Real estate investing may be a lot of things, but it isn’t easy. At least that’s what a lot of people think.
Investing for short-term appreciation isn’t a good idea these days. If you buy property and hope for quick gains, you’re likely to be disappointed.
If you’re looking for long-term appreciation, you can buy a property. You need to purchase it at a reasonable price to allow room to pay for management fees. Or you can manage it yourself. The tenants are the wild card, aren’t they?
Commercial real estate is risky too, depending on the local market. So you are thinking about residential real estate. Managing it yourself may mean you are doing a lot of maintenance. And how do you find the right tenant? How do you create a lease? What you want is a stable situation with a tenant who stays a long time and keeps up the property. How do you get there?
A real-estate investment trust (REIT) is the real hands-free alternative. You simply purchase shares in a publicly traded fund that owns property, often commercial property, and possibly mortgages. When the stock market goes up, these funds tend to go down, and vice versa. This helps balance your holdings.
Like mutual funds, REIT funds must levy fees. The fees may cut into your profits, as owner. Instead, perhaps you would like to own a property outright.
What do you think of the idea of investing your money in a single-family house, to be rented out? You can choose the house from a variety of local sunbelt markets, and you can take advantage of negotiated relationships with property managers, insurers, and mortgage originators. All this at just five to 10 percent down on each house.
Using such a system, You can set up an investment with known costs, and then let the tenants pay off the mortgage for you. It’s a great way to start a college fund for your young child. All you will have to do is sell the house in 15 years and extract the equity.