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Real Estate Investments in your portfolio

Real estate investments offer many opportunities to expand your financial portfolio. In order to gain the best return on real estate investments it's imperative to understand the various types of real estate and which are the smartest investments.

The most common real estate investments include purchasing real estate properties and investing in real estate trusts (REIT) or stocks of housing developers. Purchasing real estate outright requires "hands-on" involvement, while real estate investment trusts are "sit-back-and-wait".

There are numerous types of real estate investment properties, but most will fall into the category of either residential or commercial. Residential includes single dwelling homes, condos, duplexes and manufactured homes. Commercial includes office buildings, shopping malls, retail shops, restaurants and multi-family properties such as apartment buildings or condominium complexes.

Vacant land can be a profitable real estate investment. Vacant land can be used for many purposes including farming, ranching, commercial or residential development. The potential of return on investment increases when vacant land is located in areas with anticipation for high growth.

Rental properties are one of the most popular real estate investments. While it is true rental properties can yield a high return on investment, it can take several years to turn a profit. In order to be successful with rental real estate investments, it's crucial to educate yourself about the process.

Lease options are becoming a popular choice for real estate investments. There are several ways to make money with lease options. With lease options, the tenant agrees to purchase the home at a set price within a specific timeframe. Generally, a portion of the rent is applied to the purchase of the home. If the tenant defaults on their contract, the property owner can sell the house outright to another buyer or engage in another lease option. Rent-to-own is a relatively risk-free real estate investment. CREOnline.com is an excellent resource to learn about rent-to-own real estate investments.

House flipping is a popular real estate investment. There are two ways to make money with house flipping. The primary goal is to purchase distressed properties significantly under market value. You can either make the necessary repairs and renovations, than sell the house for profit or you can sell the house "as-is".

The best way to purchase real estate intended for house flipping is to locate private investors who purchase bank portfolios. These portfolios oftentimes consist of hundreds of properties. When banks sell properties in bulk, investors purchase them at wholesale prices. Once investors acquire the properties they offer them to the public and other investors. Using this method can provide instant equity of 30-percent or more on real estate investments.

These are a few of the many real estate investments available. Opportunities to invest in real estate are everywhere. You just need to know where to look. Discover more real estate investments, investment techniques and insider-secrets in our real estate article library.