How To Invest In Real Estate In 2024 [12 Simple Ways]

Updated On: 09/02/2023 is reader-supported. When you buy via links on our site, we may earn an affiliate commission at no cost to you.

So, you've decided to dive into the world of property investment but are unsure about how to invest in real estate.

Don't worry, you're not alone. Many Americans like yourself are interested in owning a piece of the property market but find the process overwhelming.

The good news is it's not as complicated as it might seem and essentially boils down to understanding some key principles.

We've all heard that real estate can be a lucrative investment strategy. However, without the right knowledge and tools, your venture into real estate can turn from potential profits to unnecessary pitfalls in no time.

Finding the right strategies to navigate this terrain is pivotal in fulfilling your investment ambitions.

We'll walk you through some insightful strategies and provide tips that will place you on the path toward becoming a successful real estate investor.

How to Invest in Real Estate in 12 Simple Steps

Real estate investment is a proven wealth-building strategy. It involves navigating various avenues to locate profitable ventures, which can appear overwhelming initially.

Yet, fear not, as this guide will reveal the top twelve ways to invest in real estate and highlight their benefits.

Buy Rental Properties

Buy Rental Properties

Investing in rental properties is a strategy that involves purchasing residential homes or apartments and leasing them out to tenants.

When you own a rental property, you become a landlord and receive income from your tenants' rent payments.

This method requires upfront capital for purchasing properties but can generate significant long-term returns. It’s an ideal strategy for steady cash flow and long-term wealth accumulation.

Being technologically savvy can help you in this endeavor, too; an array of digital tools can aid in management tasks, from rent collection to maintenance requests, making property management even more effortless.


  • Steady income stream from rental payments
  • Potential for property appreciation over time
  • Ability to leverage tax deductions related to property ownership

Invest in Real Estate Investment Trusts (REITs)

If you're interested in getting involved with real estate but don't want the responsibility of owning and managing physical properties, investing in Real Estate Investment Trusts (REITs) may be the right fit for you.

REITs are companies that own or finance income-producing real estate across a range of sectors - everything from shopping malls to apartments and offices. This allows investors to invest in profitable real estate properties without buying them outright.

Moreover, REITs are traded on major stock exchanges like traditional stocks, providing liquidity that owning physical real estate does not.


  • Opportunity to earn dividends from profits
  • No need for direct management or ownership of properties
  • Provides diversification by investing across different types of real estate properties
  • Liquid investment that can be bought or sold through stock exchanges

Flip Houses

Flip Houses

House flipping involves purchasing a property at a lower price, renovating it, and then selling it for a profit.

This real estate investment strategy requires understanding the housing market and renovation costs to ensure that the resale price covers the initial purchase and renovation expenses, yielding a profit.

It's advisable to start with smaller projects, gradually taking on larger renovations as your skills and confidence grow.

House flippers must also be prepared for unexpected costs along the way; every house flip has unique challenges.

To succeed in house flipping, you must stay updated on neighborhood trends, know about home repairs, or collaborate with trusted contractors.


  • Significant profit potential in a short timeframe
  • Acquisition of valuable project management skills
  • Opportunity to apply creativity and vision in improving properties

Purchase Commercial Real Estate

Commercial real estate is property used exclusively for business purposes. Investing in commercial real estate involves purchasing spaces like office buildings, shopping centers, and warehouses and leasing them to businesses.

This investment generally provides higher returns since commercial tenants often enter into longer lease agreements than residential renters. Thus, commercial leases create lasting income stability compared to their residential counterparts.

However, investing in commercial real estate does require substantial upfront capital and detailed knowledge of business trends; nevertheless, it can be gratifying.


  • Potential for high financial returns
  • Long-term lease agreements providing ongoing income stability
  • Less tenant turnover than residential properties
  • Valuable tax deductions related to depreciation

Invest In Real Estate Crowdfunding

Invest In Real Estate Crowdfunding

Real Estate Crowdfunding is an innovative way to invest in real estate that doesn't involve buying property outright. It essentially pools money from several investors to finance a real estate project or purchase properties.

Platforms that facilitate these investments typically offer two types: equity investments and debt investments.

Equity investments imply owning a share of the property and receiving a portion of the rental income plus appreciation when the property is sold.

On the other hand, debt investments involve loaning money for property acquisition or development while earning interest on the loaned amount.

Real Estate Crowdfunding gives investors access to high-quality institutional real estate projects previously out of reach due to high entry costs.


  • Lower entry costs than traditional forms of real estate investment
  • Access to a wide variety of both local and international markets
  • Diversification across different types of projects
  • Passive investment - no need for active management

Buy Vacation Rental Properties

If you love travel or have a favorite vacation destination, investing in vacation rental properties may be a fantastic fit for you.

By purchasing a property in a popular holiday location, you can make it available for short-term rentals to tourists and vacationers.

Websites like Airbnb or VRBO make it easier than ever to rent out your property when you don't need it.

Running a vacation rental comes with its own set of challenges. The rental market is seasonal, with more management tasks like frequent cleanings and guest communications.

However, if the property is in a high-demand area, it can generate substantial revenue during peak seasons.


  • Opportunity to own property in desirable locations
  • Potential for higher income from short-term rentals
  • Personal use during off-peak times
  • Tax deductions on expenses related to rental activity

Invest in Real Estate Partnerships

Invest in Real Estate Partnerships

Investing in real estate partnerships can be an effective way to start investing without needing substantial capital upfront.

By teaming up with one or more partners, you pool your resources together and share the risk and responsibility of the investment.

Partnerships can work differently depending on the agreement - some partners may contribute capital while others offer their time and expertise in managing properties. However, like all partnerships, they require trust and open communication.


