You can not be successful in anything without an effective plan. This is the same principal that you have to apply when it comes to investing in real estate. We have highlighted a few ways that you can use to get started.If you do not already own a home then that is a great place to start. With the current economic downturn many feel that one requires a good credit score and a lot of money for them to be able to get a mortgage for a house. Talking to a financial advisor may surprise you.The connection between home owners and real estate investorsIn the world of real estate, any home owner would automatically be classed as a real estate investor. Buying and owning a home is always referred to as real estate investing. Seeing that you have bought the house for what ever reason, whether it is to live in or sell for a profit, due to the market your house price would increase in value over a long period of time. This is seen as a real estate investment. Others may even want to buy a house to simply out it back up on rent. What ever reason you buy a house for, it will be classed as being a real estate investment.If you decide to put it up on rent, you always have the option of breaking the mortgage between yourself and the tenants. This simply means that you do not have to pay for all the equity your self.The way to beginThe traditional way is to start of by buying a home. Then simply save money while living in the house to look at a property that they can invest in. We are going to look at possible ways you can skip those saving years.1. Refinance – If the value of your house has increased since the last time it was bought, then it is a good idea to refinance your house. That simply means that you will get a payout of the extra difference in your house value. You can use this for a great investment opportunity.2. Move – Another possibility is to simply buy your very first home and then to rent it out. As long as you have a good credit rating, you shouldn’t have any problems.3. Sell and then move – You can simply sell your existing home and then by two cheaper homes; one to live in and the other to rent out or sell.4. Buy a second home – Another great option is to buy another home, preferably a holiday home that can be refinanced so that the money can be used.There are many ways to make money in the real estate business. All you need to do is have a good plan of action.