Foreclosure in Arizona>Question Details

Tiffany, Home Buyer in Arizona

I am a working college student in Arizona who wants to start investing in land/properties, where can I start?

Asked by Tiffany, Arizona Mon Jul 7, 2008

I have saved up around $10,000 that I would like to use in either buying a house and flipping it, or simply buying vacant land. I'm even considering buying a house on a loan and then renting it out, but am afraid it might be too much for me to handle at the beginning. I've never bought a house before, so I have no idea how to even start. As for the land in Arizona, I don't see the point in buying it in the middle of nowhere, but I can't afford much else.
Any advice would be greatly appreciated!

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6
You have a lot of options in this great buyers market. I would recommend looking into grants for first time buyers. Currently in Pima county 3 grant types are available. A $10,000 grant city wide, a $20,000 grant
in target area and a $15,000 grant that has no payback requirement. Check out free seminars that you can go to find out more. Combined with your $10,000 down and up to $35,000 in grants you could do
very well!
Web Reference: http://www.tucsongrants.com
0 votes Thank Flag Link Tue Jul 22, 2008
HI Tiffany,

That's awesome that you are thinking about securing a successful financial future beore you are even out of school! I wish I had done the same :-)

Where are you currently living? On campus? With your parents? Are you paying rent? As a college student, you more than likely have limited employment and credit history, so your loan/mortgage options will also be limited. Steve is right.....FHA will probably be your best bet to get started....and if yo go the FHA route, you may qualify for down payment and closing cost assistance and be able to hold onto your hard earned $10k. I would recommend holding onto as much of it as possible and keeping it as a safety net for making mortgage payments, property maintenance, etc. You'd be surprised how quickly that money will disappear. The best way to learn about how to buy and manage property is to start with your primary residence. If you live in the home for 2 out of the first 5 years, you won't have to pay capital gains tax on the profits when you do go to sell it. Have you thought about purchasing a home that you will live in, yet can rent rooms out to other college students to help offset the mortgage payment? In two years, you can move out and rent it out completely or move on to the next property! It takes time,money, and patience to become a seasoned real estate investor......I suggest baby steps and getting your feet wet with your first home to start. Of course, I'm available to chat further anytime....

Jessica
602-677-7977
0 votes Thank Flag Link Tue Jul 22, 2008
Hi Tiffany,
Land is definitely a good investment and can bring a lot of opportunity. Where are you looking to purchase? I know of a wonderful lot of vacant land in Pinetop Lakeside, AZ in a beautiful gated community with waterfalls and walking trails. Pinetop-Lakeside is a gorgeous part of Arizona and anything in the area would be a great investment. You'd be able to keep the land vacant for as long as you wish before building a house on it; it is a quarter of an acre. You can view some more information here: http://phoenix.craigslist.org/nph/rfs/759130747.html . No matter what you decide to do, good luck!
0 votes Thank Flag Link Sun Jul 20, 2008
Start by connecting with other Arizona investors. Here's a link to Arizona real estate investment groups:

http://www.creonline.com/real-estate-clubs/az.html

Pick several out--enough so that you can attend a meeting a week (minimum). For the first two weeks, don't buy any products--no courses, no books, no CDs. Some people will make presentations selling them, and they sound like such good deals. "Normal price $1,795, marked down to just $995, but this evening only $495. Have to act now. This offer won't be repeated." Oh, yes, it will.

Some of them may be good values. Others won't be. But you need to attend the meetings, talk to other investors, and get a feel for the investment community as a whole, and for each group. After a couple of weeks, you can spend some money on some training materials. But figure out beforehand what your preferred strategy is. (For newbies: Avoid major rehabs. And for almost anyone: Avoid vacant land.) Look for Subject Tos, Sandwich Lease-Options, perhaps estate sales. Consider starting off with wholesaling or birddogging. (You'll find out what those are; it's a good way to begin.)

You comment "As for the land in Arizona, I don't see the point in buying it in the middle of nowhere, but I can't afford much else." You're right: There's no point. Don't speculate on whether values will go up. You should be locking in your profit when you buy. And you don't need money to do the things I've mentioned above. No money needed for wholesaling or birddogging. Virtually no money for sandwich lease options or subject tos.

At the real estate investment clubs, you'll also hear about assembling "a team"--consisting, at a minimum, of an investor-friendly Realtor, a lawyer, and an accountant. It's good advice. Cyrus' point about finding a Realtor who's also an investor is good; you want someone who's actually doing the sort of transactions you'll be doing.

Feel free to post any follow-up questions.

But that's where to start.

Hope that helps.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Mon Jul 7, 2008
Don Tepper, Real Estate Pro in Fairfax, VA
MVP'08
Contact
Hi Tiffany,

Land is a buy and hold investment. It's a nice safe investment, for the most part, as it has very little holding cost, if you own it outright. Taxes will be low annually, and there aren't any maintenance costs.

If you buy a house, you could find passive income, assuming the rent pays for more than the mortgage and expenses. With a small down payment, that will be harder to find, but it is possible. A house, however, has much higher risk factors, as the tenant may damage your investment and things do break on their own (I've managed 5 broken AC units this summer already).

I wouldn't think you are a strong fix-n-flip candidate, as your cash reserves are very low. With mortgage carrying costs, and the cost of the "fix", you really don't have enough money right now. To be honest, your best investment would need to be some type of FHA loan, although you aren't owner occupying, so that does limit your use of FHA benefits. We'd definitely want you to chat with a good local mortgage guy. And I can't stress that enough. Work with a local mortgage person, not a huge bank or an online bank.

Good luck in your search, and feel free to call or click on by if you want to chat further. I have experience in managing investment properties galore...
0 votes Thank Flag Link Mon Jul 7, 2008
Your first step is to find an agent who is also an investor. Next, a mortgage broker with creative ideas. This does not need to be a local broker.

Next read, FLIP- How to find, fix and sell houses for profit. by R. Villani + C. Davis, they've flipped over a thousand!

I can help get you started down the right path, let me refer you to an agent, and they will also answer to me! I help people all over the country find competant agents, by careful screening, and detailed interviewing.

Let me know if you are ready to make it happen!
0 votes Thank Flag Link Mon Jul 7, 2008
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