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Do you need to be rich to invest in Chicago real estate? The easy answer is ‘no’.
It’s a little bit more complicated than that, so allow me to explain before you dive into listings with the vision of big earnings. It’s a common misconception that I’ve heard many times, that only people who are packed with cash for down payment are able to make serious money by investing in real estate. And when you say it that way, then no, it really is not true. What is true, however, is that you do need money to invest in real estate. But who says it has to be your money? Here are some of the ways you can get involved in real estate investing without having any significant financial resources at your disposal:
A Bartering Deal
Like in the good old times — offering another piece of property or a service you can provide as the down payment of the property you’d like to purchase. That way you won’t have to come up with any actual money, but the value stays balanced. I highly recommend calling an appraiser and getting an official document stating the actual value of the bartered property. Just for the peace of mind.
Taking Over the Mortgage
There are many people who may no longer be satisfied with the property they got a mortgage on for many different reasons (relocation for a job, divorce, etc.). These people can’t sell the property the classical way, they can however sell the mortgage debt on the property (or any other related debts), and here’s your chance. This solves the down-payment issue - no immediate payment of a bigger amount of money is needed.
My personal favorite, this is a sensitive and step-by-step way towards owning a property. Signing a contract with the subtenant that specifically says the property’s worth and the portion of your monthly payments that will go towards the purchase price is a safe bet. The paying off of the property happens gradually and it gives you time to gain the necessary resources for the property purchase.
Find an Investor
If you’re the engine of the business but lack the fuel, find someone who’ll do the part. There are plenty of wealthy investors to be found who are looking for good deals for investment. If you have a good deal and you managed to find yourself an investor (ads in the media, local real estate clubs, investor groups), grab the chance. Pitch it with grace, and you’ll surely catch someone’s interest. Once that happens, make sure that everyone knows what their role in the business is to avoid clashes in the responsibility division. So are you networking yet?
Internet micro lending, borrowing money from family or friends, or taking a home equity loan from a bank (in case you already own a property) - these are some of the options for borrowing money. Make sure you’re always well informed about the loan terms and conditions, and even if borrowing from a friend or a family member, sign a contract establishing the amount, the payments and the share of the lender in the property (if there’s any). Money in the family and its closest surroundings may often be a sensitive subject. Always consider if the relationship you have with the potential lender is ready to withstand this kind of transaction.
Creativity, resourcefulness and a dash of an adventurous spirit is all it really takes to be successful at real estate investing. Doing some research, I’m sure you’ll be able to come up with other ways to invest, or with effective combinations of the above. It is very important, and I can’t stress this enough, to have an attorney by your side who’s overseeing all contracts and transactions, making sure that all the parties are protected.