5 Things I Wish Someone Had Told Me Earlier about Real Estate Investing… (Part 5 of 5)

by Vena Jones-Cox

5. You never get to the point where you know “enough”.

When I had been in real estate for about 4 years, I figured I was pretty hot stuff. I knew all the basic strategies backward and forward; I’d done over 100 deals; I’d spent maybe 1,000 hours in classrooms learning more. I honestly believed that there was nothing else that I really needed to know to be successful.

Then one year 7 of my lease-option tenants refinanced in a 4-month period. Staring down the throat of a mid 5-figure income tax bill, I suddenly “discovered” the 1031 exchange, a technique that’s been around for decades, but which I thought applied only to old guys who were ready to get out of the business.

About that time, I also started doing a radio program, and my attorney recommended that I look into land trusts as a way of keeping my name out of the public record. Then I discovered that escrowing documents could protect iffy lease-option deals to a degree that made me comfortable.

And last week, I found out that a “mortgage to secure option” was a valid way to record one’s interest at the courthouse…

So in case no one’s told you yet, the moral is: in the real estate business, knowledge is profit. Keep learning all the time, and don’t forget to pass a little of that knowledge on to the folks who are coming up behind you.

Reprinted from the Real Deal, a monthly newsletter for Real Life Real Estate Investors with permission of Vena Jones-Cox. Get a free 3-month trial subscription by clicking here. One per household, please.