Monday, March 23, 2009

Some REIT Markets are Stronger than Others

If you are worried about the state of the economy and what you should do with your investing dollars, you may be able to take a little bit of solace in knowing that things are not always as bad as they seem. Perhaps you just need to look at them differently.

Let's look at real estate investing. Many people like the idea of REITs or real estate investment trusts because they know real estate is always a sound investment. After all, the worst-case scenario is a piece of property loses a little value, but it will never become worthless and always has some trading clout.

But with the housing market struggling in the US over the past year, you may be wondering just how smart it is to fund real estate investment ventures.

The first thing you need to keep in mind is that real estate investment is not only available in the US. There are REIT funds that are putting money into real estate all over the world. In many developing countries real estate developers have so many projects they don't know what to do as countries develop and need new infrastructure. Getting in on one of these investing options could reap large rewards.

There are a wide variety of options available in these countries where you can invest your money. You could look into commercial real estate funds that will help businesses grow in these budding countries. Another option is to have put your money into residential real estate fund programs in the cities of these developing countries. When a country is developing and industrializing, people often move to the city to take part in the growth. This means those residential real estate investments stand to make a great profit.

But how do you know what markets are about to make that boom or are just starting to hit their stride so you know where to invest? This is going to take a little research on your part. If you are a pro in the real estate investing arena, you can do this yourself. If you're not, you may prefer to get a helping hand from some pros.

A website like is a great place to start. Not only are they real estate brokers that can help you purchase the REIT funds you want, but they are also a great place to get all the information you need to know which REITs are the best to buy.

By going through you will be able to get a better look at the real estate investment options in other countries. You will also be able to find reports and information about the expectations of real estate development in these areas.

Next you will get a peek into the real estate management plans that are in place for those countries. You will see the kinds of real estate listings they want to create or those that they already own and want to manage.

Once you have started deciding which are best for you, you can even have do the rest of the work and add the investments that you like to your portfolio. It really doesn't get much better than that.
What are REITs (Real Estate Investment Trusts)?

If you pride yourself on being an up and coming investor, you should make sure you know all of the investing options that are available to you.

While most people know of trading things like stocks and bonds, they may not know of the deeper levels of those things, such as REITs. REITs are Real Estate Investment Trusts. Essentially this is a company that purchases properties and then becomes a real estate management firm.

How you get involved in these investments is by giving them the funds to make those purchases and run them. Essentially, they will allow a certain number of investors to be a part of the trust (it is usually a limited number for each trust).

So where did REITs come from? Well the REIT was born in 1960 by congress. Before this time only those with major money were able to get into real estate investing. Everyone else had to play the regular stock market. So, they wanted to give smaller investors the chance to get in on the profit making market of real estate. With REITs instead of having to have the money to be able to purchase a whole property at once, an investor can get in to the market with just a percentage of the money buy buying one or more shares.

When choosing a REIT, it is important to realize that there are a variety of REIT styles. Usually a REIT sticks with one type of property. For example, there are commercial REITs that only deal with commercial real estate and ventures. They may purchase office space and rent it out to businesses. Another way to go is industrial, purchasing and maintaining industrial parks. There are also residential buildings that vary from apartment buildings to condominiums and even complete housing neighborhoods that are owned and operated by the REIT. If you know more about one kind of real estate than another, you may prefer to fund this style of REIT where you can invest in something you know about.

Understanding how REIT investments work is vital if you are considering going into this type of investment market. Here are some of the basics.

First, if a REIT makes money, its investors are going to make money. The way a REIT works is that as it makes taxable income, at least 90 percent of that must be paid directly to it's investors. That means as a shareholder, if the REIT is making any money, so are you!

When it comes to shareholders REITs run the gamut from small to massive, but even the small ones are not so small that they can't have any buying power. A REIT must have at least 100 shareholders.

When it comes to operations, REITs have a few major rules to follow. First, they are required to invest 75% or more of the money put into the trust in real estate ventures. Additionally, they have to be getting at least 75% of their income from monies made from the properties they own (i.e. through mortgage interest or rent)

If you are considering investing in REITs it is important to note that they are also a little different in tax structure. Since so much of the profit from a REIT is going to the shareholders, they are able to deduct that money from their taxable income. However, when you as in investor get your dividends you will be responsible for paying the capital gains taxes.

Before you invest, learn more. is not only a full service REIT broker, but also has research and educational information to help you get started and build your portfolio.