Othman el Ballouti Shares 5 Tips for Getting Started in Real Estate in a Down Economy

During a recession, many first-time investors can feel wary about embracing a new economic opportunity. However, failure to act is often a mistake that removes years of potential return from an investor’s financial future. Othman el Ballouti, a real estate expert, advises opting into real estate investment in a down economy is a relatively safe option, particularly when the investor is prudent while locating new properties.

Find more safe options in real estate

Othman el Ballouti reports real estate investment, particularly in fairly valued properties, can be insulated from more regular market fluctuations. Real estate can also be purchased with the same retirement products traditionally used to invest in the stocks, such as IRAs and 401(k) plans, and are entitled to the tax advantages with each plan as long as the funds stay within the financial instrument.

Realize shelter is essential

One reason real estate is fairly safe during a recession is shelter is always a need and a priority for people. There is a consistent demand for residential real estate and rentals, and recessions may frequently drive more people to rent as they wait for a better economic climate to explore homeownership. While diversifying the portfolio is always important, Othman el Ballouti reports, a solid investment in residential properties is a great place to start in a recession.

Seek out bargains

When the economy takes a downward turn, it can often correct high real estate prices, particularly overinflated prices based on demand versus actual home value. First-time investors should look for fairly valued properties, even if they need a little elbow grease before becoming rentals or a flip, and always jump on bargains to realize the benefits of a real estate portfolio as quickly as possible.

Look for options to maintain cash flow

Grabbing bargain properties makes it possible for real estate gurus to increase their portfolio while maintaining something very important — cash flow. With a solid investment, the rental income each month can cover the mortgage and the cost of any improvements while still providing a return in cash. Having a property pay for itself is amazing, but it’s even better when it adds to the bottom line as soon as possible, Othman el Ballouti reports.

Diversify smartly

While residential rentals are one of the safest places to stash real estate investment funds during an economic downturn, it’s still a good idea to look for other areas to invest in. If a prudent commercial real estate deal presents itself, don’t hesitate to take it, and also review commercial options outside business leases. Other types of units, such as self-storage, can be hot tickets whether the economy is booming or shrinking at a given time. Find multiple profitable revenue streams within real estate to make a portfolio truly recession-proof.


What You Need to Know About Selling Your Home Without an Agent

Selling a home can be an incredibly daunting task. From finding the right buyer to negotiating the best price, many steps and pitfalls must be navigated. It’s no wonder many home sellers turn to real estate agents for help. But what if you don’t want to use an agent? Selling your home without one—a process called “for sale by owner”—isn’t out of the question. However, it comes with some risks you should consider before deciding. Let’s take a look at what those risks are.

Legal Risk

When selling your home without an agent, you’re not just responsible for finding buyers and negotiating prices; you’re also responsible for understanding and adhering to local real estate laws. Depending on where you live, those laws could involve a lot of paperwork—from disclosure forms and contracts to deed transfers. Missing or filling out these documents incorrectly could lead to costly legal fees. Make sure you understand all the applicable laws before taking on this responsibility yourself.

Time Risk

The most obvious advantage of hiring a real estate agent is that they will handle all the work associated with selling your home to you—from marketing and advertising your listing to fielding inquiries from potential buyers. When selling without an agent, however, all this work falls squarely on your shoulders; it takes up time that could be spent doing something else (like searching for your next place!). If you don’t have enough free time in your schedule or don’t think you’ll have the energy to tackle such a large project solo, then perhaps working with an agent is the better option.

Price Risk

Real estate investor Othman el Ballouti warns potential sellers that real estate agents know how much homes in certain areas typically sell for; they can use this knowledge to ensure that you get full market value for your property when it comes time to negotiate with buyers. However, without an agent’s expertise in tow, sellers often leave money on the table or price their homes too high — both of which can hurt their chances of getting their desired sale price. Make sure you research comparable properties before deciding how much money you want for yours!


Selling without an agent may seem like the simplest way forward when it comes time to put your house on the market — but it isn’t as straightforward as it seems! Before taking on this task alone, ensure you understand all the potential risks associated with going “for sale by owner,” including legal, time, and price risks. With careful consideration and plenty of research into local real estate laws and trends in comparable properties in your area, however, selling without an agent can certainly be done — make sure it’s right for you first!