Real Estate a good source of Income
Whether you're curious about the investment potential of real estate or simply sick of infomercials promising millions of dollars in returns from a new and obscure way of investing in real estate, it is worth learning how wealth is created through real estate.
The most common source for real estate profit is the appreciation - the increase in the value - of the property in question. This is achieved in different ways for different types of real estate. And, most importantly, it is only realized through selling or refinancing.
When looking at residential properties, location is often the biggest factor in appreciation. As the neighborhood around a home evolves, adding transit routes, schools, shopping centers, playgrounds and so on, the value climbs. Of course, this trend can also work in reverse, with home values falling as a neighborhood decays. Putting in a new bathroom, upgrading to a heated garage and remodeling to an open concept kitchen are just some of the ways a property owner may try to increase the value of a home. Many of these techniques have been refined to high-return fixes by property flippers who specialize in adding value to a home in a short time.
Investing in Land
The most obvious source of appreciation for undeveloped land is, of course, developing it. As cities expand, land outside the limits becomes more and more valuable because of the potential for it to be purchased by developers. Then developers build houses that raise that value even further. Appreciation in land can also come from discoveries of valuable minerals or materials, provided that the buyer holds the rights.
Commercial property gains value for the exact same reasons as the previous two types: location, development and improvements. The best commercial properties are in demand, and that drives the price up on them.
Generally referred to as rent, income /regular payments - from real estate can come in many forms.
Income from Land
Depending on your rights to the land, companies may pay you royalties for any discoveries or regular payments for any structures they add. These include pump jacks, pipelines, gravel pits, access roads, cell towers and so on. Raw land can also be rented for production, usually agricultural production.
Residential Property Income
Although it is possible that you may earn income from the installation of a cell tower or other structure, the vast majority of residential property income comes in the form of basic rent. Your tenants pay a fixed amount per month - and this will go up with inflation and demand - and you take out your costs from it and claim the remaining portion as rental income.
Commercial Property Income
Commercial properties can produce income from the aforementioned sources - with basic rent again being the most common - but can also add one more in the form of option income. Many commercial tenants will pay fees for contractual options like the right of first refusal on the office next door. These are essentially options that tenants pay a premium to hold, whether they exercise them or not. Options income is sometimes used for raw land and even residential property, but they are far from common.
If someone is trying to sell you on a new way to make money in real estate other than buying low and selling high or collecting rent, they're probably trying to sell you on the process of real estate investing rather than a new mechanism for making profits. Its up to you whether the process is worth it or no, but know that it doesn't change how money will be made (or lost) in the end.