Real estate investors, young, old, experienced and the novice all have one thing in common: finding the right deal. And there’s no end to the possibilities as real estate is as varied as the stock market it seems considering features such as real estate investinglocation, property type and financing. And speaking of financing, for those who use it know that getting the lowest cost loan at the most competitive interest rate is critical, especially in light of today’s interest rate market.

 

Rates are still near historic lows and with economic sideswipes such as the partial government shutdown, the debt ceiling and continuing resolutions with no end, it is safe to say a sudden jump in rates to say five or six percent is unlikely. But to get the best financing package, well, that’s reserved for the owner occupant, not the investor. Unless of course they’re one in the same.

Many real estate investors start their journey quite by accident. An individual sees a bargain just listed on the market and with some basic repair work the home could gain several thousand dollars with some good old-fashioned elbow grease.

The best mortgage programs belong to those who occupy the property. Down payments are as low as 3.5 or 5.00 percent for FHA and conventional loans and interest rates are typically one-half percent lower than those reserved for investment property loans.

Here’s the scenario. A buyer snatches up property for $125,000 and with about $20,000 worth of materials and six months of weekend work, the home will soon be worth $200,000. And as property values have recently recovered some of their strength, price appreciation is once again our friend. After the buyer lives in the property for a year or two, he sells it and buys yet another fixer upper, yet this time it’s a more expensive home. Rinse and repeat.

Not everyone can invest in real estate in this manner, but for those who can make it work there’s probably not a better way to buy, fix and sell.