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How to Make Money Investing in Real Estate in Any Market

by Brandon · 12 comments

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Did you hear that the Real Estate market is about to tank again?

Me too. I’ve also heard it’s on a rebound about to be the most prosperous time we’ve ever seen. Others say its going to stay stagnant for the next twenty years.

So what is the market going to do?

Fail? Surge? Stay?

While it’s wise to try to look to the future and predict where it’s going – the simple fact is that we can never know for sure. The market has ups and the market has downs. It’s this fear that causes a lot of people to stay away from the real estate market and keep their money in savings accounts, stocks, and other places.


More for me…

Why the Market Doesn’t Matter

For most investors, “timing” the market is everything. When they miss that timing (like five years ago) bad things happen. What kind of bad things?

  • Foreclosures.
  • Bankruptcy.
  • Unemployment.

Yeah, those bad things. However, successful investors that are in the game for the long haul know a simple truth that both guides their investments and keeps their blood pressure down:

Money can be made in any market.

The Key To Making Money in Any Market

Making money in real estate for the long haul is not about timing the market. The market will go up and the market will go down. This is expected and good for the economy. It keeps prices and policies in check and helps to clean out the gurus who spout bad information based on bad timing. The way to make money in any market doesn’t rely on timing the exact top and bottom of the market.

Making money in any market is done by one simple word:


As a kid I loved math. I know that makes me a bit of a nerd – but I honestly loved it because it was always true. Unlike art, gym, writing, or even science – math was never based on opinion. Math is true because there is absolute truth. Two plus two always equals four.

It never equals five.

This is why math is the key to making money in a down market. If the math is right, then it’s right.

Let me give you an example of what I mean.

If you buy a house that you want to “flip,” but the market drops suddenly – you’re in trouble. If you had $30,000 in equity and the market causes house prices to drop $40,000 – then you are underwater. This happened to millions of people across the world with their own homes over the past several years. It’s sad, and difficult, but very common today. In fact, I wrote about this just a few days ago with the story of the “Eklund” property. While I didn’t go “underwater” I still lost much of my once-hoped for equity when the the market began to slide.

On the other hand, if you buy a property that produces $400 per month in cashflow every month – it doesn’t matter who is in the White House, what the national debt is, how many children Tom Cruise has, or how many foreclosures are occurring in the country. That cashflow is coming in regardless.

Final Thoughts

Obviously there are factors outside our control that could affect things. Vacancy rates could increase, a tornado could blow down the house, or rents could simply decrease. This could affect the bottom line, of course. However, most of these issues can be easily managed (insurance, increased advertising, rent adjustments, etc).

I’m also not suggesting that flipping houses is out of the question. I still flip and I know a lot of great investors who do the same. However, flipping requires proper math as well. I recommend having multiple exit strategies so if external circumstances change – you can change your exit as well. Additionally – any property I intend to flip must be able to hold its own as a rental should the need arise.

The point is – by sticking with math that works and not playing a giant game of blackjack with homes you are able to ensure profit when the market is bad, when the market is good, and when the market is stagnant. Investors are always tempted with dangerous strategies to make more money – but the investors who succeed in the end are the ones who stick with proper math in the good times and the bad.

What do you think? Have you ever used “bad math” to invest in real estate? Or is fear of another real estate slump stopping you from investing? Let me know in the comments below! (That rhymed…)


Image: Grant Cochrane/

About Brandon

has written 199 Awesome posts in this blog.

Brandon Turner (G+) is the Senior Editor and Community Director and owner of He is also an Active Real Estate Investor (Flips, Apartments, and Buy-and-Hold), Entrepreneur, World Traveler, Third-Person Speaker, and Husband. Come hang out with him on Twitter!

P.S. looking for hard money loans in California? Be sure to check out my friends over at They have very competitive rates, can fund within a week and specialize in fix and flip loans and other hard money loans.

P.S. Looking for more real estate investing knowledge? If you are interested in a top-notch course to help you understand the nuts and bolts of creative real estate investing, I would like to recommend Ben Leybovich's Cash Flow Freedom University. Ben is a close friend and has been my trusted adviser for years. He's a smart guy and CFFU is pretty awesome. The course is waitlisted, but while you wait for an opening Ben will send you tons of FREE content. Seriously. Click here to check it out.

(yes, that's an affiliate link!)

{ 12 comments… read them below or add one }

Provence Estate In Gurgaon October 29, 2012 at 12:30 pm

Many thanks for providing such handy information. I seriously value your expert approach. I would like to thank you for the efforts you made in writing this particular post. I am hoping the same from you in the future as well.


Brandon October 29, 2012 at 3:38 pm

No problem Krrish! Glad I could help!


Ali October 30, 2012 at 1:43 am

I love math as well! I’ll claim total nerd-status with it, I minored in math, and math is one of my favorite parts of real estate investing (because unlike the math I did in college, this math translates to profits 🙂 ).

But you are right. I always say that inevitably people will buy even real estate investments based on personal preferences, but as long as the numbers show a profit, work your preferences all you want!


Brandon November 3, 2012 at 6:24 pm

You are right – this math definitely comes with some more financial rewards than college math did!

I like the way you put that too: “As long as the numbers show a profit, work your preferences all you want!” Very true! Thanks for the comment Ali!


Indore real estate October 31, 2012 at 1:16 pm

A lot of good information you have provided. Your post will help many people to invest their money in real estate market.


Danny Johnson November 4, 2012 at 10:16 pm

Absolutely agree! We’ve been through some ups and downs of the markets (albeit not so much of a big swing in either direction here in San Antonio).

It all boils down to what you are buying the property for. Buy right and you should be fine no matter what happens. You might have to change strategies, but if you bought cheap enough, that shouldn’t cause you to lose money.

That’s why I never really liked any of the “new” tactics some people pitch that supposedly teach people to buy properties at market value and still make money. You know, the strategies that look great on paper, but are horrible in reality – when the reality of having bad tenants that completely trash a place or refuse to leave – or you have to foreclosure and the people you financed the house to file bankruptcy over and over.

Another great post. Keep it up, Brandon. Don’t know how you are able to post so often.


Brandon November 5, 2012 at 5:55 am

Hey Danny – thanks! This post idea actually came from my Facebook. I asked my friends to ask me any real estate related question and this topic was the first! And my secret to steady posting? I’m Batman…

Okay that’s a lie. But wait till tomorrow’s post – well over 3000 words. Took like 8 hours to write, so hopefully it will help someone or I just wasted a day!


Kyle Tschida November 9, 2012 at 4:53 am

Hey, it’s my question!


Brandon November 9, 2012 at 4:55 am

Thanks for the question Kyle! You’re famous!


Buy Property Sri Lanka November 15, 2012 at 6:24 am

Interesting post and thanks for sharing. Some things in here I have not thought about before. Thanks for making such a cool post which is really very well written. I will refer it to my friends about this website. Keep blogging.
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Derek January 8, 2013 at 6:51 pm

What happens when rents drop, though? I see that you’re saying that all this other risk can be eliminated, but this one cannot, right? If rents drop below your spread, what do you do, then? Or am I missing something? I’m still really new to this.


Brandon January 8, 2013 at 8:45 pm

Hey Derek, it’s true – the rent could drop. That’s why buying smart is so important – so there is enough cashflow to cover those times.


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