Billionaire Andrew Carnegie famously said that 90% of millionaires got their wealth by investing in real estate. We wanted to know: Is this still true? Is investing in real estate still a good idea?
According to these nine advisors at The Oracles who made millions by investing in real estate, the answer is a resounding yes.
1. ‘Owning made me rich.’
“Buying real estate has made me rich — mostly through necessity, not by design. I bought my first itty-bitty studio after scraping together a few bucks because I needed to live somewhere anyway.
A few years later, the studio doubled in value, giving me enough cash to plunk down 50% on a one-bedroom apartment. That soon rolled into a two-bedroom, then a three-bedroom, and finally landed me in my 10-room penthouse on Fifth Avenue in New York City.
Buying that tiny studio was the most important decision I made because it got me in the game.”
2. ‘Residential properties can generate income year-round.’
“Investing in real estate is a great idea if you are in it for the long haul, not a quick return.
Your best bet is investing in residential properties that produce rental income year-round. Just make sure you understand all of the associated legal fees and are prepared for unexpected costs.”
3. ‘The right investment will continue to appreciate.’
“Real estate is real, and it’s always a good idea to put your money in real assets. But let me be clear: That doesn’t mean that all real estate is a good idea.
I only buy certain types of properties, generally multifamily ones in upscale locations that provide consistent cash flow and great potential for future appreciation.
I stay away from low-income areas and single-family homes. But even those assets are probably a better place to store your money than letting cash depreciate while sitting in the bank!”
4. ‘Buying is smarter than renting.’
“Most millionaires I know made more money from owning real estate than any other investment. Real estate consistently increases in value over time and outperforms other investments.
Plus, it isn’t as vulnerable to short-term fluctuations as the stock market. You get a tangible, usable asset, whether you’re renting out an apartment or commercial building for income or buying a home. And there can also be tax benefits for investment properties.
It’s always a good time to buy real estate. In fact, real wealth is made by buying when everyone else is selling and vice versa. While many are talking about a recession, the market is strong, with increasing prices and transactions.
Renting a one-bedroom apartment can cost $5,000 a month in certain neighborhoods today, yet you can buy a $1 million house with just $4,000 a month in mortgage payments. And the rate is fixed for 30 years — the best kind of rent control.
So why would you rent? Besides, if you rent your property to someone else, you can cover your mortgage or better.”
5. ‘You get six-figure tax breaks.’
“Real estate has incredible tax benefits. In certain situations, you don’t have to pay taxes on your gains from investment properties. You can also get a $250,000 tax break as an individual and $500,000 as a married couple.
The wealthiest people collect property the way they used to collect cars. Interest rates are low, prices have fallen, and you don’t have to tie up a lot of cash in the investment.
At the same time, more people are choosing to rent instead of own. You can have a lucrative rental property using other peoples’ money to cover the mortgage, taxes, and upkeep. With sites like Vrbo and Airbnb, you can also find short-term renters to subsidize your overhead.
While I suggest diversifying your investments, there is no better place to park your money than brick-and-mortar investments you can live in and enjoy. When you invest in your surroundings, you invest in yourself!”
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