Investing in real estate isn't as hard as you think. For many people, you already have the money. Did you get a big bonus at work? Tax returns? Saving to buy a big ticket item? If so, you might want to reconsider how that money gets spent. Add that money with a bit you have already saved and you've got yourself a down payment on an investment property that will provide income for years to come.
Here's a few tips on how to get started:
1) Rethink your savings. Do you have money saved in the bank earning interest? What about stocks? Saving is great and super important for your retirement, kids needs, and whatever else that comes along. But, are you putting back money that isn't appreciating? Using that money for a down payment on a rental property means that your money will grow and grow. Your renters will pay down the mortgage and you will be left with a free home that you can either continue to reap the rent from or sell for a lump sum later in life.
2) Got a good working relationship with someone that you trust? Talk out the plans and put your money together to buy the perfect property. Delegate the jobs accordingly and you can work together to bring in the wealth. Working with someone on a flip is a good short term way to ensure that you can work well together to reach your goals.
3) Start with your own home. Have you lived in your "starter home" well beyond your start? If so, you might be able to get the loan you need to buy your next home and still keep the one you have. You can fix it up a bit and rent it to pay down the rest of the mortgage and in a few years you have a paid off property that will provide cash for whatever your needs are at that time. Sell it to buy another home?
4) Cash in something. My wife worked for a non profit for 10 years, but the last three she went down to part time and was no longer receiving any retirement benefits. With only paying in for 7 years, very little interest, and underfunded pension system, we decided to take the minimal penalty to withdraw and to use that money to buy a property. The numbers just made sense.
5) Talk to someone. Do you have a financial adviser, a good banker, or a trusted realtor? So many people feel that there financial situation is strapped and therefore make no changes to their situation. You might be surprised how reworking your finances, mortgage, car payments, insurance, etc. can really free up some money and help you spend smarter. It's worth checking out.