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Creative Real Estate Investing

With a job that paid $3.40 an hour, I saved $5,000. I used $3,500 of it to buy my first piece of real estate - 2 acres near where I lived. As you can guess, this was many years ago.

A few hours removing brush, and it was ready to sell. I hand-painted a sign, and two weeks later sold the land for $4,750, with $250 down, $100 per month, at 11% interest. With the capital gain, my annual return on investment was over 20%. Not bad, for my first time investing in real estate.

Creative Investing Means Solving Problems

I bought the land a little under market, because the seller needed fast cash. Problem one solved. I sold the land a little over market value because the buyers needed easy terms. Problem two solved. Creative real estate investing is about solving problems.

Radio stations and others need hill tops for their towers, but can't tie up their capital. One creative investor got options on hill top properties for a few hundred dollars, then found those who needed them, and signed long term leases. With the leases in hand, it was easy to get financing to buy the properties. He invested a few hundred dollars to create years of income.

Lumber mills need trees. A friend of mine helped solve this problem by letting a company cut trees on his small property. They paid him $4,500, and you know what? I couldn't see the difference when they were done. The property is residential, and was worth as much the day after the cut as the day before. He lived there, but a creative investor could buy property like his, sell half the trees, maybe clay or gravel too, and then re-sell the land.

What do people need? Easy terms? Cleared lots? Lumber? Better access to a piece of property? Smaller pieces of land? Condos instead of apartments? The list goes on. When you think creative real estate investing, think problem solving.

Steve Gillman has invested real estate for years. To learn more, and to see a photo of a beautiful house he and his wife bought for $17,500, visit

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