Chapter 14. Investing in Real Estate: Your Home and Beyond

In This Chapter

  • Choosing between buying and renting

  • Determining how to finance your real estate purchase

  • Finding a great property

  • Working successfully with real estate agents

  • Negotiating your best deal

  • Handling financial issues after you buy

Buying a home or investing in real estate can be financially and psychologically rewarding. On the other hand, owning real estate can be a real pain in the posterior, because purchasing and maintaining property can be quite costly, time-consuming, and emotionally draining.

Perhaps you're looking to escape your rented apartment and buy your first home. Or maybe you're interested in cornering the local real estate market and making millions in investment property. In either case, you can learn many lessons from real estate buyers who've traveled before you.

Note: Although this chapter focuses primarily on real estate in which you're going to live — otherwise known by those in the trade as owner-occupied property — much of what this chapter covers is relevant to real estate investors. (For additional information on buying investment real estate — property that you rent out to others — see Chapter 9.)

Deciding Whether to Buy or Rent

You may be tired of moving from rental to rental. Perhaps your landlord doesn't adequately keep up the place, or you have to ask permission to hang a picture on the wall. You may desire the financial security and rewards that seem to come with home ownership. Or maybe you ...

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