The seesaw swings both ways with leverage
The main advantage of leverage
The main drawback of using leverage
One of the fundamentals of real estate investing is quite straightforward and simple – don’t ever sell any of your investment properties. Once you sell, you’ll have to pay capital gains tax, and you’ll lose the cash flow from the investment (assuming it is positive), as well as losing the ability to leverage your equity in the properties for future investment acquisitions. This third feature is probably the most important and financially productive for your ongoing success as a real estate investor. It truly comprises one of the most basic of property investment fundamentals – namely, using other people’s money to grow your real estate investments.
Never selling any of your rental properties also means you’ll pay stricter attention to detail – like ensuring you always run at a positive cash flow for each property you acquire. I once purchased a four-family house with generous owner financing. I paid slightly over market value for the property because of several reasons. First, I knew I’d be holding the property for the long-term. Second, in return for “giving in” to the seller’s price demands, I secured an incredible below-market rate of interest with excellent terms from him directly. I didnt have to apply with a bank, or pay bank fees associated with closing one of their investment property loans.
In addition, the owner-financing was for a first mortgage with no balloon payment in a short period of time. And because of the term and interest rate the monthly payments were ridiculously low. I knew I had a cash cow from day one on this rental property. I was using other people’s money (in this case, the seller), and I had added another rental mortgage to my stable without incurring any hit to my credit rating for taking on more debt. (Private mortgages do not show up on credit reports). So I left my credit rating intact, and could still use this new property for future leveraging of my equity in it when needed for other rental property acquisitions.
So even though I knew I was overpaying in the short run, I knew I was adding a great positve cash flow to my stable of investment properties for the long term. And by holding onto it, I was deriving the benfits of the excellent cash flow it was throwing off, the ability to leverage my equity in it at will, and I did not have to pay capital gains taxes on it as long as I held it. It was truly a triple winning rental property combination. So be sure to analyze the cash flow aspects of any rental property deal when encountering a “stubborn” seller who “must” get his price. You never know when that stubborn seller may turn a dog of a rental property into a cash flow bonanza for you. Always ask for owner financing to obtain your investment mortgage loan, and see what they say. You could end up with a marvelous real estate investment acquisition in the process.
photos courtesy of houstonmortgagetexas.com, anchorloans.com, zillow.com