Top 10 Questions to Ask Yourself Before Becoming a Property Developer

Making the decision to become a professional property developer and invest in property is no easy step. Is it one that requires a lot of thought, consideration and time to ensure you are making the right decision.

If you too are struggling to decide if property development is the right route for you, then the following FAQ can help put all your concerns to rest:

1.What is property investment?

There are many misconceptions about property investment and what it exactly entails. The most common route you will encounter – and hear of – is renovation, where you buy a property with the purpose of doing it up and selling it.

However, whilst this niche was profitable during the property boom of 2007, this investment technique unfortunately is less effective during economic downturns. That is unless you have got the cash to turn the property around fast and quickly get it back on the market.

The other route however – and the one we recommend to you – is buy-to-let. With buy-to-let, you can invest in property based on the areas tenancy demand and ability to produce positive cash flows, and generate month on month incomes simply by leasing your property development to tenants. There is no need to sell…

2.What makes property investment different to stocks, bonds or shares?

The fact that it will never go into zero values! Although stocks, bonds and shares can help you to experience annual returns of up to 25%, they are also prone to dipping down to -8% leaving YOU out of pocket.

With property it is a much different story. Even in a recession, properties can still produce annual returns of up to 25% – if you invest correctly – making it a much safer, more stable investment route.

3.Do I need capital to invest?

No. Equip yourself with the right strategies, and it is possible to invest in property using little if any of your money and purchase properties without putting your own home at risk.

Investment strategies such as No Money Down or No Deposit Down are specifically designed to help you invest with minimal costs involved. All you will have to worry about is your legal fees and stamp duties; yet even then it is possible to negotiate such property discounts that your property will essentially pay for itself.

4.Do I need experience?

Despite what the media would like you to believe, you don’t have to have prior property investment experience to make a profit from property.

The key to achieving long term successful investments is to: equip your property portfolio with the right investment strategies; negotiate the right property price discounts, but more importantly ensure that you only invest in properties which can produce the positive cash flows and tenancy demand you need.

Attending a property development course can help to equip you with such investment strategies. Just make sure that you thoroughly research these property development courses first, check their history/case studies and only sign up to a course that can offer you at least 5 investment strategies.

REMEMBER: Not all investment strategies will work in all financial climates, which is why having plenty of choice can come in handy.

5.How do banks lend money for investment property?

Unlike applying for a mortgage where your lending amount is based on how much you earn, buy to let investment is assessed very differently.

Here, all lenders require is that your property is able to generate 125% of its mortgage repayments through buy to let. Meaning choose wisely and it is possible to invest in bigger and better properties, than you normally would be able to if it was based on your salary.

6.What are the best properties to invest in?

There is no fixed rule to this exactly, although residential properties do primarily win in the investment stakes against commercial property and land.

When you are researching potential property developments, the key points to take into consideration are the properties tenancy demand; the mortgages deals available and the positive cash the property can generate. As long as there is the demand and the property can produce at least £300 in positive cash flows, then it doesn’t matter if it is a terraced, semi-detached or detached.

This information aside, economic circumstances can make one property type more popular than the other. During the recession for example, studies found that tenants preferred living in terraced properties compared to all other property types because they were better designed and more energy efficient.

7.What is positive cash flow?

Positive cash essentially represents the income left over from a tenants rent after the properties mortgage repayments have been deducted. So, the larger the properties positive cash flow, the more profitable the property is.

8.Is it possible to invest in all financial climates?

Yes. If you are looking to enter specifically into the buy to let investment market, then with the right investment strategies, brokers and negotiating skills, it is possible to invest come property boom or economic crisis.

Take the recent recession. During the last 2 years we have been confronted with property price discounts of at least 20%; base rates of only 0.5% and a tenancy demand that has increased by 24% alone during the last quarter of 2009.

However, even with the property boom of 2007, property investment was still powerful asset as it encouraged rapid capital growth which in turn prompted rental increases and larger positive cash flows.

The financial climate does not have to play a factor in your decision to invest; only help you to determine which of your investment strategies will be most effective.

9.Is it possible to invest abroad?

Your property portfolio does not have to remain restricted within one city, region or country. UK, USA, Europe or Australia… with the right strategies all properties can be transformed into credible property lets.

The only thing you should be cautious about when investing abroad is familiarising yourself with their property laws and investment regulations. Every country is formatted using a different system, and will employ different methods for lending, organising repayments and structuring property leasing.

10.Do I have to give up my day job?

No, far from it. The great thing about property is that you can easily research, invest and build your property portfolio in your spare time – for as little as 1 hour property per week – and continue working your day job.

You can even employ a property manager to take care of your properties, and ensure that your rent; maintenance issues and tenant problems are quickly resolved without need for your assistance.

3 Of The Top 9 Reasons That The Real Estate Bubble Is Bursting

If you own real estate or are thinking of buying real estate then you better pay attention, because this could be the most important message you receive this year regarding real estate and your financial future.

The last five years have seen explosive growth in the real estate market and as a result many people believe that real estate is the safest investment you can make. Well, that is no longer true. Rapidly increasing real estate prices have caused the real estate market to be at price levels never before seen in history when adjusted for inflation! The growing number of people concerned about the real estate bubble means there are less available real estate buyers. Fewer buyers mean that prices are coming down.

