something passive may be your best bet! Consider real estate investment funds and other low involvement opportunities.
What is my level of knowledge when it comes to RE investing?
Are you just starting out? Then you probably shouldn’t take on a 100K intensive rehab project for your first flip. No matter your investment decision, take time to learn and fully understand what you are doing.
Who is in my network that I can leverage for their talents/expertise?
We have all heard the quote “Your network is your net worth.” — Porter Gale. This is especially true in the real estate world. This industry is constantly evolving and having a strong network is a must. Every RE investor should have a good agent, lender, attorney, CPA, and contractor on their side with whom they can ask questions and brainstorm. Go to real estate club meetings, mixers, and conferences. Get to know people and surround yourself with like-minded individuals. Lean on the strength of others to compensate for your areas of weakness (we all have them) and you, too, can contribute your strengths to help others.
What type of funds am I using to fuel this investment? Analyze the effects of that choice.
There are many ways to fund your investments but sometimes that can come with certain restrictions, tax liabilities, etc. For instance, if you lend money on a fix and flip out of your IRA (structured funds) and the borrower defaults forcing you to foreclose, you need to be sure that you understand the foreclosure laws within an IRA as this would be handled differently than if you had lent the money with cash.
If you choose to invest as an individual, do you know how this investment might affect your taxes? Everyone’s situation is different, but these are the questions you want to know the answers to BEFORE you jump in.