In real estate, there is a saying that you don't make your money when you sell, you make your money when you buy. The name of the game is finding amazing deals and then either keeping them for the long term or turning around and flipping for a handsome profit.
Of course, if great deals were that easy to find, everybody would be doing it. The forces of supply and demand would inflate the price of properties to the point that there would be no deals left!
Naysayers claim that this is true of today's housing market. But in reality, there are endless deals to be found almost anywhere at almost anytime. Finding these deals takes experience and talent, but this is a head start for novice investors – or a refresher course for old pros.
Distressed Owners Make for Distressed Properties…
…and vice versa. What is a great deal? Quite simply, it's when you buy a property for well below its actual value and/or with favorable terms. The only way this can happen is for the seller to be ignorant of the market, completely uninterested in profit motives, or extremely motivated to sell.
Your chances of making a career out of finding homes owned by people who don't know any better or who don't care are slim, so it's best to concentrate on identifying motivated or "distressed" sellers.