You remember the Great Recession, right? How could you forget it?
If you owned a home, for example, you most likely saw its value plummet. You may have been lucky enough to purchase a home back then.
If you did, you may have seen your equity soar the past few years. In fact, depending on where you live, your home's value may be twice what it was back in 2008 or 2009.
We have a tip for you that might help you see an almost-immediate bump in your home's equity. Of course, we cannot promise a big financial return - there are too many factors in play.
But we can point you to an investment opportunity that has proven to be a massive windfall for many wealthy people. We're talking about foreclosures.
These are homes that you can purchase, often at below-market prices. The previous owners were unable to keep up payments so the mortgage lender essentially repossessed the house.
The good news is that a foreclosure can be a source of income for you if you fix it up and sell it for a profit. Or, if you have low mortgage payments, you could rent it out for another income source.
Here's where we can help. There aren't nearly as many foreclosures as there were a few years ago.
However, there are opportunities out there. Here are sites we use to track down foreclosures, government-owned properties and distressed properties. Are you ready?
Websites to check
You've probably heard about popular websites like Zillow, Trulia and Realtor.com. They have become so commonplace that it's easy to under-appreciate them.
But just think back a few years ago. You drove around neighborhoods, for example, for hours if you were looking to rent or buy a home.
You drove around and called the phone number on the real estate sign. You could spend a whole day doing that only to get this response, "Sorry, it's already sold."
These days, sites like Zillow do all that work for you. There are maps, so you can zero in on your preferred neighborhood or school district. You can see prices and loads of photos.
But did you know you can also look for foreclosures and other distressed properties? On Zillow, highlight Listing Type and then put a checkmark next to foreclosure.
How did we get by before search engines like Google? These days, if you're trying to figure something out, you either type in a search or speak it like, "Foreclosures in 60601."
But there are other sites with searchable databases that are designed to help you find a foreclosure and other bank-owned properties. There are FREE options and others that charge a fee.
For FREE, check out sites like Equator. Just type in your ZIP code or city and the site will find you distressed properties.
Other sites like Foreclosure.com and RealtyTracREO charge a fee. Typically, though, these paid databases offer free trials.
Government Owned Homes
Sadly, the government sometimes ends up owning a person's house. For instance, if a homeowner with no heirs dies, the government will likely take possession of the home.
That's a potentially huge opportunity for you. The government, generally speaking, doesn't like being a landlord.
So, there's a good chance they'll try to unload these homes for however much money they can get. The great news for you is that there are sites like HomePath, HUD.gov and Treasury.gov for IRS-owned properties.
Note: Foreclosures are often sold as is, meaning the owner will not repair anything prior to giving you the keys.
Make easy money by renting a room in your house
Have you heard of the Gig Economy? We're living in this incredible era right now. The idea is simple. Instead of going to a 9-to-5 job every day, you make money when you need it, however you can make it. Some people drive Uber cars or rent rooms to vacationers on Airbnb. Either way, you're making money in a way that wasn't possible a few years ago.