In my 20 years of investing in real estate, I've met a lot of determined people who told me they had made the decision to be successful as real estate investors. Recently I asked one such person what progress they were making; the response was "I feel I'm really close to discovering just the right place to invest!"

Hmmm...that answer made me wonder. It seems quite a few people are looking at real estate investing in the same way other folks look at buying stocks...if I just had one hot tip I could get started!

A perfect example of this is my friend Tony. He called to tell me about a sign he drove past. The sign was stuck in the ground at a busy intersection and it had an 800 number on it that read:

“Costa Rica Investment Opportunity –
1st Phase –Apt Buildings
Awesome Chance to Profit - Call Now”

Tony wanted to know whether I thought that this was a good opportunity or not? I asked him "What do you know about investing in Costa Rica? Have you ever been to Costa Rica?" Tony knew almost nothing about Costa Rica, other than a lot of Americans supposedly retired there. But the sign had struck a nerve in him. See, for a long time Tony has been wondering where he could find the most awesome investment opportunity. Something so good, that he just couldn't pass it up.

Tony, like many other people, (perhaps even you), has been trying to figure it out. "Where should he make his first venture into residential real estate investing?"

I gave him the same answer I give everybody. It's the same thing I do myself and it's the simple strategy I reveal in my book, Be A Real Estate Millionaire.

* Here Is The Answer To Where You Should Invest.

Although you can buy property anywhere, I recommend you start buying property in your own local area. I say this for a number of reasons. The first reason is because you know the local area in a way that no one else can. You know what areas continue to grow and the ones which are shrinking. You probably know which parts of town to avoid, and which parts have always been desirable.

As a local resident, you may already know about changes that could increase or decrease real estate prices in your area. Things like whether a new shopping mall is about to be built, or if a new freeway is coming through. You know if developers are building some new offices close by because you see the buildings or the signs. What about factories and businesses? Are there new ones in your neighborhood, some that are hiring, are there some that are laying people off? Is a new company coming to town and are they going to be close to your neighborhood? These are the things you're already somewhat of an expert on. You know a lot about the trends and patterns of your local real estate market without even really trying.

The second reason to buy in your local area is if you've bought a property close to where you live, you're more likely, (or more easily able), to keep your eye on it. If minor problems occur, such as storm damage or even routine wear and tear, you can spot it and fix those things right away. It's a lot more convenient to be able to work on something that's within a few minutes driving distance from your home, than something that is across the city or even in another state (or in another country Tony).

* Knowing The Real Estate Market Is Vital.

If you know the market, you are better positioned to recognize opportunities when they show up. Even if you focus locally, say on a large metropolitan area, you will probably find that area is too large to understand and monitor easily. The large metropolitan area where I live in Phoenix has more than 5 million people, it's impossible for even longtime residents to thoroughly monitor such a huge area, let alone understand it.

In a small town of 4000 people, it might be easier to know the entire area, yet population and geographic distance are two very different factors. Concentrating and capitalizing on what you know is one reason why everyday individuals can enter the real estate market very quickly. Even a multi-millionaire, experienced real estate investor can't track all the changes in a single city...let alone in your neighborhood. That means you have an advantage over them just by virtue of living and investing where you are. I recommend that you initially focus on a handful of areas that you can monitor and understand, such as those with a 10 mile radius of your own home.

If you're buying rental property for example, it's much easier to manage five rental properties in the same area than it is to manage five rental properties from different parts of town. Even neighborhoods separated by only a few miles can have real estate and economic conditions that vary dramatically.

* Become An Expert In Your Area.

It's easier to research and become an expert in the area you live in and drive by every day. If you don't like the area around you, take the time to research an area that you do like, (perhaps a place where you would like to live one day). If you can become an expert on a handful of various neighborhoods, you'll know more about the real estate conditions in those areas, than any so-called experts.

* Don't Peek Over the Fence.

Last but not least. I suggest you start by investing in single-family homes. There are more plentiful and easier to sell the apartment buildings. You and potential buyers can get a wider range of financing plans for single-family homes than for any other type of real state. By sticking with single-family homes in your own area, you can ease into real estate investing and further minimize your risks. The main reason why most people think about investing in real estate elsewhere is because of the grass is always greener on the other side of the fence mentality. They want to chase a hot booming real estate market somewhere else. The problem with this strategy is the hot market will always cool down, which means you can chase hot markets all over the country and never get there in time. One day the hot market might be San Diego...a few months later it might be Phoenix, and the next time it could be Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania.

Chasing a hot market is a complicated and risky strategy. That's why I always emphasize to my readers and students that making money in every real estate cycle is much better than chasing hot markets in other parts of the country. Once you understand how you can make money with real estate whether the market is hot or cold, you'll know that you can make money right your own neighborhood - and you can make it right now.

Real estate isn't just an investment; it's a wealth-building strategy that lets you leverage your money -- or lack thereof -- to gain the advantages of a higher-priced investment at a fraction of its actual cost.

In fact, I believe that real estate is the best investment option available. It allowed me, a regular a small town guy with only a high school education, starting with no money, to live a life I once only dreamed of. I've seen it work for hundreds of people who have followed my step-by-step real estate investing plans. It changed their lives from ones of despair and pessimism, to ones of hope and optimism.

If this tip on finding the right place to start investing has opened your eyes to possibilities available near you, I invite you to read and learn more on just how simple it can be to take this from an explanation, to an achievement in my book Be A Real Estate Millionaire: Secret Strategies for Lifetime Wealth Today.

Click Here to Read More About The Book

The book will give you all the tools you need to get started. You just have to take some action. In it I tell you every secret I know because I sincerely want you to take action to improve your financial future. Hey, who knows...your first deal could be just weeks away

Author's Bio: 

Dean started his real estate investing career at the early age of 18, when he purchased a run-down apartment building and renovated it into a profitable piece of property. From that beginning, Dean grew his real estate properties to be worth millions of dollars. Dean is still an active investor and author of two books: Think a Little Differently and Be A Real Estate Millionaire: Secret Strategies for Lifetime Wealth Today. He is passionate about telling people the straight truth about how to properly invest and profit from real estate, and tells them in a way that makes it simple enough for anyone to follow.