I'm planning on buying my first property by the end of the year and I've been educating myself in all thing REI for about 2 months now.
I'd like to get things moving along but I'm not sure who to talk to first. Financial Planner, CPA, Real Estate Agent, Real Estate Lawyer... Who should I go to first to start investing?
@Oscar Martinez . Welcome to investing. There will be a lot of things to do but I would say start with an agent. They can help you find properties as well as handle paperwork that you will not be familiar with.
As you get rolling, definitely get an accountat. You can even start contacting some now. Get your LLC set up so when you find that first property you can buy it under the LLC.
If you are purchasing from a private seller then you will want to look for an attorney right now.
So actually, it really depends on your game plan and area of investing you want to break into.
What's your plan?
Build your team of professionals before you buy your first house. You will want to have time to search and vet these service providers before you actually need them. Otherwise you end up in a crunch, take the first one you find - and they may not be the best for you.
If I had it to do over again, I'd...
1. Get referrals from my local REI and local BP members of the following (to start with): lender, RE Agent, RE Atty, CPA.
2. Banker/Lender - Do you need a lender? If so, I'd get pre-approved/qualified. Get your loan set up.
3. Agent - then start looking for properties.
4. Once you lock into a property, you have done your homework in step #1 - you have some referrals of attys. and CPAs, etc. You can then meet with them with a real life situation (I have this specific property, blah, blah, blah...) - they'll take you more seriously and you'll be able to measure their professional abilities better.
It may be good to pre-consult with a CPA (depending on the RE investing you plan to do) to see if there's an entity you ought to have set up ahead of time. This I don't know and is beyond my knowledge base. I buy/hold, so this isn't something that has affected me. Hopefully, someone else will speak on this.
Hi @Oscar Martinez and welcome. I agree with last posts above concerning building your team first. Note I would recommend finding an accountant familiar with REI, not just regular CPA as they will not know the tax strategies associated. Usually what I've seen is purchases (with conventional loans) have to be made in your own name and then after the fact transfer of ownership into an LLC. I looked at this entity thing a lot and LLC seems to be the best for passive REI. Look into single-member vs. partnership LLC in your state and the differences in liability protection. Here in AL it does not matter much. Community property states have slightly different circumstances.
I saved money early on by using online legal paperwork such as Nupp legal and Nolo. Mostly for purchase agreements; letters of intent and property condition addendums. I used a closing attorney to check my contracts over (read: less $ than him drawing the paperwork for me) and he of course closed for me as well.
Many resources on the web for REI that are great (loopnet, etc). Find an agent that is an investor. Most are not. It's always one of my first questions to them before proceeding and I ask the office manager for the investor in the office. Most of the time this works. If you get a regular agent you will waste a lot of time, guaranteed.
Best of luck in Miami!
Great advice from all of you. Thank you!
@Aaron Yates, to answer your question, I plan on buying and holding MFHs in Miami.
Any more advice would be hugely appreciated.
And thanks again Aaron, Bryan, Stephanie and Paul!
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