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1031 Exchange Rules That Every Real Estate Investor Must Know (2019 Update)

The 1031 exchange is one of the most intriguing things about real estate investing. Basically, by performing 1031 exchanges and continuing to reinvest your profits from previous real estate investments, you can defer paying your capital gains taxes indefinitely. Of course, to take advantage of this tax exemption, you’ll need to know a few important rules. Otherwise, you could end up with a massive (and unpleasant) surprise from the IRS after you sell your next property.

1031 Exchanges Only Work for Investment Properties

Many people, when they first learn how a 1031 exchange works, will think to themselves, “Well, why don’t I do that with my home? I’ll just put the money I make from selling it into my next house, and I won’t have to pay any capital gains taxes…” Unfortunately, you cannot do a 1031 exchange on your primary residence. It can only be performed with investment properties.

So, if you’re planning on doing a 1031 exchange, think very carefully about your investment plan. You cannot sell an investment property and then buy a house to use as your primary residence until you decide to rent it out later, or vice versa. Both properties must be investments, not your residence (even on a temporary basis).

It Doesn’t Have to Be a One-for-One Exchange

A lot of investors use 1031 exchanges when they sell a smaller or less expensive property to buy a larger one or one in a wealthier area. This is not always the case, though. You may use the money you make selling your investment property to purchase as many new properties as you want, so long as their combined worth does not exceed 200% of the value of the property you’ve just sold.

You Don’t Have to Do the Exchange Immediately

Traditionally, 1031 exchanges are done swiftly, as you sell one property to buy another immediately. However, that’s not always possible (or even plausible) in modern real estate markets. A delayed exchange can be arranged, but you’ll just need to find a third party to hold your capital from the sale until you purchase your next investment property or properties.

But You Can’t Wait Forever – You Must Identify a Replacement Property

At the same time, you cannot simply put your 1031 exchange on hold forever. You must identify and designate a replacement property within the first 45 days after the sale of your first property. Because it’s common for deals to go south or fall through, you may designate as many properties as you want. Then you must move forward to attempt to purchase at least one of them, using the funds from your sale.

1031 exchanges could save you massive amounts of money in capital gains taxes, but keep these rules in mind before you attempt your first (or next) exchange. You want to ensure that you are operating within the law and that you are executing a legal 1031 exchange before you commit.

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The Right Way to Invest in Foreclosures (2019 Update)

Maybe you saw an advertisement for foreclosed condos for sale in Dallas, TX, and thought to yourself how fantastic it would be to get a valuable property in a booming urban area while the price was rock bottom. The foreclosure market is often full condors or apartments for sale, along with other properties in Dallas, TX And as the area grows even more, we’re sure to see a pretty consistent flow of foreclosures to tempt investors in the future.

But getting into foreclosure investing isn’t as easy as just picking up a cheap property. There are some things that you need to know to buy up those foreclosed condos in Dallas without running into any problems.

You Need a Strategy

Before you can decide exactly how you’re going to hold the investment and later resell it, you need to know why the property became a foreclosure in the first place. Apartments for sale in Dallas, TX generally don’t last long due to the rapidly growing business sector. Foreclosures could just be a unique circumstance, which is what you’re hoping for as an investor. But take a look around the neighborhood or area first, and be sure that this isn’t an indicator of a larger trend. This could affect your ability to resell the property in the future.

Leave Room in the Budget for Improvements

Most foreclosed condos for sale in Dallas, TX aren’t going to be turnkey properties. Foreclosures often bring out feelings of panic in homeowners, and you’ll frequently see foreclosed homes that have been stripped of everything – lighting, blinds, even the flooring in some cases. And if the homeowner was busy trying to keep up on the mortgage, you can bet that they weren’t spending their money on upgrades and remodels.

For this reason, be sure that your budget is big enough to cover any remodels or fixture replacing that needs to happen for your foreclosed property to appear livable.

Look for REO Foreclosures

If you can find foreclosed apartments for sale in Dallas, TX that have already been through the auction process, and haven’t been sold, you may be able to pick them up in a move called “buying REOs”, or “real estate owned”. This is the least risky way to purchase foreclosures because it’s the closet thing to a regular sale. You aren’t taking over a mortgage, or investing via auction; you’re simply purchasing a property through a real estate agency like always. With less confusing paperwork and fewer potential legal matters, you won’t have to worry about stumbling blocks along the way.

