Our good friend, Bryan Casteel, the ProHabber, just informed us at BiggerPockets.com about an article in the New York Times about buying and flipping property online. Actually, he posted a serious rant about it!
I read the article . . . I read the rant . . .
There are some troubling things that this article brings up. I have to agree with you on most of your points, Bryan, and I will emphasize your main point:
It is your duty as an investor to do your homework!
What most of the books and gurus emphasize is how easy it is to buy and flip real estate. What many of them leave out is that YOU MUST DO YOUR DD (due diligence) BEFORE GETTING INTO ANY PROJECT!
Buying a house is not like buying a new flat-screen TV, even if both cost a few grand. The cheap properties are cheap for a reason. They have problems!
You’re not going to go to some slick used car salesman and trust what he tells you regarding the car you’re looking at, are you? NO! You’re going to beware, and hopefully bring your friend, the mechanic, with you to look at that jalopy.
I’ve invested in some shady neighborhoods, but I would have never done so without seeing the properties. I’ve seen a ton of properties that looked great on paper or online, but after investigating the neighborhood and condition, decided to move on. Flipping is an art – it requires skill and education. It requires investigation.
Not every deal out there is like those mentioned, but people think for some reason that if a property is cheap, then it is great for flipping. They think that it is just another $10,000 on their credit card or paypal account.
Caveat emptor – BUYER BEWARE
I feel bad that people have gotten taken by “unscrupulous sellers,” but one man’s mansion is another’s shack. The first lesson that investors and anyone else who thinks they can make money with real estate MUST LEARN is to DO THEIR HOMEWORK.
I just wish that all the the potential investors out there would just come and read this post before getting all googly eyed about the promise of huge profits flipping property. I wish the Gurus would just be straight forward with people and start with this lesson.
Class is in session people! Learn how to invest before jumping in!
THE FIRST RULE OF REAL ESTATE INVESTING IS TO DO YOUR HOMEWORK!
This is a business. Learn to swim with the sharks before you get bit.