More and more ATX customers are exploring real estate as an investment opportunity. I think this is a good primer of some basics for your decision about investing in real estate…enjoy! Jan
Real Estate: A Guide To Protecting Your Investments
Anyone with enough money (or even enough good credit) can get into the real estate investment game, but that doesn’t mean it’s easy to succeed in the field. In fact, it’s anything but. A couple of decades ago, financial experts would have said that buying a home was one of the safest investments you could make. They might say the same today, but when compared with Wall St., it really isn’t saying as much as it used to. Still, there are steps you can take to protect yourself when it comes to investing in property. Here is a guide to doing just that.
Start an LLC When possible, it’s a good idea to put a layer of insulation between yourself, the person, and your ownership in real estate. For instance, if you get sued for something, you don’t want your property to be up for grabs in a court of law. Forming a corporation can go a long way towards putting that buffer in place. It goes the other way, as well. Should someone be hurt on your property and decide to take you to court, you don’t want your personal home and belongings to be in danger. If they are forced to sue the LLC and not you, personally, you may be protected.
Insurance Always make sure you are properly insured when investing in real estate. Things can go wrong in an instant and it’s too late to look for insurance after it happens. You don’t want to see your money washed away with the flood waters following a hurricane. A standard homeowner’s insurance policy goes without saying, but you’ll also want to take a careful look at the environment in which your property stands and consider getting insurance that can cover you in case of disaster.
Accounting If you are using an accountant (and you probably should be when dealing with these sums of money), you should make sure they have a real estate investment background. There are too many specificities and unique situations that come along with property investment to not have someone steeped in that background working for you. What might be the right financial move in many situations may be exactly wrong when it comes to property investment. Even if you aren’t the type to rely on professional advice, it helps to have someone who won’t fight you when the decisions you’re making are based on real estate logic. There are plenty of accountants out there with the right experience, so don’t settle for less.
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