Find a More Experienced Partner

If you are a solo real estate investor interested in checking out the foreclosed condos for sale in Dallas, TX, it’s probably best to team up with a more experienced investor at first. Foreclosures offer several unique factors that have to be taken into consideration, and foreclosure auctions can be a risky way to acquire property. Lean on the guidance of an investing mentor at first, and you’ll find it much easier to succeed in the foreclosure market.

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Top 5 Tips for Identifying a 1031 Exchange Replacement Property (2019 Update)

One of the major expenses that real estate investors run into is capital gains taxes. Every time a property is sold, these taxes can create a hefty burden on your profit margin. But there’s a way around that, if the purchase falls into the right category. The IRS allows sellers to defer capital gains taxes by doing a 1031 exchange.

Under this type of exchange, the property has to be held as an investment, not as a principle residence; it has to be exchanged for like-kind property; and there are specific time frames that have to be met. Identifying situations that qualify can be tricky, but learning how to find those deals is a great way to keep your profit margins high. Here are five tips for identifying a 1031 exchange replacement property.

Tip #1: Follow the “3 Property Rule”

This rule is set forth by the IRS, and allows the investor to identify up to three possible replacement properties for the future. They have to eventually acquire one, two, or all three of the properties.

Tip #2: Follow the “200% Rule”

Within the three property rule from above, there is another rule that can make it easier to fill the quota. As an investor identifies those three possible replacement properties, their total fair market value (of all three properties combined) cannot exceed 200% of the fair market value of the relinquished property.

Tip #3: Alternatively, follow the “95% Rule”

This isn’t a commonly applied rule, but it can be in certain situations. This rule states that as the investor identifies the three properties, that total no more than 200% of the value of the relinquished property, they also agree to acquire at least 95% of the total value of the three identified properties.

These first three tips will help you narrow down the many options you may have for real estate investing. By the time you find three properties that work for your investing budget, and that meet the 200% Rule, you’re likely to have eliminated most or many of the options.

Tip #4: Be Sure You Identify the Properties Correctly

The identified properties for potential acquisition must be identified in writing. This document has to be signed by the investor, stating that all properties have been legally and accurately described. The address and legal description of the property must be present, and the percentage share of a property that has multiple investors is also required on this document.

When the property is acquired, it must be “substantially the same” as what was described in the document. The IRS can be ambiguous on what this phrase means, but in general, the property has to have the same basic nature and characteristics.

Tip #5: Make Sure the Right Person Gets the Information

After ensuring that the identifying document is accurate, the investor has to provide the information to whomever is responsible for transferring the property to the investor; alternatively, anyone involved in the exchange, like the title company or the escrow agent, must receive the document. This person cannot be a family member or the investor’s real estate agent.

These five tips will help you ensure that you’ve identified the right replacement property for a 1031 exchange.

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Simple Ways to Invest in Real Estate (2019 Update)

In the last few decades, real estate has become one of the most common investment methods for any age group. Even throughout the recession and downfall of the housing market in the 2000s, real estate investment has remained a popular means of preparing for a comfortable future. But if you’ve never invested in anything before, you may be intimidated by the idea of buying and selling properties. Buying a house is frequently seen as a major life milestone in our culture, so it’s easy to understand how it could be daunting.

But you don’t necessarily have to jump right in to buying and selling houses or commercial buildings. There are some very easy ways to invest in real estate that aren’t quite as overwhelming. For beginners who want simple investment options, or experienced investors who just want new ways to branch out without a lot of effort, here are a few great options:

1. Investment Groups

Real estate investment groups are a great way to learn the ropes before you strike out on your own. If you don’t want to become a landlord, or worry about the paperwork, an investment group is definitely for you. The group (including you) will agree on a specific type of property that you are all interested in, and then the company will buy or build the properties with the money that the investment group provides. The company takes care of all the day-to-day details, and you see a check show up for your part of the rental or sales revenue when due.

This is a safe way to get started with investing while you learn more about what types of properties are the best options. It also allows you to learn from more experienced investors, and to develop mentor relationships.

2. Invest through Crowdfunding

Crowdfunding is still a relatively new idea in the real estate industry, but that doesn’t mean you should avoid it. Over the last year, crowdfunding platforms have distributed more than three billion dollars of real estate investments, up from two billion the year before. Clearly, this is a growing model that investors can take advantage of.

