Blog | Real Estate

4 Unexpected Real Estate Investing Opportunities in 2021

Far too often, women tell me they feel imprisoned by the choices they’ve made or, in some cases, the unfortunate cards they’ve been dealt.

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Far too often, women tell me they feel imprisoned by the choices they’ve made or, in some cases, the unfortunate cards they’ve been dealt. Over the years, I’ve been able to group these women into three distinct categories:

  1. Full of excuses. These women are constantly saying things like: I want to leave my job, but I can’t because I don’t have any savings. I want to leave my husband, but I can’t because I have no money. He doesn’t support my desire to work. I’m financially dependent on my employer or man. I’m stuck and have no options. He doesn’t support my dreams. This is how it’s going to be for the rest of my life. Instead of making excuses, wouldn’t you rather make something incredible happen in your life?

  2. Head in the sand. Other women will tell me that their partner takes care of all their finances. These women feel secure in their man’s decision-making when it comes to investments and savings (even if they’ve never seen any of the numbers themselves) and feel comfortable that he’s got their future “under control.” Unfortunately, a lot of these women find out — usually when it’s too late, like their husband’s death or when he loses his job — that things weren’t being “handled” in a way that created a positive financial future. In fact, this is how a lot of women discover they are broke.

  3. Seeking salvation. The third group of women will tell me that they are looking for a man with money so they don’t have to worry about their future. If they snag the right guy, they won’t have to continue scraping by on their own. Seriously? It’s 2021.

Ladies, I’m here to tell you that your man is not a financial plan — he could up and leave at any time, or do something that causes you to want to end the relationship (and you don’t want to feel trapped). Also, an employer is not a financial plan, because you have no control over layoffs, firings, demotions or pay cuts. You can only count on yourself, because you are your biggest asset. The only thing you can truly count on is creating your own financial independence.

Financial independence gives you freedom and choices. And that gives you the confidence that allows you to walk away from a bad job or a bad man any time you want. Financial independence is simply the most empowering position any woman can be in because you are in control and have choices to make.

Why real estate investing changes everything

One of the best ways to begin earning money without relying on a man or a company is through investing. There are various asset classes to choose from — such as paper assets (stocks, bonds and mutual funds), commodities (such as gold, silver, oil, gas or corn), a business (either your own or someone else’s), and cryptocurrency — but I’m going to focus on my very favorite asset class: real estate investing.

Now, you may be wondering why real estate investing is my top choice. Well, there are two reasons to invest in real estate: the first is for cash flow (an ongoing stream of income you receive from an investment, such as the rent you collect from a rental property), and the second is capital gains (the one-time profit you earn from the sale of an investment).

When done right, rental real estate property, which produces a positive cash flow, could be your ticket to financial freedom. Whether you invest in a single-family house or a shopping center, it’s an excellent way to build ongoing income that isn’t reliant on your current job (which could disappear with no notice) or your current man (who could also disappear, or make bad decisions that bankrupt you). Who wants to rely on something you can’t control?

In the late 1980s, Robert and I began looking for real estate investing opportunities and zeroed in on investing in small, single-family homes. Why did we start small? When you’re new to investing, small is definitely the way to go — it greatly reduces your financial risk while you’re still learning the ins and outs of the industry. Once we’d learned some of those lessons (which were painful at the time) and were ready to graduate to bigger properties, we purchased a six-unit apartment building. We paid only $105,000 for that building, and the owner allowed us to put very little down. Over the years, we kept finding new opportunities to invest in. Today, we own more than 1,000 apartment units and receive plenty of cash flow. And that’s why real estate investing is my favorite asset class.

Real estate investing opportunities

Remember how I advised you to start small? Well here are some examples of unexpected real estate options to invest in:

As you can see, these options (and there are even more out there, so get creative!) are inexpensive investments perfect for first-timers. As you start to earn a return on your investment, you can use that money to buy the next one and so on. If you desire, you can graduate to apartment buildings, office buildings, retail shopping centers, warehouses, and more — the sky’s the limit when it comes to real estate investing opportunities.

Pretty soon, you’ll be on your way to the financial freedom you crave and the independence every woman needs.

  1. Mobile homes

    My sister-in-law found an inexpensive and relatively easy way to get into real estate: mobile homes. She found that she could buy a used mobile home for about $3,000 and receive a positive cash flow of about $200 per month. That’s a pretty healthy return on her money. She also discovered that in California, where she lives, a mobile home is deemed a motor vehicle, which means she doesn’t even have to go through the whole real estate process of getting title for each mobile home — she simply goes down to the Department of Motor Vehicles and picks up the title. Let’s just say she very quickly discovered why real estate investing can be so lucrative.

