Author Topic: How to learn about real estate  (Read 3286 times)

TriStar108

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How to learn about real estate
« on: September 23, 2015, 11:12:53 AM »
I live in the Raleigh/Durham/Chapel Hill area. I do realize it's an expensive market with lots of influx. I have several well thought out, very important reasons for wanting to stay. I currently minimize expenses by renting a room at the house of a friend who's got the money to afford a large home.

As the rental market here has gotten very expensive and finding a landlord/management company who doesn't practice the high turnover & treat your tenants like crap style of landlording is a one in a million shot anymore, I'd like to be more informed about real estate in general and locally. I don't know that I'd ever buy. I do know I can't afford it now. Plus how to determine what the other options are to owning a small house. I'm 50, no kids, never been married & not tempted, so small sized living space is desired and would work long term.

So:
1. How to learn about real estate generally?
2. Learn about the local market?
3. Learn about evaluating & comparing whether buying or some other option is smarter?
4. How to search by square footage than the unhelpful # bedrooms?

tallen

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Re: How to learn about real estate
« Reply #1 on: September 23, 2015, 11:38:55 AM »
Join Biggerpockets.com, there is a wealth of knowledge on that forum. For learning your local market, find some local real estate investment clubs-look on meetup.com and google (your city) REIA

Mr. Green

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Re: How to learn about real estate
« Reply #2 on: September 24, 2015, 03:47:57 PM »
Join Biggerpockets.com, there is a wealth of knowledge on that forum. For learning your local market, find some local real estate investment clubs-look on meetup.com and google (your city) REIA
+1. Biggerpockets.com can change your life.

Beaker

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Re: How to learn about real estate
« Reply #3 on: September 24, 2015, 04:11:14 PM »
I think the OP is asking about how to evaluate purchasing your own home, not how to get into real estate investing...? If that's the case, BiggerPockets is probably not the place to go as it's really about investing.

If you are asking about buying your own home:
1. There are a lot of books on the topic, for all levels of knowledge. Check out the library.

2. Real estate agents, and local investing groups. You can use Zillow.com as a tool to look at price trends in neighborhoods, and specific properties (just don't pay any attention to their ZEstimate numbers).

3. There are some good posts about this around the internet. I think MMM probably has one. JLCollinsNH has a long one. Also, this post has some reasons why your own home usually makes a poor investment, and also a lot of good links at the end.

4. Websites will let you do this, for example Zillow. Realtor.com probably will as well. Just remember that not all square feet are equal - a good design requires fewer square feet to do the job. 

DaveR

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Re: How to learn about real estate
« Reply #4 on: September 24, 2015, 04:30:58 PM »
Check out the library.

Agreed. Learn some basics, then find a local agent, buy 'em a cup of coffee, and pick their brain. Or two, or three... if you ultimately are looking to buy you'll want to find an agent that you're comfortable with. Why not start interviewing a few.

Mother Fussbudget

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Re: How to learn about real estate
« Reply #5 on: September 25, 2015, 03:06:47 PM »
Check out the library.

Agreed. Learn some basics, then find a local agent, buy 'em a cup of coffee, and pick their brain. Or two, or three... if you ultimately are looking to buy you'll want to find an agent that you're comfortable with. Why not start interviewing a few.

+1 for the Library.  Nothing beats the deep dive information you can get from books. 
The Book Recommendations from this forum (sticky'd) as a starting point.

andyp2010

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Re: How to learn about real estate
« Reply #6 on: September 26, 2015, 04:58:32 AM »
I wish I was buying in America from what I've read in the 'Nothing Down for the 2000's'. Fantastic book for exercising financial creativity

alicet

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Re: How to learn about real estate
« Reply #7 on: September 28, 2015, 12:01:50 PM »
Read real estate books, browse websites or get in touch with an agent. You will learn  lot about the rel estate market.

arebelspy

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Re: How to learn about real estate
« Reply #8 on: November 01, 2015, 03:42:32 AM »
+1 to the library.

When you're first starting out, Podcasts and BiggerPockets are good.  Later on they're much too shallow (a 500 word blog post just can't cover in-depth intricacies), but good for general knowledge at first.

Also +1 to meetup.com, go find some local real estate investor associations or meetups.
We are two former teachers who accumulated a bunch of real estate, retired at 29, spent some time traveling the world full time and are now settled with three kids.
If you want to know more about us, or how we did that, or see lots of pictures, this Business Insider profile tells our story pretty well.
We (rarely) blog at AdventuringAlong.com. Check out our Now page to see what we're up to currently.

LiveLean

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Re: How to learn about real estate
« Reply #9 on: November 01, 2015, 06:08:06 AM »
Become a real estate agent -- even if you have no intention of ever working as one.

When we purchased our first home in 1999, I felt like I was being taken advantage of at every turn - screwed over by our Realtor, the title/closing company, the seller, home inspector, etc. It was still bothering me two years later when I realized I could get licensed in two weeks for a couple hundred bucks. I took the course and the instructor probably hated me since I asked pointed questions challenging a lot of what he considered gospel -- how the hell, I wondered, could a "transaction broker" possibly represent both parties? I realized my Realtor had done some unethical things, but two years was too long for me to report him to the Real Estate Commission.

I've learned more about real estate in the last 15 years from my dad, a successful real estate investor, but getting the license also helped, even though I've never worked as a real estate agent. I dutifully complete the online education and recertify every two years.

mr_orange

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Re: How to learn about real estate
« Reply #10 on: November 01, 2015, 06:31:07 AM »
Becoming a real estate agent is going to be a waste of your time. 

For what you're trying to do you should read through the articles and comparison tools on The Mortgage Professor's website.  There are a lot of rent versus buy and fixed-rate versus ARM articles.  Understanding financing in detail will be a good start. 

From there I would recommend attending the local real estate club or watering hole.  There are generally luncheons hosted by people in many major markets too.  Investors will give you a much better idea of who the local brokers are that can help you with your goals.  There is a GIANT difference between an excellent broker and an average one.