Investing in real estate is an effective way to build wealth. It offers several benefits, including the ability to use leverage to increase your return on investment and provide a hedge against inflation. However, it’s important to understand the risks and potential returns of this type of investing before deciding to pursue it.

There are many ways to get involved with real estate investing, from purchasing a primary residence to building a property empire that spans the country. Almost anyone can invest in real estate if they have access to capital and are willing to put in the work. However, it’s important to pick the right strategy for your unique circumstances and goals.

A popular method of real estate investing is buying rental properties, which can generate passive income and potentially appreciate over time. This investment strategy can be profitable for those who are able to manage their properties and handle the financial responsibilities associated with owning property, such as mortgage payments, maintenance costs, and taxes. However, it’s also one of the most labor-intensive forms of real estate investing, as owners must deal with finding and managing tenants, addressing repairs and maintenance issues, and collecting rent.

While some people believe that a primary home is a good investment, the average home increased in value by only 3.9% from 1994 to 2019 and can be difficult to sell. Another way to become a landlord is by purchasing multifamily or commercial real estate, which can offer higher returns and lower risk than single-family homes.

Some people become accidental landlords when they inherit a property, but becoming a full-time landlord is a viable option for those who are interested in generating rental income and building equity over time. This can be a great way to diversify your portfolio, as it can reduce your exposure to other asset classes. While this investment strategy can be a great way to earn passive income, it requires a significant amount of upfront capital and ongoing expenses, such as mortgage payments, maintenance costs, insurance, and taxes.

Real estate investments can be lucrative for those who are able to find and purchase properties at a discount. This can be done by working with a real estate agent or by searching online for property listings on websites like Redfin and Zillow. However, the most successful investors develop an in-depth understanding of their markets, such as narrowing down a specific geographic region or focusing on residential or commercial properties.

One of the most common ways to invest in real estate is by using crowdfunding platforms. These websites allow investors to purchase shares of private real estate projects and receive a portion of the profits, which can be tax-deductible. However, these platforms are not available to everyone and require that you be an accredited investor (own more than $1 million in assets other than your primary residence or make at least $200,000 a year). Another option is to participate in a real estate fund managed by a private equity firm. These funds offer diversified real estate investments, such as office buildings and self-storage facilities, with minimum investments ranging from $500 to $25,000 or more.