Real estate is a great long-term investment, especially income producing real estate. The problem most people have when it comes to getting into real estate investments is acquiring the money to purchase real estate. The most common approach is to apply for a mortgage. The problem with this method is that the down payment can be substantial. For example a $100,000 home may need a down payment of 20% or $20,000. However, there are some strategies that can be used to purchase real estate with no money down. Assigning contracts, wholesaling real estate, and leasing with an option to buy are a few of the strategies possible.
Assigning contracts can be accomplished by placing an offer on a house and write up a contract on the property between you the buyer, and the seller of the home. Next you locate an investor who will be willing to purchase the property, so you assign the contract to the investor. The key here is to assign the contract for a sales price greater than what you negotiated with the buyer. So far example, you negotiate $100,000 offer to purchase with the buyer, and you negotiate an assignment of the contract to the investor for $110,000. At closing you will receive a check for $10,000.
Wholesaling property can be done if you have access to a hard money lender. The key here is to purchase the property at a discount. For example a $100,000 property you should offer to purchase for $70,000 or less. The hard money lender will supply 100% of the money to purchase and any fix up cost. Then you turn around and sell the property or refinance for a better rate and lease the property out.
The final strategy is leasing with an option to buy. What you do here is you negotiate a lease with an option to purchase with a homeowner, and then you turn around and sublease the home to a renter giving him an option to buy the property in 12-24 months on average.
So yes, you can invest in real estate with no money down.