How People Get Rich

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Fortune Magazine:
Buying buildings and land can be hugely profitable—or a huge headache. Meet five folks who are doing it right.
By Ellen Florian Kratz and Oliver Ryan

There’s something about real estate that captures the imagination in a way that quarterly 401(k) statements just don’t. Perhaps it’s the realness of it. Many companies that appeared in the stock pages 30 years ago no longer exist, but that old, seven-bedroom Victorian on the corner is probably still there. Even if it’s not, the land beneath it is. And chances are, it’s worth a heck of a lot more than it was back then. Real estate is “an investment vehicle that never goes out of business,” says Marty Stone, co-author of The Unofficial Guide to Real Estate Investing. “That’s as close to being a completely secure place to put your money as anything.”

Secure? With all this talk of a real estate bubble? True, certain urban markets—New York City, San Francisco—may well be overvalued, but that doesn’t mean there aren’t deals to be found. Since the late 1960s, not one year has gone by when the median existing home price in the U.S. has fallen. One reason: Real estate is a limited resource. “Buy land,” Mark Twain once said. “They’ve stopped making it.” Another advantage: leverage. If you put $30,000 down on a $300,000 property and it appreciates 3% in the first year, you’ve just notched a 30% return. That doesn’t include any rental income the property might be bringing in. How else can you make so much with so little? That’s what the five individuals and families in this story asked themselves. Some are investing in real estate on the side; some have made it their… Continue

About Author

Joshua Dorkin

Joshua Dorkin is a serial entrepreneur, investor, podcaster, publisher, educator, and co-author of How to Invest in Real Estate. He started BiggerPockets to help democratize the real estate investing landscape for himself and others, aiming to make it accessible for everyone, regardless of income or education. Today, BiggerPockets is the premier real estate investing website online with over one million members and reaching over 70 million people with the message of financial freedom through real estate investing. Joshua, along with his wife and three daughters, make their home in Denver, Colorado, and spend any time they can traveling, exploring, and adventuring. Read more about Joshua’s story in 5280 and

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