A Gambler's Guide to Investing in Las Vegas Real Estate

I began investing in Las Vegas real estate only months before the economic recession hit. My investment properties were originally intended for use as house flipping; a practice I had been successful with in California and Washington. Once the banks started collapsing, the real estate market came to a screeching halt and I was stuck with two Vegas houses in the midst of repair.The only way to break even with the Las Vegas real estate was to complete repairs and offer the houses as rentals. The first year was a nightmare. It took months to locate suitable tenants and neither was willing to pay the amount I needed. I had to decide if I was willing to take a financial loss or hope to find tenants who could afford the rental rate. I chose to accept less and hope for the best.

Three years later, I am still incurring a loss on the Vegas homes. At the time I was fortunate enough to buy those properties with cash and have been able to retain tenants who pay their rent on time. Additionally, I have a diversified portfolio of properties located along the West Coast which help offset losses. Otherwise, there is a strong probability I’d be facing foreclosure.

Currently, Las Vegas is a tough market to generate positive cash flow through real estate investments. However, if investors can afford to buy houses with cash and consistently retain good tenants, they can generate positive cash flow until market conditions change.

A …