Buying a house is best way you can create immediate equity. Gaining equity through buying a house is something which is very easy to do, as long as you follow these guidelines.
If you are seeking to buy a house under discount value you must have right mindset:
"The deal of a decade comes along about once a week" - Dolf De Roos, Real estate investor.
Houses being sold below market value are out there, its just a matter of knowing where to look and buying strategies you use.
So where can I find houses being sold for a discount?
Find motivated sellers. Some examples of these sellers are people who have experienced death, divorce, bankruptcy, less intelligent, people who have deadlines, and are developers.
When bankrupt an individual will have option of selling their house to a third party, most likely at a cheaper price than market value because they need money fast. If an Individual is bankrupt and bank is creditor, bank will take asset (the house) and have a foreclosure sale. You will often find a cheap price there as well.
Although this may seem like profiting of someone else's misery, its not really. If house is not included in persons will, it must be sold, someone has to buy it. If deeds to property are transferred to someone else there is often a good chance they will not want to hold onto it and want to sell it quickly.
When couple breaks up things often get nasty and they both want to be separated as soon as possible. They will often settle on selling their house for a lower price but quickly.
Sometimes people are selling properties with out help of a real estate agent and will not know exact value of their house. They will usually price their houses too high because of emotional attachment to it. On flip side they might be ignorant of real market value and sell it for less than its worth.
Often best place to find deals. People with deadlines need to sell their property quickly. They may be going overseas or need money fast. Almost all people with deadlines will sell their houses at a discount.
In some circumstances property developers may have over extended themselves on a project and need to cut their loses. You can pick up discount houses from their mistakes.
Always ask why house is being sold so you can determine whether seller is motivated or not.
Great places to look are under classified section in newspaper, look for things like "Urgent" or "Heavily reduced". What I love about ads under classified section is that real estate agents are not often involved. This is good because real estate agents will often try to push up price of a property so it is above market value. People without real estate agents often do not know true market value of their property.
Just because there isn't a "For Sale" sign on a house does not mean home owner would not sell for right offer. Although chances of finding someone to sell there house through this method aren't very high, you can find great deals by making offers that a home owner might just take.