Everyone should be planning for their financial future. While you may have a good job with a 401k and a retirement plan, that doesn’t necessarily mean your bank account is reflecting stability. Along with managing your budget, it’s important to look into alternative investment strategies.
One of the most profitable choices for many people has been turning towards real estate. South Carolina has become an incredibly popular choice for those looking to relocate. In 2020, it was listed as the second most popular state for relocation, with around a 38% population increase.
The state is more affordable than most on the East Coast and has everything to offer, from beaches to mountains.
If you’re interested in becoming a real estate investor in South Carolina, take a look at what steps you can take to start increasing your financial stability.
- Get Your Real Estate License
While not everyone needs to become a licensed agent to become an investor, it can certainly give you a competitive edge. You’ll have greater access to new listings, will learn how to negotiate prices, and will have a better understanding of how the final contracts work.
It can also save you thousands of dollars on your final closing costs because you won’t have to pay for a real estate agent when looking for potential investment property. The best part is you can take a South Carolina real estate license course online at an affordable price.
- Expand Your Current Property
This is a great option for people who already own property and have more available space. Expanding your current property could mean building an ADU (accessory dwelling unit) which acts as a small, liveable home on the property.
This can be rented out monthly as a lease or can be a temporary rental home such as an Airbnb or Vrbo.
- Rent Out A Room In Your House
Are you an empty nester with more rooms in your house than you know what to do with? If you want to make passive income without having to take on any additional costs, you can simply rent out a room within your house. Again, this can be temporary or long-term. This also depends on what you are comfortable with as you’d be having someone else stay in your home.
- Buy a Second Property to Rent
Because house prices are so competitive right now, many people are choosing to rent until the market slows down. Buying a second property as a rental is more of an initial financial investment, but can have a very big monthly cost.
Cash-flowing properties are the most lucrative. These are homes that are ready to be lived in. You can purchase them and immediately rent them out to a new tenant.
- Flip a House
For people who are handy and don’t mind putting in a little labor, flipping a house can be a great way to make a large sum of cash as a real estate investor. The trick is that you’ll have to be financially stable enough to afford the mortgage.
Flipping a house takes time and you’ll have to work with the schedules of several contractors to get the job done. You also need to account for the time it takes to complete renovations, lists the house, and find a buyer.
- Crowdfunding and REITs
This is one of the easiest ways to get into real estate investing. Crowdfunding or buying shares of a REIT (real estate investment trust) make it easy to get started. Companies will list a house or property which outsiders can opt-in to invest.
As the building is rented or flipped, the investors will make a percentage of the profits. These can be found through individual companies or major stock exchanges.
Things to Note In Real Estate Investing
Before you run to the bank to apply for a loan or put money towards a REIT, there is a lot of preparation that should be done first.
- Decide what type of investment strategy is most suitable for your lifestyle and budget.
- Research and learn as much about the real estate market and industry as possible.
- Ensure you’re financially ready to make this type of investment by securing your capital.
- Learn about local and state real estate laws and regulations.
It’s possible to start investing in real estate as there are so many viable options depending on your specific needs. Make sure to do as much research as possible and don’t be afraid to ask questions.
Jump into online forums and talk with other investors who have done this before. Learn by reading books or taking online courses. Anyone can become a real estate agent with the right tools and resources at their disposal.
The Perfect Investment: RAD Diversified and Income-Producing Farms
Amidst the global lockdown of 2020, Dutch Mendenhall, founder of RADD America, began looking for an alternative to standard residential real-estate investments. So, he turned his analysis to farms and was blown away by the immense potential he saw. After going public in late 2019, RADD America purchased US farmland and made slices of the real estate available at minimum investments of $10,000.
Income-producing farms vs. other real estate asset classes
According to Mendenhall, an apartment complex in today’s US real estate market commands approximately a 4% or 5% cap rate. Farms offer somewhere around a 15% to 20% cap rate.
“When I first began looking at investing in farms, I compared each acre to an apartment or housing unit,” Mendenhall recalls. “The variety that income-producing farms provide is what I really love about them as an opportunity. With one season producing wheat and corn the next, you can double tap — you can raise livestock on top of agriculture. Putting money into the farm only pays off in time. Everything from improving soil to increasing irrigation makes a major impact on potential income, and so much of America’s farmland has fallen into disrepair during the last 20 years.”
When Mendenhall began investing during the early days of the pandemic, sustainable acres of producing farmland sold anywhere from $3,500 to $5,000. Today, he finds that income-producing acres of farmland easily sell for $9,500 to $10,000.
“I’ve seen farmland values almost double during the last couple of years,” Mendenhall says. “Currently, we’re in Tennessee, Arkansas, and Idaho, but we are analyzing land all over America. What reports don’t show is the difference between a properly maintained acre of farmland and an acre that is in disarray. There’s only so much workable farmland on the market today. We’ve hit the tipping point, and now, there’s a scarcity of land for people to buy. If you have the opportunity to purchase amazing agricultural land, you have to pull the trigger quickly.”
Income-producing farms as an asset class
Mendenhall is no stranger to investors. Since 2006, he’s connected them to deals in short sales, wholesaling, residential properties, and storage units, though he admits that every asset class has caused the same excitement as farmland. “At this point, we can’t find enough bargains for our investors,” he says. “They take real pride in their investments and keep asking us for more.”
RADD America takes a true grassroots approach when connecting its investors to farmland. “The farming world is different from any other in real estate,” explains Mendenhall. “We start by having our acquisitions and agricultural teams meet with farmers. When we get ready to brand cattle or plant, all the local farmers come and help. In the same spirit, our teams go out and help the local farmers when it’s their turn to brand and plant. To do it right, you have to build a relationship and a connection that’s quite different than other types of investing.”
RADD America is composed of expert investors and expert farmers. The company offers its investments through fractionalized ownership. In other words, the company purchases one farm and then allows a joint pool of investors to own it together.
“If you don’t have a team that knows how to farm and maximize income, you’re not going to get the best possible return for investors,” warns Mendenhall. “Thankfully, our team isn’t so big for this type of investing that we forget who we are, and we have the economy to scale at a great pace.”
The impact of global competition on income-producing farm investments
RADD America closely monitors global trends. In Mendenhall’s experience, investors win when they move before the market. However, when they move after the market, they lose.
“When Russian first invaded and sparked its war with Ukraine, for example, we kept a close eye on its global impact,” he says. “As one of the largest producers of wheat in the world, we knew that Ukraine — now in the midst of a war — wasn’t going to be able to produce wheat at the same scale, so someone else needs to step in and fill the gap. We’re constantly monitoring what’s happening in the world to stay on top of evolving trends.”
In terms of global competition, Mendenhall is frustrated by foreign entities staking ownership of American farmland and agriculture. In this area, China has positioned itself as the number one threat to the sovereignty of the United States.
“When foreign powers have ownership of agricultural land in the US, it puts us all at risk as Americans,” remarks Mendenhall. “Over the past few years, we’ve seen soil quality erode, closures of meatpacking plants, and numerous fires. The likelihood of nuclear war in this age is very small. The quiet war of buying American agriculture and unsettling the American dollar is the threat we face today.”
Clearly, RADD America has a lot to pay attention to at home and abroad. “We’re monitoring weather patterns and making one-year, three-year, and five-year predictions,” Mendenhall explains. “We’re also paying close attention to interest rates to see where this shifting economy is headed. The up-and-down cycles are faster than they’ve ever been. Monitoring the industry is critical. With expert investors and agricultural specialists from RADD America on your team, farmland can be one of your most promising and rewarding investment opportunities.”
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