The key benefit of crowdfunding is that an investor doesn’t have to have as large of an investment to get started. Dozens or even hundreds of investors come together with just a few thousand dollars each to invest in large commercial properties that normally would require significant chunks from fewer investors. And crowdfunding allows you to move beyond your local opportunities, and spread your investments out all over the world. Take advantage of the market anywhere, and with less risk.

3. Live-in Flip

You’ve seen the reality shows where a couple buys a home in need of some remodeling and lives in it while they flip it. They end up with a tidy sum after putting some investment dollars and a ton of elbow grease into the place. If you’re a young, single person, a young couple, or a retiree, you are in a unique position where this could actually be a very simple way for you to start investing in real estate. It’ll be easier for you to live in the homes while you remodel them, staying in temporary lodgings between investments, or maintaining a very inexpensive rental home for between investments.

While this isn’t the easiest investment method in terms of how much you have to do, it is the easiest method in terms of getting a foot through the door. Literally anyone can buy a house, learn to fix it up with a lot of YouTube videos and the advice of local experts, and then resell it for a profit. And you may discover a new love of flipping houses along the way.

These three methods offer some great ways to get started in real estate investment. Depending on how involved you want to be, and what your budget is for investment, any of these options could work perfectly for you.

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Top 10 Worst Mistakes for New Real Estate Investors to Make (2019 Update)

Real estate investing is much easier to get started in than most people are led to believe. With the rise of crowdfunding real estate opportunities, and the popularity of real estate groups and REITs, new investors don’t have to have as much capital as they may have thought, and they don’t have to know it all to get started.

But just because it can be simple doesn’t mean that there aren’t some serious mistakes that can cause a new real estate investor to totally fail. If you don’t want to risk your first major investment, and lose the capital you saved up, pay attention to these 10 things and be sure that you avoid them.

1. Not Having a Plan

You cannot fly by the seat of your pants in real estate. While you do need to be flexible, you should have a plan in place, and a goal for every investment you make.

2. Not Negotiating a Better Price

Real estate investing is all about paying the lowest price possible, and selling for the highest price possible. If you aren’t willing to negotiate lower prices, or walk away from deals that are too expensive, you won’t make money.

3. Not Doing Your Research

Researching a property and the surrounding area is essential for every investment. You cannot rely on the information provided by a real estate agent (who wants to sell!), or a marketing agency. Be sure that you know for sure that every property you invest in has plenty of selling potential.

4. Assuming Real Estate Offers Fast Profits

Real estate investing is a long game. You’ll see cash flow early on with certain types of investments, but the real return comes after years of investing. If you’re in it to get rich quick, you likely won’t find the success you’re looking for.

5. Miscalculating Estimates

This is something that just takes experience to learn, but it can be a costly mistake to make. If you aren’t sure that your estimates for a remodeling project or other expenses are correct, be sure that you have someone with experience look over them. Even if you have to pay for their knowledge, it’s cheaper than going so far over budget that you don’t make any profit.

6. Going it Alone

Real estate investment careers shouldn’t be built on your own work and abilities. The experience of those who’ve been doing it longer than you, and the enthusiasm and buying power of those who entered the investment world with you, are valuable commodities that you should take advantage of whenever you can.

7. Investing One at a Time

If you are only investing in one property at a time, you aren’t really taking advantage of what the real estate market has to offer. You’ll waste more time looking for your next deal, not growing your portfolio, and not bringing in any cash flow, if you don’t have several projects going at once.

8. Lacking Multiple Exit Strategies

If you’re planning on selling your property in exactly one way, to a specific target audience, you are setting yourself up for failure. Ideally, every investment you make should have several ways that it can be sold or rented so that you make money, or at the least have a way out from under a lemon.

9. Getting Stuck with Bad Financing

If you ended up with a high-interest mortgage, a high monthly payment, a balloon payment, or some other bad financing situation, you are in for a rough time. Not only will you likely not make a great ROI on this investment, it’s also possible that you could be stuck with these awful payments for many years.

10. Letting Your Past Mistakes Stop You from Investing Again

Finally, the worst mistake that a new investor could make is to stop investing after a few mistakes. If you had a bad experience with a contractor, or you chose a house in a bad location, it’s easy to get discouraged. But real estate investing is a fluid market that is always changing. Dust yourself off, do some more research next time, and you’ll find your way to a successful investment career.

