Real Estate as a Wise Long-term Investment – if Your Credit Scores are High

Investors with high FICO scores and a little money in the bank are right now living in the land of opportunity.

With prices in many areas plummeting, good homes can be purchased for pennies on the dollar. Add the Fed’s decision to keep interest rates at an all-time low, and investors willing to stay in for the long haul can expect high profits in years to come.

Not everyone has the personality to deal with investment real estate – it involves hard work and persistence, and a good dose of patience when dealing with tenants who don’t always uphold their end of agreements.

But consider the rewards, as compared to an investment in the stock market.

With $50,000 you can buy $50,000 worth of stocks – or use the magic of leveraging to buy a $200,000 home. Assuming that both appreciate at 5% per year for the next 30 years, the stock will have grown to $197,000. That’s not bad. But look what the house will have done…

Appreciation will have affected the entire $200,000 – not just your $50,000 investment, so your house is now valued at $784,000. In the meantime, your tenant has been furnishing the money for payments, and hopefully, a bit of cash flow on top of it.

AND – you’ve been able to depreciate the house, which has lowered your tax on other income.

Even more impressive – at the end of the 30 years the only way you’ll see a cash return from your stocks is to sell them, but your now “paid for” house can keep right on giving you rental income every month. And, since rents are tied to value, those rental payments will be 3 or 4 times higher than they were when you first purchased the house.

On the other side of the coin, investors need to remember that real estate is not a liquid investment. While they could sell their stocks in a day if need be, a house may take many months to turn into cash.

Also, as we see in this housing crisis, real estate has its up and down cycles. That makes it an investment for the long haul, even though some ambitious entrepreneurs do have the ability to “fix and flip” houses when the market is right.

Experts say that money is made in real estate at the purchase – not the sale. That means finding the best bargains on the most problem-free homes and not buying a house just because you fell in love with it. Smart investors are extremely knowledgeable about construction issues and know the red flags that say “stay away” from some houses.

Investors who are persistent and patient in hunting for bargains can find properties that offer a large cash flow – and in those cases can escape the day-to-day management by hiring a rental manager. This is often the best choice for investors who own large portfolios of homes, especially when they are located over a large geographic area.

The first key to becoming a profitable real estate investor is to have the credit scores to qualify for low interest loans. Without that, all the real estate knowledge in the world won’t get you a bargain. So check your credit scores today, and push them to the top before approaching a bank or mortgage lender for your first purchase of investment real estate. your resource for free credit reports, credit cards, loans, and ground breaking credit news.

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Disclaimer: This information has been compiled and provided by as an informational service to the public. While our goal is to provide information that will help consumers to manage their credit and debt, this information should not be considered legal advice. Such advice must be specific to the various circumstances of each person's situation, and the general information provided on these pages should not be used as a substitute for the advice of competent legal counsel.