Despite what you may hear about real estate investing not every property is a winner. In fact, early in the career of a novice real estate investor things will go wrong more often until the investor recognizes the errors and avoids them in the future.

Experience is the best teacher, right? So what happens don't let mistakes get you downwhen a deal goes bad? For some, the idea of real estate investing suddenly seems like a lousy career choice. Mistakes in real estate aren’t easily corrected compared to other activities. Buy a bad stock? Take your losses and don’t buy any more. Bought a car and it’s a pure lemon? Fix the car and sell it or keep it. But a bad real estate transaction means longer term pain. Selling the poor choice often means taking it on the chin financially or not collecting enough rent every month to cover your expenses and ends up being an expense instead of an income stream.

When things go wrong it’s often due to unexpected events. There are events you can prepare for and protect against and there are others that you have no control over but most can be controlled with proper planning. You cannot, repeat cannot evaluate and prepare too much. Did you pay for a property inspection? If the unit needs work, it pays to get a second opinion. Inspectors are human like the rest of us and when ordering an inspection report you’ll also read the fine print that says the inspector will try and find all the things wrong but isn’t responsible for things missed. That’s heartening, isn’t it?

Work and rework the numbers. Don’t inflate rental income or property values because the numbers sound better. Emotion and real estate don’t mix. The math needs to rule and not your wishful thinking. And nothing can provide a better barrier of protection than surrounding yourself with experienced professionals. Do you think a full time real estate agent knows more about the market than you ever will? Of course. So find one. The same goes for attorneys, inspectors and title agents. Bad real estate deals will happen to every investor at some point, the trick is minimizing any impact and tons of research.