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What to Consider Before Investing in Real Estate? (2019 Update)

There are many experts out there telling us that right now is the best time to buy real estate. Interest rates are down, real estate development is up in many areas, and banks are lending again after the economy has started to bounce back. But just because this is a good time for investing doesn’t mean it’s the right time for you specifically.

When choosing the best time to invest in real estate, you should always consider a few key factors first to be sure that your ability to invest lines up with the market’s health for the best possible investment opportunity.

1. Stability

Much like starting a romantic relationship, both you and the real estate market need to be stable for an investment to work.

For you: How stable is your income? If you invest your savings right now, do you have a back up plan in place if you lose your job tomorrow? Being forced to rush a sale to get out from under an investment so that you have the cash won’t allow you to wait for the perfect opportunity to optimize your ROI. If you aren’t sure that you’ll be able to support yourself and pay the mortgage on your new investment (or pay for remodeling or whatever other costs you’ll have) for at least the next six months, you may want to think again about investing.

For the market: Are real estate experts mostly in agreement about the health of the market? Have there been any recent changes in legislation or interest rates that haven’t settled yet? Be sure that the market is stable as well so that you don’t find yourself stuck with an upside-down investment.

2. What is Your Goal?

Before you invest in a property, be sure that you consider what your goal is for the property. While you probably have an overall goal with your investing already in mind (such as “create a retirement fund”, or “quit my job in 5 years”), each specific investment should also have its own goal. Do you want to live in this house while you finish out your 5 years with your current job? Do you want to rent this house to start making some extra cash and grow your portfolio? Don’t simply buy a property just because it’s a sound investment on paper. Consider what you’ll do with it while it’s on the market.

3. What Does the Research Say?

Every single real estate investment article you read will tell you to do your research. Knowing the property and the area is vital to making a good investment. The reason that this consideration is so often mentioned is that it’s easy to get swept away by the description written by a real estate agent. Guess what? They want to sell the property! Their descriptions are designed to draw you in and make you want to spend money.

Before you buy, consider what the research says about the value of the property, and about the future of the area. Is it a place where a person could live for a decade? Could they raise a family there? Could an elderly couple enjoy their retirement years there? Consider every possible demographic, and really picture if they could find happiness in this property and in this area.

Be Patient

Real estate investing seems like a high pressure investment. Competitors are everywhere, and interest rates are always fluctuating. It’s tempting to go with your gut. The most successful real estate investors are those who have learned patience. As you do your research, consider your stability and the market’s, and define your goal for the property, you’ll be able to trust that you’ve made a great decision. If a property is bought while you are still deliberating, consider it a dodged mistake, and move on to the next one. The great thing about real estate is that there is always another house for sale.

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How Much Capital Do You Need to Invest in Real Estate? (2019 Update)

Have you ever wanted to invest in something a little more tangible than stocks, but you weren’t sure if you really had the money for real estate? There is a lot of misinformation about real estate investing and how much capital you actually need to become an investor. You may be surprised at the numbers that it actually takes to invest in real estate, and how easy it can be to get started, even if you don’t have all the capital you need just yet.

First, the Numbers

Most of the time, aspiring investors will hear anything from $5,000 to $50,000 being quoted as the opening range for investing in real estate. The truth is that the amount you need depends totally on what type of investing you are starting out with, and while you could need more than $50,000 if you’re choosing to go into solo commercial real estate investing, for example, you could also need less than $5,000 to start out with in certain models.

So the truth is: there’s no specific number for getting started in real estate investing. But if you want a basic goal to begin saving towards, $5,000 is a good number for several different types of real estate investing.

Affordable Investment Options

The cheapest way to get started in real estate investment is either to go through an REIT, or to go through a crowdfunding platform.

An REIT is basically a commercial real estate market that allows investors to trade on real estate stocks, but also involves some direct mortgage investment. This type of investment is highly liquid, and is great for those who have experience with stocks because it offers a familiar structure. Getting into the asset class of REITs can take as little as $500. If you have $2,500 in an investment savings account, you would be able to do some enthusiastic trading in an REIT.

