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By Christine Benz | 11-01-2010 05:10 PM

Glink: Plenty of Deals to Be Had in Real Estate

Real estate guru Ilyce Glink offers tips for budding real estate investors on evaluating properties, thinking about real estate in relation to other investments, and building a team of experts.

Christine Benz: Hi, I'm Christine Benz for Morningstar.com.

Although the property market has recently taken a hit, investors looking for income through real estate may find a buying opportunity in the current environment.

Here to discuss tips for residential real estate buyers is Ilyce Glink. She is an author, a blogger, and a real estate expert.

Ilyce, thanks so much for being here.

Ilyce Glink: Nice to be here, Christine.

Benz: So, Ilyce, your book has a lot of tips for people who are looking at residential real estate for current income. Can you discuss some of the key tips that you think are important to know before getting into this market?

Glink: Well, first of all, a lot of investors have lost a lot of money. Everybody thought that home prices were just going to keep going up at 25% a year. We see that all the time in the equity market, but in fact, we've seen home prices fall, home values fall 30% to 50% depending on where you live and in some parts of the country, foreclosures are going for $0.10 and $0.20 on the dollar.

For those of you who have been sitting out there and thinking, I should be a real estate investor, it's true. Now is a great time to do that and jump in because there are plenty of houses for sale and plenty of deals to be had.

Benz: So much better to do so now than five years ago when everyone was flocking to this market?

Glink: You know, I hear from people all day long, both homeowners and real estate investors who are simply crying as they've given away millions of dollars worth of equity, which has evaporated, and they are giving these houses back to the landlords even when they have four-unit properties, six-, eight-, 10-unit buildings. They are just going back to the lenders because they simply can't make the payments on it. They are not getting tenants, and they are not able to get the appreciation and the flip and fix, or fix and flip kind of thing that they were looking to do. So being an investor here, it's a little bit scary, but I always feel that that's a good time to step out, but you have to be thoughtful as well, and so in the book Buy, Close, Move In! I talk about some of the ways to evaluate different property.

I think, it's very important that you buy in an area you know. I mean, I live in Chicago. I spend a lot of time in Atlanta. I'm not in Las Vegas more than once a year for conference, so why would I buy investment property there even though property prices are down 60%, 70% in value. But if I was a snowbird, and I lived part time in the north and part time in say Arizona, I might be familiar enough with Arizona to buy there and take advantage of some of those property prices.

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