  • Allows for more significant investments with pooled resources
  • Different partners bring different skills to the table
  • Risks and responsibilities are shared among partners
  • Profit share according to contribution

Develop Raw Land

Raw land investing involves purchasing undeveloped land with plans for development down the line.

This investment requires considerable vision as you’re neither buying pre-existing structures nor expecting immediate returns.

The aim is to increase land value through planning permissions or infrastructure development for sale or lease later.

This strategy requires patience as returns might not be immediate but can be rewarding.

Caution is required, though: developing raw land requires navigating zoning laws, obtaining permits, and paying property taxes – all before development begins!


  • Opportunity for significant long-term growth
  • Lower competition compared to finished properties
  • Flexibility on potential developments
  • Lower cost acquisition compared to developed properties

Invest in Real Estate Mutual Funds

Invest in Real Estate Mutual Funds

Real estate mutual funds are an excellent choice for those seeking diversification without the need to analyze each property individually.

They combine the advantages of both real estate and mutual funds. These funds pool resources from multiple investors to buy a diversified portfolio of real estate-related securities, such as REITs or real estate sector stocks.

Your investment in real estate mutual funds can lead to passive income through dividends, but remember, it's essential to do your due diligence and understand their management style, underlying holdings, expenses, and historical performance before investing any capital.


  • Offers a diversified portfolio that reduces risks compared to owning single properties.
  • It is managed by professional managers who make buying and selling decisions.
  • No need for direct management or ownership of properties.
  • Provides liquidity as they can be bought or sold on any trading day.

Purchase Real Estate Through Tax Liens

Suppose you are seeking an unconventional yet potentially profitable investment strategy. In that case, you might consider purchasing real estate through tax liens. The government imposes these on properties with unpaid taxes.

When homeowners fail to pay their property taxes, local governments auction off these tax lien certificates to investors willing to pay the owed taxes.

As an investor in tax lien certificates, you would receive payments from homeowners regarding interest rates established at the auction until they clear their debts.

And if the homeowner defaults on repaying the debt within a fixed timeline (usually between six months and three years), you could end up owning their property outright – often at a fraction of its market value.

Though high return potential exists in this strategy, it also carries significant risks. Bidding on tax liens requires plenty of valuable market research regarding property assessments and homeowner reliability.


  • It is possible to obtain properties at significantly below-market prices.
  • Advanced research minimizes risk since all relevant data about lien holders is public information.
  • High interest rates provide potential returns even if investors do not own the property outright.
  • Tax-lien-backed securities offer strong protection even during economic downfalls because they claim priority over any other debt attached to the property.

Invest in Real Estate Syndications

Invest in Real Estate Syndications

Real estate syndication is a strategy that lets individual investors pool their resources to invest in properties much more significant than they could afford or manage on their own.

Usually, a key player or sponsor handles the daily operations, while individual investors (limited partners) contribute capital and share in the profits.

These ventures can range from multi-unit residential complexes to retail centers, commercial buildings, and more.

The primary advantage of this approach is that it allows you to become part-owners of large-scale, high-return investment properties without worrying about hands-on management.

Understanding the syndication process, getting familiar with the agreements involved, and doing due diligence on potential sponsors are pivotal steps before diving into this real estate investment.


  • Access to significant real estate projects is usually meant for institutional investors.
  • Passive investment with no active property management duties
  • Potentially high returns from property appreciation and rental income
  • Capital gains when the property is sold

Buy Real Estate through a Self-Directed IRA

Traditional Individual Retirement Accounts (IRAs) allow investments in stocks and bonds, but did you know you can buy real estate through a Self-Directed IRA (SDIRA)?

Perhaps an underutilized strategy in real estate investing, buying through SDIRAs gives you greater control over your investment choices. SDIRAs offer a more comprehensive range of asset options – including real estate.

This way, instead of institutional entities determining where your money should be invested, you’d control where every penny goes.

A self-directed IRA functions like traditional IRAs but allows alternative investments like property purchases. Plus, all profits return to your IRA, providing tax-advantaged growth.

It’s crucial to understand IRS rules around prohibited transactions and disqualified persons to maintain the tax advantages of your SDIRA. Speaking with financial professionals or advisors is always a good idea before jumping in.


  • Greater control over your retirement investments
  • Diversification beyond stocks and bonds.
  • Tax-advantaged investing - Enjoy tax-deferred or tax-free growth based on the type of account.
  • Potential for higher returns - As usually seen with real estate investments.

FAQs About investing in real estate

How much money do I need to start real estate investing?

The amount varies based on the type of investment. For example, investing in REITs can start with a few hundred dollars, while buying property generally requires a more significant amount for a down payment.

Is real estate investing consistently profitable?

Real estate tends to appreciate and provide regular income over time, but it's not guaranteed. Market fluctuations, property location, and management affect profitability.

Do I need a real estate license to invest in properties?

No, a license isn't necessary for purchasing properties or investing in REITs or syndications.

Can I use my retirement savings to invest in real estate?

A Self-Directed IRA allows you to include real estate as part of your retirement investment portfolio.

What are the risks associated with real estate investments?

Key risks include property damage, vacancy periods affecting rental income, drops in property value due to market trends, and potential financial loss due to bad deals or mismanagement.


Real estate investing opens opportunities to diversify your income and build wealth over time.

As illustrated above, there are numerous strategies you could choose from, ranging from purchasing rental properties to buying properties through a self-directed IRA.

Yes, the process can be complex, but arming yourself with accurate knowledge and information can make it far less daunting.

Remember to do your homework on each potential investment, start small, and patiently grow your portfolio. Happy Investing!

Michael Restiano

I support product content strategy for Salt Money. Additionally, I’m helping develop content strategy and processes to deliver quality work for our readers.

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