Crowdfunding is a new, but growing, method of investing in real estate. Instead of relying on just a few investors with large sums of capital, dozens or hundreds of investors with smaller investment amounts can join together to fund an investment. The average crowdfunding real estate investment options start either around $500 or $5,000 per investor.

The Next Rung

If you’re able to do a little more than $5,000 to start, there are some middle-of-the-road options that can allow you to see higher returns, but without requiring six-figure investments. The most common method in this group is utilizing an investment group or a private partnership.

An investment group is a professional group of real estate investors sponsored by a company. The group makes decisions on what type of investments they want to purchase, and the company performs all the day-to-day tasks and paperwork. As an investor, you’d need between $5,000 and $50,000 to become part of an investment group in most cases.

A private partnership, on the other hand, is a private agreement between yourself and one or more other investors. You’ll split the cost of an investment, and assign the paperwork and day-to-day duties of managing the investment among yourselves. This is a great way to pool money with other beginner investors; if you can invite a more experienced investor into the fold, you’ll also get a great education on how to grow your real estate investments.

In the Future

Once you’re able to dedicate more than $50,000 to your real estate investment fund, you’re ready to consider solo investing. Now is the time when you can purchase properties on your own, to become a landlord or to flip. This is the riskiest type of real estate investment, but also the most rewarding.

Starting out with an REIT, investment groups, crowdfunding opportunities, and partnerships allows you to learn the ropes without risking a significant chunk of money right off the bat. Sometimes as little as $50 is enough to get you started as an investor!

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Is Now a Good Time to Invest in Real Estate? (2019 Update)

While most young adults and new families struggle to even create a savings account, much less consider investing for the future, now is one of the best times in recent history to make investing a priority.

The fact is that investing is what moves a person or family from one income level to the next. Getting raises or second jobs only creates more opportunities for spending; investing is what builds permanent wealth. And one of the most common types of investments is real estate.

But after so many millennials grew up or came of age during the housing market crash in the 2000s, it’s easy to see why the current generation of young investors would be hesitant to put money into real estate. However, the real estate market has finally bounced back, and many investment experts believe that the current year is the best time to buy real estate.

Interest Rates

The first reason that this year is the best time to invest in real estate is that interest rates are still very low. It’s an interesting fact, because before 2016, interest rates were actually climbing, and most analysts predicted a hike in rates. That doesn’t mean that they’ll continue to drop, however. Experts agree that the rates will start climbing again very soon. This is the year to get in on real estate before those go right back up.

The Perfect Storm of Affordable Urban Growth

A decade ago if you wanted to invest in real estate, you looked in New York City, San Francisco, or other major cities such as those. But the prices in those areas have climbed to astronomical rates that many new investors could never afford on their own – and could certainly never make a profit on.

But there’s a perfect storm brewing in up-and-coming cities such as Dallas, Houston, Raleigh-Durham, and Berkley. These places aren’t historically real estate stars. But thanks to sudden growth in the business sectors of these cities, real estate construction has picked up – and yet these areas are still priced much lower, based on the historic housing prices of what were once less populous areas. Now is the time to take advantage of these low-priced homes and commercial buildings before the prices catch up with the growth.

You Can Invest from Your Home

Thanks to the wonders of the Internet, you don’t even have to leave your home to invest in real estate. In fact, through crowdfunding platforms, mobile apps, and tons of investing websites, you have more options for real estate investing than ever before. You can research properties all over the world, take advantage of market growth in other areas, and send and receive payments for investments from your phone if you wanted to.

Crowdfunding especially has changed the way that many real estate investors are interacting with potential properties. Because it requires a smaller investment amount, and gives investors the chance to diversify with many investment opportunities, crowdfunding real estates platforms have grown exponentially over the last year.

The Year of Free Knowledge

Finally, the last reason that this is the best year to invest in real estate is that knowledge is totally free. It used to be that real estate was hidden behind expensive courses and a country-club mentality. These days, researching a property, or an investment opportunity, is as easy as sending a text message.

There are thousands of websites, blogs, eBooks, forums, podcasts, and many other free educational sources online that can be accessed at any time. Have a question about a new type of real estate investment? You can easily shoot an expert real estate blogger an email, or connect with other investors through a forum or a social media website.

For all of these reasons, real estate has never been a more attractive investment. As more young adults and families start focusing on creating a stable future through investments, real estate should always be at the top of the list.

