It’s interesting how rental real estate gets treated as an investment. Like Rodney Dangerfield, it gets no respect. While conventional investments like stocks and bonds get the Financial Post and the Wall Street Journal, do a search on “how to purchase real estate” and you’ll discover all kinds of no-money down schemes that seem designed to sell books and tapes instead of investment real estate. On TV there is Report on Business TV, but for real estate you’ll see flipping shows or infomercials. It strikes me as pitiful that such a solid investment vehicle gets such a bad reputation.
It is possible to buy with no money down, but it involves arranging a high ratio mortgage, and for rental property you only do that if you have equity in other properties. In other words, if you’ve got one property free and clear its relatively easy to arrange a line of credit at prime. A $100,000 property would cost about $400 per month, plus taxes and maintenance of about $200. In short, it would carry itself and give you income to pay the financing costs.
A more common method to buy income real estate is with a deposit. Usually is you can make investment property itself with less than 40% down its probably a good deal. These kinds of properties are easier to come across in stable markets.
There are lots of reasons to own investment real estate.
Reason #1 to own income real estate is because your renters buy it for you. Even if the other benefits didn’t accrue, that on it’s own justifies the investment. But the fact is, there are more benefits to buying rental property
Reason #2 is leverage. The most effective description of how leverage works comes from the book Buy, Rent, Sell, by Lionel Needleman (Needleman is not a fast talker; in fact, he’s an accomplished author and professor with many published books and articles on housing in Great Britain and Canada. His assumptions and math is a bit simplistic, and need to be tweaked for your local market, but the book is worth looking at).
He explains leverage in the following manner: John and Mary each buy a property $100,000. After a year both houses have increased 10% in value. Both buyers sell the properties and compare the profits.
John began with $100,000, and now has $110,000, which means he has earned a 10% return on his investment. Mary, on the other hand, put $10,000 down on her property, and mortgaged the balance for$90,000. When she sells she clears off the mortgage and totals everything. She also received a $10,000 profit, but since she only invested $10,000 in the income…