There is a lot to do in real estate down markets.

Real Estate Sales Representative with Skyline Realty

The first broker I worked for in 1993, taught me to "market in the slow economy, and sell in the busy one." That is from my perspective as a real estate professional of course. Let's say you are a buyer, seller, or investor; then what do you do? The answer is "cash is king." Better yet, I call it the "three cashes...." Cash-in, Cash-Out, and Do Not Cash. Here are examples of something you might want to consider:

1. If you are a buyer and don't have a lot of cash, consider an FHA loan with little down payment and excellent interest rates, not to mention tax benefits. The most important factor here is not how much cash you have, but how good your credit score is. If you need help finding a good mortgage loan consultant, let me know!

2. If you are a seller, and you get an amazing offer on your property, this is your time to "cash-out." Unless you are emotionally attached and invested in that property, this is your time to sell. The thing you have to remember here, is to talk to your accountant about Capital Gain, Taxes, and better yet, option #3 below.

3. Investors who want to grow their real estate investments in volatile economies, have a great option called IRS Code 1031, or "Like Exchange." This is a great tool for sellers and investors to "Cash Out" but who who do not want to touch the cash. There are volumes written about this process known as "1031 Exchange," but the main thing to know is that, you cannot touch the cash. You have to find a disinterested third party, preferably a title company, to hold the money and transfer both your equity and capital gain to a what you'd hope is a better investment.

Again, real estate brokers are not licensed mortgage consultants, nor proficient in 1031 Exchange laws, but we are a good place to start with. A good broker can give you some advice and pointers, and also help you assemble a team of professional including a mortgage broker, lawyer, and escrow agent, to help you achieve your goals.

2009 is a good year to start planning for future real estate investments. I think within three years, if you do not have a solid plan, you might find yourself again in a big boom, and wondering why you did not act sooner!

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