Real estate investing is still a great way to earn extra income. The past several years has brought about massive drops in home and investment property prices. This means you can find better deals that garner much greater monthly cash flow. The rents charged have not dropped nearly as much as property prices. For example in Las Vegas, NV property has dropped up to 60% in some areas while rents have dropped only 10-12%.
I recently saw a 4 unit property listed for sale at $195,000 but in 2004 sold for $330,000. This is a massive drop in price and will make for a massive drop in monthly payment. The rents have not dropped nearly as much and this property still brings in nearly as much rent as in 2004.
There is no evidence that real estate is not a great investment even after the housing meltdown. The advantages of owning real estate far outweigh the disadvantages and if you are serious about making money and improving your prospects for the future, you need to start learning the real estate business. You can start as a part-time investor and just get one property, get your feet wet and learn the details of managing property for profit. Once you try it you will realize that most renters are good people and are excellent tenants.
Everyone has heard the horror stories from a disgruntled landlord who has left the business after years or weeks of headaches. Of course they all advise everyone to stay out of the rental real estate business. However, this is not the advice you want to take because most of it is just not true. Typically you will get good tenants if you treat them well and treat your property for what it is: It is someone's home. Your rental property is your tenant's family home. It must be treated with respect and care. Your tenants should always be treated with respect, care and dignity as well. If you treat your tenants well, in turn, they will do the same.
Of course there will be issues with tenants if you are in the business long enough but most tenants want a nice place to live and a good landlord. It is so rare that you will find someone trying to get free ride or who refuses to pay rent if you provide them with a clean, well cared for home or unit.
I have done this in more than one area of the country and have seen it first hand. It is a myth to say that tenants are going to always give you nightmares. I have had wonderful tenants over the years and many have been wonderful people.
You likely will have to address some of your own misconceptions and fears if you are going to enter the real estate business but it is well worth it. It is well worth it because you can set yourself up for a fantastic future. It will be hard work but anything that is worth doing usually ends up being hard work. The rewards of investing in real estate are much greater than the drawbacks.