Allieu, just be careful of any gurus that promote themselves as the leading expert in taking would-be investor's money- uhh- I mean teaching people how to invest in apartments. Some are successful and have actually sold properties for a profit, some have not. Many have good information to share but there is no Golden Ticket.
Go to amazon.com and search on multifamily and apartments- buy the books and read them- that is a good start. Crunch numbers on every deal that comes out on loopnet in the area that you are targeting and that is in your budget range or even a little outside of it. Talk to brokers, lenders, other investors. Get the real owner's numbers on deals and create a database of actual reported income and expenses for your target area, age of property, location, mechanical configuration, and type of build. Categorize them and know them well. Don't rely on broker proforma numbers, many are still waiting for those numbers to come true years after their purchase.
I spent two years learning and looking before I closed on my first property. I thought I was ready and in hindsight I think I was but I learned more in the first year of actually doing it then I could have learned in 20 studying it from the outside. The point is that you need to educate yourself first, get comfortable with your market, and then get serious about an actual purchase. I strongly suggest investing locally if you are going to do it alone, otherwise invest with a local operator that has a good track record. I read at least 10-12 trade magazines a month even today, almost 9 years later.
Good luck with your investing.
Sep 15, 2009