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Despite the improving economy, 63 percent of Americans are somewhat or very dissatisfied with their current jobs, according to Paige Wagner, operations manager for the American Real Estate Investor's Association. "Most people simply end up in a career without really thinking about it," Wagner says. "Once someone settles into a job, they usually stay in the same industry even when changing jobs." As an example, Wagner reports that only two-tenths of 1 percent of the population are willing to change careers midstream to become real estate investors. "Most people aren't willing to put in the effort to learn a new career, even when they can make up to six figures," she says. "It seems that for most people, just the idea of tackling something new like investing causes them to bring up all kinds of reasons why they shouldn't get started.
" Wagner says people cite the following reasons for not investing in real estate: It's the wrong time to get into the real estate market, they don't have enough money to invest, or they've heard too many nightmare stories about being a landlord. However, at the same time that some people are coming up with reasons to avoid real estate investing, others learn to overcome the obstacles they face. "With members in all 50 states, we're able to see investors making money in both 'up' markets and 'down' markets," Wagner says. "Some investors even use creative methods of buying to avoid having to come up with down payments. The investors that hate being landlords usually sell on a rent-to-own basis so that their tenant buyer will agree to take care of all the day-to-day maintenance for them.
" Bill Bronchick, president of the Colorado Association of Real Estate Investors, notes that real estate investing strategies have changed from years past. "It's a whole new ball game today compared with the way my mom used to invest," Bronchick says. "Investors these days can get started without cash or credit if they are willing to take the time to get educated." Many cities have at least one real estate investor group. "The monthly meetings and trainings are a good place to meet others who are already investing or interested in doing so," Bronchick says. "You can also get a feel for whether you are in a hot or a cold market by talking with other investors.
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