The housing debacle got more than a few potential real estate investors rattled. Rightfully so as many who hopped on the real estate train found themselves on the wrong track for all the wrong reasons.investing in real estate is a process and not a gamble During the housing heyday, buyers simply followed the mantra and bought, bought, bought because real estate was taking off. Buy now or lose was the theme.

But real estate investing is in fact investing, it’s not speculating. Speculation is betting on the value of a property’s future value with nothing more than a gambler’s insight. True, real estate values did climb, dramatically in some areas, and homes were sold for a profit in as little as 90 days in some areas. “Flipping” became the new hot trend for the last decade. It seemed as if everyone was a real estate investor or soon would be. Yet as we all know, the music stopped and people got hurt.

Real estate investing is a process. It’s an analytical model that evaluates each individual piece of property be it a single family home or a multi-million dollar apartment building. Successful investors who have closed hundreds if not thousands of deals over the years never bought into the “buy now or lose” mentality. That’s why those investors are still around today and are in a position to take advantage of distressed real estate in a market with low interest rates.

Property values have stopped their free-fall and have stabilized in most parts of the country and even though interest rates have risen over the past few weeks, rates are still near record lows. This historic combination provides savvy real estate investors with opportunities in every corner.

Yet even with value stabilization and the low cost of money, investors still look over each and every prospective investment with the same analytical eye. There’s no speculation. The project either works or it doesn’t work. There’s no in between. And there’s no gambling. The professionals have been and always will be in it for the long haul.