  2. Billboards

    Did you know that billboards are considered real estate? Better yet, they are real estate without the hassle of tenants. A woman I know invested in billboards and found that they are a good investment in all markets — when the economy is good, they are used, and when the economy is bad, they are still a lower-cost option for companies who want to advertise. You can make $1,000 to $5,000 in rent per side per month.

  3. Vacation home

    My friend, Mona, and her husband had always wanted to own a cabin in the mountains so they could escape Arizona’s summer heat. They didn’t like the idea of taking on a mortgage for a second home, so they did some research and discovered a shortage of rental properties in the area they were looking at. Clearly they weren’t the only ones with this plan. So they bought the house (making it an income-producing asset instead of a liability) and rent it out whenever they aren’t using it (people also want to use it for winter skiing).

  4. Airbnb

    Many travelers love Airbnb, the website that allows travelers to find comfortable accommodations that are local, authentic, sustainable and inclusive. But these aren’t hotel rooms; they are in people’s homes. Travelers can rent out a room or the entire property (depending on the listing), so they can feel more at home in an intimate environment. What does this mean for you? Depending on your circumstances, you can rent out a spare room or your entire house (which is particularly attractive to anyone who spends their summers or winters in another city) and make a daily or weekly income. Once you understand how to start an Airbnb business, you can evaluate if this choice is right for your lifestyle.

Why the rich are waiting for the next crash

Now, you might be wondering if right now is really the best time to buy. That’s because you’ve probably noticed how people are constantly worried about the next real estate bubble? Especially right now — it’s a frequent news headline and a topic Robert and I are often asked about. Yet, our response when someone asks if one is imminent almost always catches the person off guard: “We sure hope so!” Seriously, their looks of bewilderment never get old. Yeah, you heard me right. We love market crashes. Why?

First, I’d like to suggest you familiarize yourself with the seven stages of a financial bubble, which will help set the stage for what I’m about to discuss. As you can see, booms, busts, and bubbles are very familiar and natural cycles in our economy.

Ok, now here’s the answer you’ve been waiting for: Market crashes can be the best time to buy, because people are so panicked and focused on selling that they’re far more likely to make you a better deal. Robert and I witnessed this first-hand in 1991, when we moved to Phoenix, Ariz., and began buying up properties left and right. Amateur investors wanted out of their financial commitments so badly, that they were actually calling us and offering to pay us to take their properties off their hands. We happily agreed and definitely got the last laugh: We made so much money during this period of time, that we were able to retire by 1994.

Dealing with the haters

Although a crash is my favorite time to buy, the market’s immense pessimism also makes it a tough time to do so. Your family and friends, possibly even your financial advisor, will think you’re absolutely crazy and try to prevent you from “making a big mistake.”

I remember when we bought gold at $275 an ounce in the late 1990s. The so-called experts were eschewing gold in favor of high-tech and dot-com stocks back then. But we knew we were getting an incredible value. Today, with gold above $1,700 an ounce, I’d say we certainly made the right call. Thankfully we trusted our instincts and followed the strategy that has worked for us time and time again.

People will also be lined up warning that “investing is risky.” However, the important detail to note is that not everyone defines “investing” the same way. Many amateur investors bought into the real estate market when it was hot, prices were soaring, and they invested on the hope that home values would keep going up and up. They probably had plans to flip the property and make a quick $50k. Investing for the purpose of capital gains instead of cash flow is the very definition of risky.

Experienced investors, like Robert and I, understand the fundamentals of real estate investing. Investing doesn’t have to be a gamble. Good cash-flow investments are based on having a solid financial education. Knowing and following the fundamentals takes much of the risk out of investing. Sure, there’s always some element of risk, but by sticking to sound investment strategies and planning for ways to cover the downside, the risk can be greatly reduced.

Robert and I continue to invest even though the threat of another bubble keeps looming. But we’re more like hibernating bears, waiting for the party to end.

What are you going to do to increase your financial education today? Will you be ready — and more importantly, willing — to jump on investment opportunities when the next crash happens? You can start the process by learning other secrets the rich use to get richer at a free, upcoming real estate investing class.

Original publish date: November 30, 2017

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