The vast majority of people spend their lives working full-time jobs to earn a “steady” paycheck. Meanwhile, the wealthy have somehow unlocked the secret to working less while making their money work for them.
So what is it that the wealthy know that the rest of us don’t?
One of the biggest secrets that the wealthy tap into is the incredible power of real estate. Real estate has the ability to generate passive income and provide a path toward building wealth. Most people know and understand that a real estate property tends to increase in value (appreciate) over time. But many don’t know or don’t realize the other ways you can earn money in real estate investing. Every dollar invested in real estate works for you in these five ways:
- Cash flow
- Tax benefits
#1 – CASH FLOW
The greatest benefit of investing in real estate is passive cash flow. When an asset is purchased and rent is collected from tenants, the remaining value after property expenses are paid is your cash flow.
If you put down $50,000 to buy a rental for $200,000, your mortgage payment would be about $1,000 per month. Now let’s say that you’re able to rent the unit out for $2,000 per month.
Upon receipt of the $2,000 rent payment each month, you pay the $1,000 mortgage, use $700 for expenses and reserves, and keep the remaining $300 as passive cash flow (i.e., money in your pocket).
#2 – Leverage
In the example we just discussed, you hypothetically bought a $200,000 rental without paying $200,000 in cash. Instead, you put in $50,000 as a down payment, and the bank contributed the remaining $150,000.
The cash flow you earn is based on the full $200,000 asset, not the $50,000 portion. This is the magic of leverage.
Even though the bank contributed 75% of the money, all you have to do is pay the mortgage and interest, and any excess cash flow or profit is all yours. No need to share it with the bank.
#3 – EQUITY
As you receive monthly rental checks, the income from your tenants rental payments is paying down your mortgage and increasing your equity in the property. In this way, the rental property generates income to pay for itself.
Once your rental builds significant equity, you may have the opportunity to use a home equity line of credit (HELOC), which allows you to borrow against your existing asset. HELOC funds can be invested into another asset, which allows you to make your money work even harder for you.
#4 – Appreciation
Real estate values tend to rise over time, which means your money can also work for you in the form of appreciation.
For example, consider a property purchased for $580,000. In time, the duplex appreciates to $750,000, at which point it is sold. The profit at the sale, or $170,000, will have been generated via appreciation, plus any additional equity that you had built through paying down the mortgage.
While appreciation is nice, it’s not guaranteed, especially natural appreciation (the rise in value simple due to time). We always recommend investing for cash flow first and foremost, and/or properties where you can put in sweat equity and force appreciation by making the property nicer.
#5 – tax benefits
When you invest in real estate, you get the benefits of depreciation on the asset itself, mortgage interest deductions, as well as a whole host of write-offs for a number of other related expenses.
Investors often show losses on paper, while actually making money through cash flow. The losses play a big part in helping to offset other income, which is a major reason real estate is so lucrative.
Further, when investing in commercial real estate syndications, you have the opportunity to take advantage of cost segregation and accelerated depreciation, further increasing your tax benefits.
ADVANTAGES OF REAL ESTATE
With each dollar invested in real estate, you have the opportunity to take advantage of cash flow, leverage, equity, appreciation, and tax benefits. This is true regardless of whether you invest in single-family rentals, large syndications, or anything in between.