Other questions you must ask before you begin include: Are you in a financial position to have available investment capital? Is that capitol readily accessible and large enough to cover your costs. Do you have a real estate specific plan for your investing? Do you have access to professional resources to assist you in decision making or repairs in those areas where you lack expertise?
Ultimately you create your profitability by buying correctly. You risk that profit by poorly planning or managing your rehab. (finding unexpected repair can quickly eat away projected profit so plan for contingencies) You do not make your profit until you have a successful sale.
The condition of the market does not necessarily determine a good investment, it is the individual home that is the investment. Much like the stock market, the market can be strong and an individual stock perform poorly and create a loss for the stock holder. How much of a return do you want or need to make your investing a wise choice for you?
Join an investors networking group, align yourself with local professionals. Do your due diligence so that you can make wise decisions.
We will know where the bottom was when they rise, won't we? When to invest in RE depends on the faith you have in the future of the world economy and the local economy-market. How long do you plan to keep the investment? How does return and risk compare to other investment vehicles? If you need a house to live in, anytime is good. If you want an alternative to a bank account paying interest, RE may not pay 1% per year as an investment, but in 10 years it might return more than 10% making it a better choice than the bank, but you will not know for 10 years.
Every time that I write my personal opinion about where the market is headed, I get a lot of heat from others that want to bury all of these negative aspects for recovery. We still have time. Prices continue to fall, I see it daily.
Scott Miller, Realty Associates, Boca Raton, FL