If you’re considering real estate for your portfolio, let me give you some advice: Don’t jump in without a ton of research. It’s not as easy as they make it look on shows like Flip or Flop. There’s a lot that goes into becoming a successful landlord or flipping houses for a profit. Plus, a lot can go wrong and your mistakes can eat up your profits quickly.
According to 2011 census data, India has about 330 million houses and 247 million households. The household size in India has dropped in recent years, the 2011 census reporting 50% of households have four or fewer members, with an average 4.8 members per household including surviving grandparents. These households produced a GDP of about $1.7 trillion. Consumption patterns note: approximately 67% of households use firewood, crop residue or cow-dung cakes for cooking purposes; 53% do not have sanitation or drainage facilities on premises; 83% have water supply within their premises or 100 metres (330 ft) from their house in urban areas and 500 metres (1,600 ft) from the house in rural areas; 67% of the households have access to electricity; 63% of households have landline or mobile telephone service; 43% have a television; 26% have either a two- or four-wheel motor vehicle. Compared to 2001, these income and consumption trends represent moderate to significant improvements. One report in 2010 claimed that high-income households outnumber low-income households.
Another benefit of investing in rental properties is the loan pay down. If you obtain a loan to buy the property, each month your tenants are paying off part of the loan. Once the mortgage on the property has been paid off, your cash flow will increase dramatically, allowing your mediocre investment to skyrocket into a full-fledged retirement program.
An obvious example is over exposure to bank stocks, which have been excellent investments for over a century. Though a foundation of most portfolios, bank stocks do involve more risk at certain stages of the economic cycle than many realise. Being less exposed to bank shares in the last few months could have preserved some capital. So, a more diversified approach can help mitigate some of these risks.