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Types of Commercial Real Estate Investments (2019 Update)

When you think of commercial real estate investments, what comes to mind? For most people, commercial real estate is synonymous with retail or office space, but while these are definitely types of commercial real estate that offer potentially lucrative investment opportunities, they aren’t the only types available to you as an investor.

Multi-Family Housing

One great way to invest in commercial real estate is by investing in multi-family housing, such as a condo or apartment building. Most investors are not in a place financially to purchase an entire building or complex, but many of these properties are owned by trusts or investment clubs, making it much easier for investors to participate.

Multi-Family Housing

If you’re interested in this type of commercial real estate investment, you could pool your investment capital with others’ capital via an REIT (real estate investment trust) or another investing group or club. Essentially, instead of owning the property itself, you’ll own equity or shares in the property, and you’ll receive quarterly or monthly returns on the property’s profits based on your percentage.

Medical Real Estate

Medical real estate is another type of commercial real estate that is often available through real estate investing groups and trusts. This type of real estate can include any property that is designed and built out for the medical industry. Some popular medical real estate properties are hospitals, senior care centers, specialists’ clinics, general practices, and urgent care clinics.

The appeal of medical real estate is that it is always in demand. With people living longer than ever, geriatric care is a growing field, and with the enactment of the Affordable Care Act, more people than ever before have health insurance and are seeking medical care. As a result, more and more medical real estate properties are being built, but the supply has not come close to meeting the demand in most markets.

Retail Shopping Centers

Finally, we mentioned retail spaces earlier, but let’s go into a bit more detail. Retail shopping centers generally have multiple rental units, which can have a great stabilizing effect on your investment. If you invest in a property with multiple tenants, you will likely still see quarterly returns, even if one or more tenants leave and you go a few weeks or months between tenants in that space.

Furthermore, retail properties tend to have longer leases than residential properties, which means that you’ll have more stability in your income from a commercial property like this. If one of your tenants is a large corporate store, it’s not unusual for them to sign a long-term lease of 15 to 20 years.

These are only a few of the many types of commercial real estate investments you may want to consider to diversify and stabilize your portfolio. Consider them and other commercial properties before you commit to your next investment.

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Single-Family Rental Properties in Dallas Provide Investment Opportunities (2019 Update)

If you’re looking for lucrative ways to increase your wealth and diversify your investment portfolio, then real estate is a fantastic choice. Of course, as you begin doing your research on this type of investment, you’re going to find a lot of information on single-family homes and how to invest in them. If wondering whether or not single-family houses for rent in Dallas are the way to go for your portfolio, consider a few factors that might contribute to your decision.

Dallas Has a Very Lucrative Rental Market

First of all, perhaps because it’s a growing economic hub, there’s a huge demand for single-family rental properties in Dallas. Basically, every year, corporations headquartered in Dallas recruit new talent from all over the country (and all over the world). These people relocate to Dallas temporarily or permanently, and they need places to live in the first few months or years of their stay.

Essentially, most people moving to the Dallas-Fort Worth area are not going to want to buy a house before they get a chance to get to know the area and where they want to live. As a result, these new residents are looking for good rental properties, and single-family houses for rent in Dallas are a great opportunity for them.

More Millennials Aren’t Buying Houses

At the same time, we’re seeing a continued increase in the demand for single-family houses for rent in Dallas because younger professionals who would traditionally be in the market to purchase their first homes are waiting longer and continuing to rent instead.

Perhaps because they’ve come of age in the aftermath of the housing crisis of 2008, millennial adults are less likely to buy than rent. This could also be due to the fact that many of these young professionals expect to move for work several times before settling down (if they ever truly settle down). They don’t want to be locked into selling a house before they can move to their new job or take off on their next great adventure, and so they’re more interested in renting instead of owning.

Fewer Starter Homes on the Market

Another thing that could positively affect your experience with single-family rental properties in Dallas is that there are fewer starter homes on the market than in years past. In decades gone by, young adults would live in apartments until they could afford to buy their first homes. Today, there’s been a shift in housing trends, and there are fewer starter homes being built and put on the market. This means that there are fewer opportunities for those who do want to buy a house on a smaller budget, and instead those people are looking for single-family rentals until they can afford something larger.

With this information, you can see how single-family houses make great rental properties in Dallas. Consider this market for your next investment.