The Five Ways Real Estate Investing Makes You Money

Five Ways to Make Money is Better Than One

Real estate investing is the most powerful wealth-building tool available to the average person.

The reason it’s so powerful is: there are five ways it makes you money.

Stocks, by contrast, only share one of these sources (two if you’re getting dividends).

Once you understand how all five of these income sources work, you will begin to see the tremendous wealth-building power of real estate bought and managed correctly.

I Said Correctly

Quick Disclaimer: These five income sources only apply to real estate bought and managed the way my mentors taught me:

A) with equity,
B) with cash flow,
C) in “bread and butter” neighborhoods,
and D) managed with best practices.

If your knee-jerk reaction is that real estate investing is too risky, you have not yet been taught how to minimize the risk. The way I was taught to invest in real estate is not the same way that many of the “gurus” teach. Most of those programs are far to risky for my taste.

 

Multiple Streams of Income

One neat thing about having so many different income streams is that real estate can be forgiving. Many people I know (including myself) screwed up on their first deal, but still made money. That’s because one income stream can make up for a lack of another.

Now, I don’t recommend screwing it up. You might as well do it right as long as you’re getting in the business. That way you won’t ruin your taste for the most powerful wealth-building tool available to the average person.

Let’s run down the list of the five ways:

1. Cash Flow

Cash flow is the reason we seek passive income-producing assets. Without cash flow, you don’t have income… meaning: you can’t quit your job without cash flow.

We don’t buy a piece of real estate unless the rental income is greater than the monthly expenses by a decent margin. For example, when your tenant pays you $1,000 a month and your monthly expenses including principal, interest, taxes, insurance, and maintenance/occupancy reserve are $800 a month; the $200 difference is now income in your pocket.

2. Equity Capture

Equity capture is when you buy an asset for less than it’s worth. In real estate, it’s when you buy a house in a $100k neighborhood for $50k, fix it up for $20k and you’re “all in” for $70k.

You just captured $30k in equity which goes directly towards your net worth. Few other investment vehicles can create wealth so quickly.

Without equity, you are exposing yourself to the risk of a falling market. We always buy assets with equity so that we are never hurt by a down market.

Online businesses, network marketing, and vending can be good sources of cash flow, but they don’t offer an opportunity to buy an asset for less than it’s worth.

3. Market Appreciation

Real estate doubles in value every twenty years. It might fluctuate in the short term, but it is forced to rise over the long term with inflation of building materials, labor, and scarcity of land.

The main reason most people buy stocks today is for market appreciation while it’s only the 4th most important reason we buy real estate. Do you see the difference?

While stock investors live and die by market appreciation, real estate investors see it as a nice bonus to pile on top of the other four ways we make money.

4. Principal Pay Down

Here’s a neat way we make money in real estate that most people don’t even think of. We naturally accumulate equity in our houses as the notes get paid down.

Even if you weren’t making money any other way, your tenants would be paying down your mortgage a little bit each month. It starts out small, like fifty or a hundred dollars a month, but it grows over time and adds to your equity in the house.

The other asset classes typically don’t have mortgages, so this wouldn’t apply.

5. Tax Advantage

Real estate investors pay the lowest takes of any for-profit group in the United States. The IRS allows us to reduce our earned income tax on cash flow by taking a depreciation deduction against the house. We can avoid capital gains tax when we sell by using a 1031 tax exchange.

How long can you avoid taxes with a 1031? If you pass the property to your children, they will take over at the new cost basis, which wipes out all of the capital gains over the life of that asset.

None of the other assets can claim such a huge tax advantage.

Does it Make Sense?

Are you starting to understand why I talk up real estate investing so much? It’s the only asset class that I know of that can create rapid wealth. All the others make money in one or two ways, but not five.

Comments

  1. Judy Barnes says:

    What is a ‘bread and butter’ neighborhood.

  2. Rich Woman says:

    “Bread and butter” is a middle class area, where the average home is valued between 85k-120k, 3 bed, 2 bath, 2 car garage. Rent in these areas are usually 800-1000 per month. Homes like this can be at found 50 cents on the dollar (45-65k). Making your month cash flow $200 or more per month.

  3. Royce Girouard says:

    I believe that “bread and butter” would refer to a decent neighborhood (well kept, prices have held steady or grown for years, etc…). If you can get a house at low cost in one of these neighborhoods you will be in good shape.

  4. Judy a bread and butter neighborhood is a middle class blue collar area. The 2.5 kids, dogs, and a minivan type of area. These homes are typically 3 br, 2 bath, 2 car garage. Hope this helps.

  5. thomasM+ says:

    I have also gotten mineral rights in the DFW area for the 7th way of making money on realestate

  6. Charles Brooks says:

    Great article, very informative.

  7. A motivating discussion is definitely worth comment. I do believe that you ought to publish more on this subject matter,
    it might not be a taboo matter but generally people don’t speak about such topics.
    To the next! All the best!!

  8. Jim Marlowe says:

    Where does the financing come from ?

    • Steve Davis says:

      Hello Jim,

      Financing comes from many sources: owner financing, private lenders, hard money lenders and banks. Be aware that most banks are not investor friendly. You want to be a member of an investor group that has the contacts for investor friendly banks and professional lenders.

      Sincerely,

      Steve Davis
      VP of Public Relations & Radio Host
      Lifestyles Unlimited Inc.

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