Risk is an unavoidable component of any investment. Even a CD from your bank carries risk because inflation can erode returns, and if inflation exceeds your interest rate, you will lose purchasing power. If you’re new to real estate investing, don’t be swayed by high projected returns. The real estate market has some unique risks that can bite you but are manageable if you are aware of them. Comprehension of risks is critical for making sound investment decisions. Here are 7 real estate risks to keep your money safe!
Nobody can deny that real estate investing is among the best ways to make money and accumulate wealth. There are numerous advantages to purchasing and owning investment properties and garnering passive rental income. However, while owning a rental property is a reasonably safe investment, not each real estate investor can expect to be successful in this competitive market.
There are a few risks associated with real estate investing that the property investor (whether experienced or new) ought to be cognizant of and learn to avoid to find the best property and prosper in the business. Do not miss Techniques for Risk Management in Real Estate Investments.
What Exactly Are Real Estate Risks?
Real estate risk can be defined as the uncertainty in attaining the investor’s expected return on the property purchased. This risk is multifaceted and can be attributed to global, national, provincial, local market, and property-specific factors. All of these variables can and may influence the rental income and value of a property, and thus the investor’s return.
So, What Are The 7 Risks In Real Estate Investments?
Any type of investing necessitates that you, the investor, know the implications vs the returns, and real estate is no exception. Here are a few key risks to consider when assessing a real estate offering before dedicating your hard-earned money.
- Leverage Risk: The more borrowing on an investment, the riskier it is, and the higher the return investors should demand. Leverage is a force multiplier: when things are going well, it can transfer a project forward and boost returns; however, when a project’s loans are stressed – typically when the return on assets isn’t sufficient to cover interest payments – investors frequently lose quickly and significantly.
- Structural Risk: No investment is invulnerable to structural risk. Systemic risk is the same as structural risk. These are external market risks that will have an impact on an entire industry. A COVID-style eviction moratorium is a structural risk in real estate investment because it impacted all landlords. Most risks can be controlled or minimized, but this is much more difficult.
- Vacancy Risk: Purchasing an investment property does not assure 100% occupancy and easy money. In real estate investing, there is a chance of high vacancy, which poses a significant risk to rental income and can result in negative cash flow. Furthermore, because tenants are the prime source of rental income in real estate investing, vacancy is a significant risk for real estate investors who rely on rental income to cover their mortgage, insurance, property taxes, and other expenses.
- Asset-Level Risk: Each investment bears some risk. Because there is always a requirement for apartments in bad and good economic times, multifamily properties are less risky and thus generate low returns. Commercial spaces are much less delicate than malls to consumers’ demand, whereas hotels pose far more risk than apartments due to their short, different seasons stays and dependence on tourism travel and business.
- Market Risk: Every market experiences ups and downs that are related to the economy, rate of interest, rising prices, or other market dynamics. Market shocks cannot be avoided, but investors can hedge their bets against them with a diverse portfolio and a strategy based on general market conditions. Market risk in real estate can refer to a variety of factors. There is market risk associated with the value of your investment. Housing values were falling in 2008 when the financial world was collapsing. Investors quickly found themselves underwater, meaning they owed more than the house was worth, making it nearly impossible to protect themselves. When you merge that with a higher monthly payment than you can get in tenancy, you’re looking directly into the eye of the storm. Concerning rent, this is the second component of market risk. If you own real estate as an investment, you are most likely renting it out to generate income. Rental rates and vacancy rates fluctuate. Understanding that you may be required to reduce your rent is critical when weighing your options. Interest rate risk arises when interest rates rise or fall. With a fixed-rate loan, you transfer that risk to the lender. If you have an adjustable-rate loan, you may be vulnerable to rising interest rates. In that case, your payments may increase, decreasing cash flow.
- Idiosyncratic Risk: When you are overly focused on an asset class or, in the case of real estate, a specific area, you are exposing yourself to idiosyncratic risk. This risk indicates that you are vulnerable to external risks that may affect a specific investment. For example, if you had a large stake in San Francisco, you were probably more affected by COVID and the fires. Idiosyncratic risk is unique to a specific property. The greater the risk, the greater the reward. Construction, for instance, will increase the risk of a project by limiting the ability to collect rental income during this time. Investors suspect more risks besides just construction risks when building from scratch. There is also the risk that government entities with authority over a venture will fail to issue the regulatory permits to permit the venture to proceed; environmental risks ranging from pollution to soil contamination; unexpected costs; and other factors like workforce and political risks. Another risk factor is also location. Idiosyncratic risks are defined as risks unique to the property and its business plan.
- Liquidity Risk: The ease of accessing the money in an investment is liquidity. One hazard of real estate investing is that property investments are illiquid, which means they are difficult to convert into cash. Selling a property is neither quick nor easy, and attempting to sell quickly or under pressure will almost certainly result in a loss on your investment. Because of the lack of liquidity, real estate investors are made to keep their investments for longer than other types of investments, which is costly for those who may require quick access to cash if necessary. Before purchasing, it is necessary to consider the market depth and how one will exit the investment. In a city like Houston, irrespective of market conditions, an investor can anticipate dozens of buyers to turn up at the bidding table. But, a property in Evansville, Indiana, may not have nearly the same number of market players, making it simple to get into the investment but difficult to get out.
Real estate investment success is dependent on the ability to assess risks. Even though real estate is a great investment with lower risk than many alternatives, it is not without risk. Enter with your eyes wide open and seek advice on project analysis from other investors you trust. We’re also available to bounce ideas off of if you get stuck on something. Collaboration keeps us all safer.
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