Real estate investment clubsThey have names like "Capital City Wealth Builders" and "Millionaire Real Estate Investor," and they may offer you the best chance in these still uncertain economy times to get involved in the buying and selling of real estate. They are real estate investment clubs and they are dotted all across America.

With so much contradictory and plain out wrong information out there about real estate related issues, real estate investment clubs may offer a soothing harbor where you can meet like minded (not to mention economically competitive) people to share information with about local real estate deals.

There are websites where you can go to look up investment clubs nearest you, such as REIClub.com.
Typically, people don't join such clubs to find partners for investment purposes, though there is certainly no law against it and, in fact, you just may find someone who would make a perfect business partner for you.

More likely, as howstuffworks.com says, you'll seek out a real estate investment club to "gain knowledge about investment practices; get hot tips about available commercial or rental properties; become familiar with laws and regulations; get the advise of legal and financial professionals; and, to learn from guest speakers."

Of course, there are plenty of real estate investment clubs that do actively pursue rental properties on behalf of the club's members. That's why it is very important to check out as many of the clubs in your area as possible and not rush to join the very first club you happen to come upon.

According to Suite101.com, the initial investment in many real estate investment clubs is about $2,000 or $3,000 or so to join. The club hires a management team to deal with any properties purchased by the club.

Some questions you ought to ask before selecting a club, says Suite101.com are: How many members are in the club?; How often does the mentor give lectures?; Do the members have to participate in each sale?; How does each member get paid?

Keep in mind that while, as a member of a real estate investment club, your down payment on the rental property will be a fraction of what it would be had you gone it alone, your payoff as an investor will also be much, much smaller.

Charles Feldman is a journalist, media consultant and co-author of the book, "No Time To Think-The Menace of Media Speed and the 24-Hour News Cycle." He has written about real estate related issues for several years.

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