RE/MAX Executive Realty



Posted by RE/MAX Executive Realty on 4/4/2021

Photo by Nattanan Kanchanaprat via Pixabay

Would you like to invest in real estate? To buy thousands of income-producing properties, from apartments to office buildings to industrial parks, all over the country or the world? It you’re wealthy, you might dispatch someone to travel far and wide and do just that, but even if you’re not rich you can participate. The tool that enables this is a Real Estate Investment Trust, or REIT.

What is a REIT?

A REIT uses its investors’ money to buy or finance real estate that produces income. It’s an investment in property rather than stocks or bonds. The profit it earns from leases and rents is distributed to investors. By law REITs must pay out 90 percent of this income to the shareholders, but 100 percent is more common.

Most REITS are Equity REITs, which directly own property. Mortgage REITs are indirect, investing in mortgages and mortgage-backed securities. Most REITs are publicly traded and listed on national exchanges. Some are private; these generally require a larger minimum investment.

REIT holdings include residential buildings, office space, industrial facilities, shopping centers, hotels, storage facilities and even data centers. A REIT may invest in one of these asset types or a mix of many.

There are also mutual funds that invest in REITs. Some are actively managed and others are Exchange Traded Funds (ETFs) that buy all REITs, or all REITs in specific categories, without trying to pick winners.

Are REITs a good investment?

REITs offer the benefits of owning rental property without the headaches, homework and personal risk. If you want to buy, say, an apartment building, you must evaluate the property, arrange financing, find renters, deal with tenants and building maintenance on a day-to-day basis and handle the accounting and taxes. If your investment turns sour you’re in for a big loss. With REITs, professionals do that work, and if one property loses money it’s offset by those that do well. Also, you can put as much or as little at risk as you want in a REIT. You can buy a small number of shares for a few thousand or even a few hundred dollars.

Historically, REITs have outperformed most other investments long-term. Average returns for the last 10, 20, 30 and 40 years have been comfortably over 10%. However, REITs are subject to the ups and downs of real estate and can be a loser in the short run. Generally the best time to buy a REIT is when the real estate market is at the bottom as opposed to when it’s nearing a crest. Of course, it’s difficult to know exactly when that is, so dollar cost averaging, i.e., buying regularly over time, is a good strategy.

REITs tend not to move up and down in lockstep with stocks and bonds, so they can have a balancing effect in a portfolio. Few would recommend making REITs the major part of your holdings, but they can be an important component of your investment strategy.





Posted by RE/MAX Executive Realty on 9/6/2020

Photo by Jonathan Rolande via Pixabay

Dipping your toes in the real estate investing waters can feel intimidating--especially when it comes to making a large up-front investment. Although there are ways to get started in real estate with lower up-front costs (low- or no-down payment VA and FHA loans, for instance), it's smart to have some savings to cushion your first year. Here are a few ways to find the money for your first investment property--even if you're operating on a shoestring budget. 

1. Make Some Sacrifices 

Think investing should be sacrifice-free? It's a thought popular with the Instagram philosophers of today--you know, just secure the right mindset and the money will follow. Unfortunately, real life--at least, the real estate investing life--doesn't work that way, especially at first. Cut back your discretionary spending and earmark it to begin your investment portfolio. Your side hustle might be the springboard you need to save up a down payment for your first property--if you're willing to do the work. Tighten your belt until you close on your first property, and you'll reap the rewards in the long-term. 

2. House Hack Your Existing Property 

Already own your home? Consider renting out a room, or setting it up as an AirBnB. If you have a partially-finished basement or mother-in-law suite, you could even renovate to create a true ADU (additional dwelling unit). Et voila! You're off and running as a real estate investor, improving your monthly cash flow scenario in a way that allows you to save for a larger investment down the road. 

3. Know Where Your Money is Going 

If you don't already have a budget, get one. No matter what system you use, you need a system--whether it's Dave Ramsey's envelope system, an online program like YNAB or Minted, or an Excel spreadsheet of your own design. It's also smart to talk to a financial advisor and/or accountant as you set goals and adjust your budget to fit your needs. No matter how much capital you are (or aren't) working with right now, an advisor can help make sure you're taking big strides in the right direction. 

You'll find that if you're dedicated to your goals, it's incredible how quickly you can stack up enough savings for a down payment on your first property. Impatient to get started? While you're saving, learn everything you can about the market in your area. The time you spend saving and educating yourself will change your life. 




Tags: property   Investment   Capital  
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