Investing in real estate is a great way to diversify your portfolio, generate income, and take advantage of unique tax benefits. Learn the basics of real estate investing here.

Frequently Asked Questions
  • How do I invest in real estate?

    While purchasing a rental or commercial property is a great way to generate income, not many people have the cash available to do so. Real estate investment trusts (REITs) are publicly traded investment vehicles that offer retail investors real estate exposure without having to put forth a down payment or be a landlord. There are also various online real estate crowdfunding investment opportunities, real estate investment groups (REIGs), and avenues to rent properties you already own such as Airbnb.

  • What is a Real Estate Investment Trust (REIT)?

    A real estate investment trust (REIT) is a company that owns, operates, or finances income-generating real estate. These companies allow clients to invest in office buildings and rental properties, which are generally not feasible for individual investors to purchase directly. You can invest in REITs—as well as REIT mutual funds and REIT ETFs—by purchasing shares through a broker.

  • What is real estate wholesaling?

    Real estate wholesaling is a business venture in which the wholesaler acts like an intermediary, selling the property on behalf of the property owner and keeping the profit. The wholesaler doesn’t actually purchase the property, instead, they are afforded the right to sell the property on behalf of the owner for an amount of time determined by the contract.

  • Is flipping houses an easy way to make money?

    While flipping houses can in fact be a lucrative endeavor, it requires a lot of research, up-front capital, time, and patience. Flipping houses also requires hard labor skills to improve the home’s value. If you aren’t adept at handiwork, you will need to pay a professional to do the renovations and repairs, further reducing the odds of making a substantial profit on your investment.

Key Terms

Explore Real Estate Investing

Real Estate
Real Estate: Definition, Types, How to Invest in It
Directly below view of modern office buildings in Manhattan Fincancial District, New York, USA
Real Estate Investment Trust (REIT): How They Work and How to Invest
10 Good Habits of Successful Real Estate Investors
Suburban street new row houses.
Investing in Property Tax Liens
Businessman as a property agent or investor calculating return on investment from real estate
How To Calculate ROI on a Rental Property
9 Things to Know About Homeowner Associations
Buyers at a real estate auction
Should You Buy a House at Auction?
Couple kneel to place "sold" banner on house "for sale" sign.
The Ins and Outs of Seller-Financed Real Estate Deals
House With American Flag and 'For Sale' Sign, Low Angle View
Here Are the FHA's Minimum Property Standards
Top 5 Facts About Quitclaim Deeds
Online mortgage application form
What Is PMI and Does Everyone Need to Pay It?
Real Estate vs. Real Property: What's the Difference?
Woman removing old tiles, renovating the bathroom.
How Capital Improvements Can Soften a Tax Bite
Commercial Real Estate Definition and Types
Crane lifting metal work on constriction site
Construction Loan
What Does It Mean to Be Financially Delinquent?
Homeowner Association Blocks
What Is a Homeowner Association (HOA)?
Real estate agent showing house to a couple
How a Real Estate Agent Differs From a Real Estate Broker
Two businesspeople shaking hands in front of shared real estate property.
Tenancy In Common (TIC) Explained: How It Works and Compared to Joint Tenancy
Key in front door
Earnest Money: What It Is and How Much It Is in Real Estate
Building with Coldwell Banker sign on it.
How to Find Your Return on Investment (ROI) in Real Estate
House hunting
REIT vs. Real Estate Fund: What’s the Difference?
Cash-on-Cash Yield Definition
A main street in Madrid, Spain. Full of cars, people. and businesses.
Buying a House on a Main Road: Pros and Cons
Home Savings Money
What's the Difference Between Real Estate and Stock Investments?
Rental Properties: Pros and Cons
Top House-Hunting Mistakes
real estate agent and buyer standing in front of for sale sign
Is a Career in Real Estate Right For You?
New house under construction
New Homes Can Burn Buyers With Hidden Costs
Business Woman Thinking Account
Has Real Estate or the Stock Market Performed Better Historically?
House with “Sold” sign in yard
What Is a Gift of Equity?
Percentage sign drawn with a sparkler
The One Percent Rule Determines Base Rent on Investment Property
Opcos: What You Need to Know
House key in the door
How to Use the Price-to-Rent Ratio
New homes under construction for sale by owner
8 Reasons to Choose a Real Estate Agent Over "For Sale By Owner"
Commercial Real Estate Loan
man working in computer
What Is Section 1231 Gain?
A young couple viewing flat with estate agent.
Key Reasons to Invest in Real Estate
The word Values
Terminal Capitalization Rate: What You Need to Know
Financial Advisor Planning With Clients at Office
Understanding Right of First Offer
House Placed on Coins
Capitalization Rate
stack of one hundred dollars notes
Hard Money Loan Definition
Cash Available for Distribution (CAD) Definition
Average Annual Returns for Long-Term Investments in Real Estate
House Reflecting On Soap Bubble
What Is a Housing Bubble?
Property for sale
5 Mistakes That Can Make House Flipping a Flop
Confident smiling realtor giving house keys to couple
How Do Real Estate Agents Get Paid?
Consultant talking to family at home
Home Sale Contingencies for Buyers and Sellers
Multi-Family Housing Construction
An Introduction to Buying a Condominium
Roommates in Their Apartment in the Morning
Housing Cooperatives: A Unique Type of Home Ownership
condos on blue sky background
Should You Buy a Condo, Townhouse, or House?
Real estate agent greeting couple at house
Understanding Property Deeds
Foreclosure sign, real estate
Real Estate Owned (REO)
Business people reviewing paperwork in modern lobby
Appraisal Management Company (AMC) Definition
House keys and contract on table in house rental
IRS Publication 527
Real estate
How Interest Rates Affect Property Values
Modern apartment building in Warsaw, Poland
How to Assess a Real Estate Investment Trust (REIT) Using FFO/AFFO
Buying a House With Tenants: A Quick Guide
How to Get a Loan to Flip a House
Top Determinants of a Home's Value

Alternative Investments