The recent market difficulties has sent a shock wave through the minds of many real estate investors and caused them to doubt if they should buy land anymore. There are a few guidelines for investing in land and they are easy to remember and apply.
The first rule to remember is that if you own real estate the “right way” then it is always a safe and good investment. By keeping the bank out of the equation, you will maintain control over your own situation and be able to make decisions based on logic, instead of fear. The likelihood of facing a foreclosure or being dispossessed of your property in any other way is greatly diminished when you own it free and clear. I realize this is not an option for most people, so maybe consider it as an ideal more than anything else. For those whom this strategy is a possible or realistic one, real estate is the safest place to store your cash, and avoid being taxed on it.
Besides the fact that when you buy a home outright, you can always rent it and you will have a nice littler income generated from it. If you earn a six figure income and want to avoid paying the full amount of taxes on it, you can reduce your tax liability on your net sheet by buying real estate. If you use the tax laws in the most advantageous manner possible, you can simply take your pre-tax income and spend it on real estate, which will offset your tax liability on your net sheet. Consulting with an accountant can help you understand this idea more clearly.
Using your money in a way to acquire building lots is a lot less expensive, but does not provide you with any immediate money so it has to be weighed in the light of income versus investment over a specified time frame. You can get some very good deals on the building lot market, especially when buying REO lots in bulk. As long as your investment strategy does not involve making a profit in the immediate future, buying building lots is a good idea, but otherwise stay away from them for the foreseeable future.
Using a note from the original land owner works better than using a mortgage due to the fact that you are dealing with a person, not a corporation. There are other options for getting rentals from the land you own, like doing joint ventures with a local builder, so keep your eyes open and make sure to cover your own assets in all of your business dealings.
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