Real Estate Investment Opportunities in 2008 – Are There Any?

Real estate investing is tough at the best of times. What about the worst of times. Is it possible to invest profitably in real estate when the market is like it is right now?The real estate market is in meltdown right now. House prices are plummeting, foreclosures through the roof, people living in their cars and houses selling for $1. I’ve been watching a lovely 4 bedroom home in Florida that is listed on eBay right now for a starting bid of $1.Real estate investing success relies on a few simple parameters. Rising house prices and good rental returns. If an investor can secure a house that will rise in value over time and returns enough rental return to come close to covering the expenses of the mortgage and other holding costs, then that investor will, over time, make a profit.Ideally the rental returns from the tenants should exceed the costs of holding the property, and it is then in positive cash flow, and the investor makes a return on investment both from the income from the property and from the capital gain as well.It’s all pretty simple really. There’s dozens of real estate investment seminars around, however that’s the basics. If you buy a home for an investment, and the value of that home goes down over time, you’ll lose money.If you’re making a loss on the rental return over time, you’ll also lose money unless you can sell that home in the future at a price that is sufficiently higher than the purchase price to cover the rental losses and make some return on capital.Simple stuff. But hard to achieve, even in the best of times. When the market is good, like it was up until a while ago, you made money if you we’re a good real estate investor. If you chose well, bought well and tenanted the property well, you were in front.Not any more. The basic premise of real estate investing is rising home prices. If you’ve got rising home prices then you’ve got a good chance of doing well. Buy just about anything and by default you’ll make money.Now prices are falling.So right now there are no real estate investment opportunities right?Wrong. There are good real estate investment opportunities. But if you’re trying to find them yourself you’re almost guaranteed to fail. There are some professional real estate investors now who are trying, and if you’re a professional investor with significant real estate investment experience you may do well. Or you may well do badly too.But if you’re beginning real estate investing now you’d be better to stay out of the market. Unless……Imagine for a moment.A solid American public corporation, experienced in real estate investment. Well capitalized with a well thought out proven strategy for investing in real estate regardless of market direction.The corporation invests in buying homes in demand. Not your McMansions that are on eBay right now, but the sort of houses that millions of working Americans live in right now, or need to live in. Basic properties that exist in their millions right over the US.With sufficient capital it can buy hundreds of homes at a time. From government, charities or any organization that owns large numbers of homes in a single area. And because it can buy like that it can buy at way below market value. Hundreds at a time purchased in a suburb with all the right characteristics including high demand for rental properties and, in some cases a backlog of demand for up to 15 years.Then it refurbishes those homes to a high standard. While doing so it spends money on the suburb building parks and playgrounds and community facilities. And within a period of time a suburb has been totally transformed. New community attractions, high quality homes that people want to live in. Suddenly everyone wants to live there.Up to 40% of the profits are ploughed back into the local community.Demand rises, people want to live there, both to rent and buy. The corporation has created it’s own capital gain, regardless of market direction.And then it sells these properties to individual investors. No money down, loan provided, tenant provided with a rental guarantee. Immediate equity to the investor of around 15%. The investor owns the property and can hold it or sell it and keep 100% of the profits.Now that’s successful real estate investing in a bad market. But it takes experience, commitment to a community and to the investors, and a solid background of real estate experience, and a lot of capital.Sound too good to be true? Maybe it’s not.

