3 Ways to Invest in Commercial Real Estate
When the topic of real estate investing comes up, most people think of fix and flip opportunities. While that was once considered a valued method for building wealth, it’s certainly not the only way to get started in investing in real estate. By looking at several options, you may identify a method that best appeals to your skills and resources.
Directly Investing in Commercial Property
The fix and flip is starting to die out as people realize this isn’t the get rich quick scheme that television suggests. However, buying into a commercial property and holding onto it as a source of rental income is a legitimate way to make money in real estate
. It requires patience and commitment because it will require you to maintain the property in good condition. You will also have to manage tenants and ensure each unit is consistently providing income. If you have the time and passion to devote to a commercial rental property, this may be the investment for you.
Becoming a Limited Partner
As a limited partner, you invest capital into a commercial rental property, while allowing another partner to manage the day to day operations. While you may get a say in how major decisions are handled, you leave many of the operational decisions up to the general partner. You simply invest capital along with other investors and, in exchange, you own a percentage of the property. If you want the perks of real estate investing without having to get your hands dirty, this is one way to accomplish that goal.
Invest in an REIT
Also known as a real estate investment trust, an REIT is essentially nothing more than a mutual fund that invests in real property assets. Each REIT focuses on a certain type of asset, so you can choose a REIT that invests in commercial shopping centers or one that invests in multi-family homes. The benefits here are that you don’t have to devote much personal time to the investments, while the REIT diversifies your holdings to maximize your potential for growth.
These are a few of the most common ways to invest in real estate. As mentioned, each type of investment requires a different level of personal involvement. This may be one of the deciding factors in determining which type of investment is right for you. Alternatively, you may choose to try multiple types of real estate investments to maximize your earnings. Your personal tastes and needs will determine which strategy is best for you.
Airbnb is undoubtedly leading the way for the vacation rental ownership market
. Airbnb is a worldwide sensation with properties located in 190 countries. As of November of this year (2018), 640,000 people
have invested in and are hosts of an Airbnb property. As others see the popularity of the site and its competitors, many wonder if they should jump on board and invest in their own vacation rental property.
Investing in an Airbnb Property
Many people that would’ve otherwise never thought to rent out their home or apartment are looking into buying a piece of property just to get in on the popularity of Airbnb. Thinking of doing the same? Before you invest there are a few considerations you will want to take in account:
1. Research the Local Rules and Ordinances
Before purchasing a property for short-term rental, research the rules and ordinances in the area. Some cities enforce certain rules that limit short-term rentals in favor of long-term rentals. Depending on where one lives, they may find that investing in an Airbnb property breaks the law.
Moreover, some local rules force renters to pay additional taxes and fees on the income generated with their Airbnb. Similarly, these renters may also be forced to obtain certain licenses to be able to rent out their property.
2. Ensure that the Property Can Also Be Used for Long-Term Renting
Buying a property specifically for Airbnb? Be sure that the property is also available for long-term renting. As business is always ebbing and flowing, it isn’t feasible to solely rely on revenue from short-term rentals.
3. Keep Tax Rules in Mind
Renters that set their Airbnb property lower than the market value may find that they are disqualified from using the property as a tax write-off. Before setting the rates or the property, research the IRS tax code and ensure that the property is in accordance with federal guidelines.
4. Review All the Expenses of Your Short Term Rental
While renting a room in one’s apartment on Airbnb requires little additional effort, renting an entire property tack on extra responsibility for the renter. In addition to maintaining the property by repairing and cleaning it, the owner must pay for the water gas, cable, electric, and Internet. All of these should be reflected in the price of the rental.
Don’t invest in an Airbnb if all the aforementioned considerations haven’t been made. Failing to consider these four things can turn a potentially profitable investment into a loss.
There’s a level of risk inherent to any investment, but successful investors can tell you that making money in this manner should never be a game of chance. Research constitutes a significant portion of any investor’s job, and that’s especially applicable when dealing with real estate. Any number of factors could affect the value of your property, but these tips can help you get some sensible grounding in the industry.
Learn the Lay of the Land
The value of a property is about a lot more than the size and quality of the home. The neighborhood and city it occupies is just as important, and getting a feel from the street level can help you not just predict what the property is worth now but what it might be worth in the future. If possible, you’ll want to make sure to visit the house itself so you can get an understanding of the local traffic situation, aesthetics, and access to entertainment and public facilities. Driving around can give you a big picture understanding, but going out on foot is just as important. Speak with local business owners and residents to get an understanding of the attitudes and get to know about upcoming development projects. This can be a good barometer for how well you can expect your property’s value to grow.
Assess the Market
There are a number of online resources that can help you determine if the property you’re looking at is a smart investment or a money trap. Check with a local Realtor or with online rental directories to get an understanding of typical rent in the area, and then evaluate that against your budget and the cost of your investment. Zillow can be a great resource here. You can also dig up the mortgage and lien history on your property directly. This information is public record and can be uncovered online without too much effort.
Scope Out Total Expenses
Figuring out the cost of your investment is about more than just comparing the cost of your mortgage to the average rent. You also have to take utilities, maintenance, and insurance into consideration. This will help you more accurately determine what your overall costs can be. And while some owners may be reticent to give up this information, the promise of a reliable buyer can often encourage them to be transparent with that data.
After putting these tips to use and conducting thorough research, you are ready to make your investment!
As humans, we like things orderly, and it’s in our nature to look at all the important things and rank them. But life is generally more complicated than that, and “the best” is often subjective and subject to any number of different factors. That’s as true for the world of real estate as anywhere else. In short, the best place for investing in real estate is determined by your own situation, your unique ambitions, and your interests. In short, everyone’s best country for real estate investment is different.
That means that you should be asking yourself some important questions when it comes to deciding where you’d like to invest your money. You’ll want to begin with the practical considerations of what resources you have available to you. Finances are a big factor here. The Georgian market, for instance, won’t pay sizable returns on investments that aren’t in the six figures, but less developed countries could see a better return with a smaller investment. Just keep in mind that these regional markets are always shifting, so staying abreast of shifts in the market and assessing your finances is of critical importance.
It’s also important to consider that while less developed countries than the U.S. can result in more generous profits, the onus will be on you to do more of the heavy lifting. That means that you need to consider your education level within the industry and how much time and effort you’re willing to devote towards your investments. These will serve as a major determinant factor in your ideal country for investment. Frontier markets can make you a lot with relatively little cash upfront, but you’ll be working that much harder to get yourself set up.
And while frontier markets may be great in the long term, you’ll want to consider whether yield of appreciation is more important to you. Investors with more money to spare and less need for cash upfront will find the best results in economies like Georgia that are likely to see substantive increases in property value over the course of years or decades. Those just looking for some quick monthly income could look as close as Rust Belt states in The U.S. where they can easily earn between 20 and 40% yield.
It would be insincere to make a list of the best investment markets, both because these change regularly and because they’re highly circumstantial. What works for you is going to be decided by your situation, and that means undertaking a level of personal research to track down the market that meets your needs.