The Truth About Investing in Real Estate

Between holidays and snow, my sleep schedule has been a disaster, however, very informative. I have learned that late night cable television has not changed much at all.

In flipping through the channels, there is one sleazy infomercial after another. Topping the sleaze-ball list, is none other than the promotion of real estate courses that are guaranteed to teach you how to make a fortune buying and selling real estate for little or no money down, and for pennies on the dollar”! But, that’s not all…you’ll also learn how to buy homes from the owners with no money down and have the owner give you the mortgage…but wait, that’s not all, you’ll also learn how to buy properties for as little as $200- free and clear from tax sales. The courses and mentoring are promised to put you on the path to financial freedom for the low, low cost of $49.95.

Further, these fast talking “mentors” stress that anyone can do it. Then there are “actual” interviews of people who have reportedly gone from rags to riches…essentially overnight all thanks to the program.

It’s all a bunch of bologna. Seriously, would you sell your home for no money down to someone you have never met and owner finance it for them? Sellers that offer the owner financing option are savvy. They know that with little money invested in a home, a buyer could leave them with a damaged, abandoned home. Afterall, they have NOTHING to lose. That is why the down payment is so much higher when you request a seller to finance.

I feel quite sure that a quick glance into the backgrounds of these “real estate gurus” would reveal a history one “get rich quick” scam after another.

While it is true that there is a lot of money to be made in real estate investing, it certainly does not happen overnight.

Real estate investing is a full time job. Like any other business, it takes hard work, dedication, and ongoing education. The sad part is that most of the people that fall for these scams are young and genuinely interested in getting into the business of real estate investing.

Do not waste your money on these scams! My best advice is to buy your own home. You can generally do that with no money down if you have decent credit. Fix it up and then either sell it or refinance it and use the profits for a down payment on an investment property. Get a real estate agent in your corner to ensure that you are getting the best possible deal. There is a fortune to be made, but you must crawl before you walk.

For more information on buying distressed properties or for a free list of foreclosed homes in your area, contact Hope Dorn with ERA Wilder Realty at (803) 944-9544 or by email at

Renting vs. Buying in 2011

In a real estate market flooded with foreclosures, one would think that rental prices have decreased. Not so. In fact, the opposite is true. The average rental price in 2010 increased by 11.6% according to HOT PADS. The bottom line is that the increase of foreclosures in 2010 yielded a surplus of renters. It is not a renters market.

While the average rental price increased by 11.6% in 2010, the average home price decreased by 9.8%. 
Home buying has never been more affordable. In fact, the rate of home construction is the lowest since before the Second World War.
There will never be a better time to buy.

For information on becoming a homeowner in 2011, contact Hope Dorn with ERA Wilder Realty at (803) 944-9544. Let’s get started!