Rates are low, prices are right, and now is a perfect time to think about investing in real estate. Many would-be investors think real estate is a way to quick riches. Rapid monetary returns are usually not the case. However, the rewards can be substantial if you are willing be patient, do the necessary homework, and make a few good decisions along the way. Before you start investing in real estate, here are a few things to consider: • Start small: Don't go large on your first investment. Take on a smaller investment first so you have the opportunity to make some mistakes that won't cost you large amounts of money. Investing is a learning process. • Don't overpay: Do your research on your potential investment. Do full a full property evaluation; research the location, have a home inspection, and look into any liens and owed taxes. Always conduct an in-depth property analysis before negotiating any terms. • Consider the margins: Paying the bills on an investment property is different than paying for your personal residence. When you buy an income property to rent, you're calculating how the income (rent payments) will help pay the mortgage and operating costs. • Know your partners: Having a bad partner could be your biggest downfall. Try to team up with a more seasoned real estate investor to learn the ropes. It is also important to be comfortable with your partner. Like all other businesses, real estate investing, requires a well thought out plan if you want to succeed. Weigh all the risks involved in real estate investing and develop a plan on how you will manage and overcome them before you get started.