On May 4, 2006, Federal Reserve Board Governor Susan Blies stated that “Housing has really sort of peaked”. This follows on the heels of the new Fed Chairman Ben Bernanke saying that he was concerned that the “softening” of the real estate market would hurt the economy. And former Fed Chairman Alan Greenspan previously described the real estate market as frothy. All of these top financial experts agree that there is already a viable downturn in the market, so clearly there is a need to know the reasons behind this change.

3 of the top 9 reasons that the real estate bubble will burst include:

1. Interest rates are rising – foreclosures are up 72%!

2. First time homebuyers are priced out of the market – the real estate market is a pyramid and the base is crumbling

3. The psychology of the market has changed so that now people are afraid of the bubble bursting – the mania over real estate is over!

The first reason that the real estate bubble is bursting is rising interest rates. Under Alan Greenspan, interest rates were at historic lows from June 2003 to June 2004. These low interest rates allowed people to buy homes that were more expensive then what they could normally afford but at the same monthly cost, essentially creating “free money”. However, the time of low interest rates has ended as interest rates have been rising and will continue to rise further. Interest rates must rise to combat inflation, partly due to high gasoline and food costs. Higher interest rates make owning a home more expensive, thus driving existing home values down.

Higher interest rates are also affecting people who bought adjustable mortgages (ARMs). Adjustable mortgages have very low interest rates and low monthly payments for the first two to three years but afterwards the low interest rate disappears and the monthly mortgage payment jumps dramatically. As a result of adjustable mortgage rate resets, home foreclosures for the 1st quarter of 2006 are up 72% over the 1st quarter of 2005.

The foreclosure situation will only worsen as interest rates continue to rise and more adjustable mortgage payments are adjusted to a higher interest rate and higher mortgage payment. Moody’s stated that 25% of all outstanding mortgages are coming up for interest rate resets during 2006 and 2007. That is $2 trillion of U.S. mortgage debt! When the payments increase, it will be quite a hit to the pocketbook. A study done by one of the country’s largest title insurers concluded that 1.4 million households will face a payment jump of 50% or more once the introductory payment period is over.

The second reason that the real estate bubble is bursting is that new homebuyers are no longer able to buy homes due to high prices and higher interest rates. The real estate market is basically a pyramid scheme and as long as the number of buyers is growing everything is fine. As homes are bought by first time home buyers at the bottom of the pyramid, the new money for that $100,000.00 home goes all the way up the pyramid to the seller and buyer of a $1,000,000.00 home as people sell one home and buy a more expensive home. This double-edged sword of high real estate prices and higher interest rates has priced many new buyers out of the market, and now we are starting to feel the effects on the overall real estate market. Sales are slowing and inventories of homes available for sale are rising quickly. The latest report on the housing market showed new home sales fell 10.5% for February 2006. This is the largest one-month drop in nine years.

The third reason that the real estate bubble is bursting is that the psychology of the real estate market has changed. For the last five years the real estate market has risen dramatically and if you bought real estate you more than likely made money. This positive return for so many investors fueled the market higher as more people saw this and decided to also invest in real estate before they ‘missed out’.

The psychology of any bubble market, whether we are talking about the stock market or the real estate market is known as ‘herd mentality’, where everyone follows the herd. This herd mentality is at the heart of any bubble and it has happened numerous times in the past including during the US stock market bubble of the late 1990’s, the Japanese real estate bubble of the 1980’s, and even as far back as the US railroad bubble of the 1870’s. The herd mentality had completely taken over the real estate market until recently.

The bubble continues to rise as long as there is a “greater fool” to buy at a higher price. As there are less and less “greater fools” available or willing to buy homes, the mania disappears. When the hysteria passes, the excessive inventory that was built during the boom time causes prices to plummet. This is true for all three of the historical bubbles mentioned above and many other historical examples. Also of importance to note is that when all three of these historical bubbles burst the US was thrown into recession.

With the changing in mindset related to the real estate market, investors and speculators are getting scared that they will be left holding real estate that will lose money. As a result, not only are they buying less real estate, but they are simultaneously selling their investment properties as well. This is producing huge numbers of homes available for sale on the market at the same time that record new home construction floods the market. These two increasing supply forces, the increasing supply of existing homes for sale coupled with the increasing supply of new homes for sale will further exacerbate the problem and drive all real estate values down.

A recent survey showed that 7 out of 10 people think the real estate bubble will burst before April 2007. This change in the market psychology from ‘must own real estate at any cost’ to a healthy concern that real estate is overpriced is causing the end of the real estate market boom.

The aftershock of the bubble bursting will be enormous and it will affect the global economy tremendously. Billionaire investor George Soros has said that in 2007 the US will be in recession and I agree with him. I think we will be in a recession because as the real estate bubble bursts, jobs will be lost, Americans will no longer be able to cash out money from their homes, and the entire economy will slow down dramatically thus leading to recession.

In conclusion, the three reasons the real estate bubble is bursting are higher interest rates; first-time buyers being priced out of the market; and the psychology about the real estate market is changing. The recently published eBook “How To Prosper In The Changing Real Estate Market. Protect Yourself From The Bubble Now!” discusses these items in more detail.