I recently blogged about how, at least in my area, investors seem to be investing in real estate again. This morning I received an email from someone who does not consider himself to be a real estate investor, asking if now was a good time for him to start investing in real estate...if it's safe to test the waters of real estate.
This seems to be a really popular question. Everyone wants to know when it's safe to "get back into the water" with real estate. Problem is, no one really has the answer to this question.
Real estate has been and always will be all about location, location, location. So, even though many parts of the country (and world for that matter) still have dismally slow or even nonexistent real estate markets right now, there are parts of the country where things do seem to be picking up a bit. And, everywhere, there are tremendous deals to be had. So, even though everyone seems to want to get in at the bottom of the market, just like the stock market, no one can every really be sure we're at the bottom until we start coming back up.
I suppose the bottom line is now exactly the same as it has always been...if you find a great property that you really like and you can afford it or arrange affordable financing for it and it is at a good price...buy it.
One good thing that is happening in many real estate markets across the country is the return of seller financing, also known as owner carry-back financing. For people who are either lacking stellar credit or lots of money to put down, this can really be a terrific thing. The downside is that the interest rates are generally a bit higher than you could get at a bank and the terms are normally a bit shorter as well. However, the upside is that many people can buy property they otherwise could not purchase and the seller can sell a property that they otherwise may not have been able to sell.
This type of financing is more plentiful with vacant land, however, we're seeing it more often with manufactured homes and even site-built single family residences. So, even if the listing does not specify that the owner will be willing to do this type of arrangement, it's worth asking. All they can do is say 'no' and they might just say 'yes.'
There are some tremendous deals right now in real estate for those looking for investments. Talk to your agent to find those that will work for you.