Real estate investing can be a great way to add to your income, but it comes with costs. Not only does it take a lot of cash to get started in most circumstances, it can also be time-consuming. Oftentimes, it’s not as flexible as investing in the stock market, where buying and selling can happen easily and there’s little daily management required.
Ultimately, it takes a lot of time to manage and maintain a rental property correctly, from learning how to to find and keep good tenants to upkeeping your property for years and years. We spoke to landlords and real estate investors who each own several properties, and they identified several types of people who just aren’t the right fit for this type of investing.
1. Anyone who doesn’t want a long-term commitment
Real estate is a long-term commitment.
“If you buy stocks and you don’t like the stock in two minutes, you can click two buttons and you’re done. But with real estate, it doesn’t work that way,” says real estate investor and landlord Ogechi Igbokwe.
With real estate, it’s not as easy to turn around and sell a home. Not only can there be larger tax implications, like capital gains taxes for investors, but it’s also a longer process for a buyer who likely needs financing, inspections, and time, too. It can take years for the home’s value to appreciate enough to make up for the fees. And that’s not to mention the time it takes to find a buyer to start with.
Real estate isn’t always a quick investment — not only does it take time to increase in value, but it also takes time to actually sell the home.
2. Anyone who’s not willing to put in the time to learn
Because real estate investing is such a commitment, it takes some time to learn the ropes. “It’s not something you just dabble into; you actually need to learn,” Igbokwe says. “You either need a mentor or you can take a course.” In her experience, there’s value in learning “from someone who’s experienced, who owns properties, who has been in the game for a few years.”
And there’s also a big value in taking the time to study all the laws, regulations, and requirements around becoming a landlord. “You have to be educated and you have to understand the legalities involved,” says investor and landlord Becky Nova. For landlords, there are all sorts of local laws that can regulate everything from how you interact with renters to how much you’re allowed to raise the rent. And it’s your job to know these things in advance.
It takes time to learn these things, and it’s something anyone who wants to invest in real estate should think about before buying.
3. Anyone who only wants passive income
“I think one of the biggest misnomers about real estate investing is that it’s passive investing,” Nova says.
In her experience, it’s anything but a passive investment. It involves a lot of management, and the right skills. Working with current tenants, screening new tenants before they move in, and even buying the buildings themselves all take time — and there’s nothing passive about that.
Unlike dividends, which are obtained through stock market investing, real estate investing will require effort on your part. “You should have the extra time to manage the property and stay on top of that. Sometimes, it can be like another full-time job,” financial planner Riley Poppy of Ignite Financial Planning in Seattle previously told Business Insider.
“People think that they’re just going to get mailbox money, and real estate is not that,” Nova says.
Source: Business Insider