First time real estate investment is an exciting and exhilarating step, but if not carefully entered into, it can quickly become an overwhelming move that’s fraught with anxiety and confusion.
There are numerous variables for the first timer to consider, and it is advisable that they familiarise themselves with these facets because with a little planning and smart research, success is certainly achievable. Here are five tips to help get you started on the long road to success with your real estate endeavours:

1.       Set appropriate goals
Be realistic about your budget, your time frames, your desires and what you want to achieve. It is vital to sit down and draw up a plan for all of these variables, so that you can search accordingly, have real expectations and know specifically what type of investment you are looking for. Without establishing key factors like your budget, your location, your access to credit and your required schedule, the project will lack definition and may overwhelm you.

2.       Learn about the wider market
The Internet is a great source of information, as are the numerous books and case studies written about real estate investment that are full of actionable wisdom. Choose books and articles that offer practical step-by-step procedures backed up with evidence, instead of dubious ‘get rich quick’ schemes. Read up on relevant strategies, tactics and standard procedures so you know what to expect and how to prepare.

3.       Learn about the local market
Begin to research the properties on offer in your area and talk to the relevant local estate agents and sellers about opportunities with the ones that interest you most. It’s important to choose a reputable and reliable agent and you’ll quickly notice that long-standing companies such as Linley and Simpson (Leeds) stand out from others that do not have such a great selection of investment prospects and knowledge of the market. You can track local sales and begin to establish the going rates for properties in your desired budget and location.

4.       Do not limit yourself geographically
It can be very easy to look only in your immediate locale, but you may be surprised by the difference in opportunities only one town, county, or borough away. At this stage, it pays to be very open-minded geographically; to cast your net far and wide in search of the best opportunities and to ensure you have a wide understanding of the local market fluctuations.

5.       Establish your financial position before proceeding
Closely tied to establishing your goals, it is vitally important that a plan is drawn up regarding any credit plans. Do you know your credit rating and is it possible for you to get a mortgage? Do you need to switch banks or find a new provider? Which establishment offers the best deal? Does this limit the type of property you can invest in? All these questions, and many more, will need exploration and clarification before you can proceed beyond the research outlined above.

If entered into correctly, real estate investment is a highly rewarding and secure source of long-term earning; but it will require goal setting, smart planning and lots of research.