When you think about purchasing real estate, the first thing that usually comes to mind is probably your home. Buying and owning physical properties has become more complicated over the years.

However, if you still want to invest in real estate, you should try the following options:

Basic rental properties

This investment option is as old as land ownership. You have to buy a property and rent it out to a tenant. As the property owner, you will be responsible for paying taxes, maintenance, and mortgage. Ideally, you should charge enough rent to cover these costs.

You might also consider charging more to get a monthly profit, but you should hold off until the mortgage is paid off. Once the mortgage payments are finished, you will start earning a big profit.

Whether you decide to buy condos such as Atlanta condos or apartments, the most important things to consider are the market rental rates and property location. For instance, if you purchase a property near a school, students will want to rent it yearly.

The downsides of owning property include bad tenants who might damage your property and having no tenants at all. This will create a negative cash flow and you might have to scramble to pay your mortgage. Finding the right property is no easy feat because you have to choose an area with low vacancy rates.

Real estate trading

Real estate traders are completely different from purchase-and-rent property owners. Real estate traders buy properties and sell them for profit after a few months. This is called flipping and is based on buying houses in undervalued areas or very hot ones.

A pure property flipper does not put any money into property improvements. He/she buys houses with intrinsic value, which can turn a profit without improvements. If a flipper is unable to unload a property, it can be quite devastating because it will lead to constant losses.

The other type of flipper buys cheap properties and increases their value by renovating them. This is a longer-term investment, depending on the type of improvements needed. The disadvantage of this type of investment is that you can only deal with one property at a time because it is time-intensive.

Real Estate Investment Groups

These are like small mutual funds for real estate rental properties. If you do not want the stress of owning a property, real estate investment groups are the way to go. A company builds or buys apartments and allows investors to purchase them through the company.

One investor can own a single or multiple units of living space, but the company is in charge of managing all the units, taking care of maintenance, and interviewing tenants. In exchange for doing all this, the company usually takes a small percentage of the rent.

Although there are several types of investment groups, there is a standard version: the lease is in the investor’s name and the units usually pool enough rent to guard against vacancies, meaning that you will get mortgage money even if your unit is unoccupied.

Real Estate Limited Partnerships

This is an entity formed to buy and hold one property or a number of properties – it only exists for a finite number of years. Outside investors provide financing for this project in exchange for part ownership as limited partners. The real payoff comes when the property is sold but investors also receive periodic distributions when these properties generate income.

If you want to invest in real estate, you should conduct some research first. You should not go into any investment without knowing as much as possible about it.