Becoming a Commercial Real Estate Broker

The Commercial Real Estate Industry touches virtually every aspect of business in the United States and most of the free world. Very few companies can grow without acquiring more land or additional office space, patients can’t use the services of a hospital unless it’s constructed and consumers can’t shop at a Walmart without the development of Real Property.Commercial Real Estate encompasses all aspects of sales, leasing, management, investment in or improvement of retail property, investment property, farmland, businesses, industries, medical facilities and dozens of other types of property. Our job in the industry is to assist in the lease, management or sales of property, and to advise our clients of their best courses of action when deciding how to invest in or improve real property or a commercial asset.You will work directly with industry leaders, community leaders, government officials, lawyers, zoning officers, accountants, mortgage companies, banks, title companies, appraisers, utility companies and everyone in between to put together sales or develop property to its full potential for a client. While you can’t make decisions for our clients, you can assist them in making better informed decisions, and you can help our clients to understand what the highest and best use may be for a particular property, or what type of investment vehicle might be best for your client.You will work with property owners who may want to sell a property, lease a property, have a property managed or determine what use might be better for the property than the current use. You will work with users of properties to find the best location for their business or investment, to determine if it’s better for the user to lease a property or purchase and to understand the tax implications of their decisions. Additionally, You will work with investors to determine which real estate venture might be their best investment to meet their particular goals and needs.Commercial real estate agents and brokers work with individuals, investors, organizations and corporations to develop property to its highest potential. Their careers include many specializations. Some commercial associates specialize in particular types of property, such as office property, develop-able farmland or even amusement parks. Other commercial associates specialize in particular forms of consulting work for Real Estate Investment Trusts (REITs), insurance companies or utility companies. Still others work in specialized areas such as resort management or assist government agencies with the redevelopment of industrial sites or reclamation of land.Commercial Real Estate is an exciting and rewarding field of study and can lead to dozens of different career opportunities. Whether someone is starting their first small business, developing a parcel of land, or considering an investment in real estate rather than an investment in a mutual fund or money market, the understanding of commercial real estate is fundamental to their decisions.To begin your career in this sector of the industry you’ll need to understand exactly what you’re selling, how it is priced, how it is financed and what legal documents must be used to convey the sale or lease. In other words, what are the responsibilities of a commercial real estate broker. Let’s take a look at the key elements necessary to be successful in commercial real estate.You will need to examine the diverse forms that commercial property takes and the important terms used by those in the field to explain and understand a type of property. Next you will need to explore the different methods of determining value in the eyes of property users, investors, real estate professionals and appraisers. You will also need to learn how commercial real estate can be financed and how it may be leased. There is also a need to perform an examination of the legal documents including listing contracts, sales agreements and lease contracts.Your responsibilities as a commercial real estate professional include:For Sellers or Property Owners:
Hold or Sell Analysis – Analyze the market to determine what course of action is best for a property owner. Is it better to hold onto the property longer, or would an owner be better suited selling the commercial property? This analysis may include projections of cash flows, and determination of internal rate of return.
Property Management – Assist the owner by leasing and / or managing the day to day situations that arise in any real estate investment. Management may include suggestions of how to create more value in the property. 3 story multi-tenant Office Building with central common atrium.
Property Leasing – Finding tenants for a property owner’s commercial real estate. This may include advice on creating a niche for the property, or ways to attract more solid long term tenants.
Property Sale or Marketing – Determining the best course of action in order to maximize the sales price on a property and find the best possible buyer.
For Buyers, Tenants or Investors:
Investment Analysis – Provide an investor or buyer with comparisons of various properties or types of property and their cash flows or investment returns in order to determine what situation may be best for the investor or buyer.
Site Selection – Assist the investor or buyer with locating a site that meets the client’s needs. Assist with demographic data to support the client’s business or investment goals. An agent may also be required to assist with determining the site’s suitability based on zoning regulations, environmental conditions and financing considerations.
Cash Flow Analysis / Return on Investment – What kind of return can an investor expect on a particular real estate investment? Agents provide projections of potential future income and analysis of potential return on the property.
For both Sellers / Owners and Buyers / Investors:
Property or Business Valuations – Any property owner wants to know what their property is worth to a buyer and what the highest sales price or lease price is possible in the current market. Buyers or Investors want to know what a fair price may be for the same property or business, and will want to know what the best investment may be at this point in time.
Feasibility Studies – Conduct a market study with the help of Real Estate Appraisers and engineers to determine the highest and best use of a property, or forecast a project’s likelihood of success.
Exchange Opportunities – Tax-deferral benefits may make it worthwhile to exchange the property, or use a 1031 deferred exchange.
Commercial Real Estate Professionals can be rewarded for their quality work and adherence to ethical standards. Learning the fundamental methods and tools used are critical to the success of both the professional and their clients.