The Power of Real Estate: 8 Advantages to Investing
Real estate is the ultimate investment. Nothing else provides the same kind of dollar-for-dollar returns and has the same kind of advantages.
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The Power of Real Estate: 8 Advantages to Investing

Real estate is the ultimate investment. Nothing else provides the same kind of dollar-for-dollar returns and has the same kind of advantages.

#1. Cash Flow
A big advantage real estate has over other investments, is that it can produce cash flow on a monthly basis. Positive cash flow is derived from the revenue collected in the form of rent and laundry income minus expenditures required to pay for and operate the building. The cash generated by a real estate investment will always be a much larger percentage cash-on-cash return than any other investment. The reason for this is leverage.

#2. Leverage
Leverage is the ultimate power of investing, and the fact is that there is no investment where the application of this tool is more powerful than real estate. In real estate the leverage is based on the asset itself, and even the notoriously conservative banks will loan up to 75-80 percent and sometimes higher of the total asset value. Banks are comfortable lending large sums of money for the purchase of real estate because they know it is one of the safest and most profitable investments available. Also when you leverage an investment, you reap the benefits of appreciation on the total asset value, while only having a small percentage of your own money in the deal.

#3. Appreciation
Real estate generally is a long term investment, and its benefits are best realized over the long term. It takes time for real estate to appreciate in value; however, while the property is appreciating the tenants are paying down the mortgage. On top of this the rental income grows on a percentage annual basis.

The average compounded annual increase in real estate nationally has been 5% per year for the last 25 plus years, since 1980. Depending on the real estate cycle at any given time, the geographic location and type of property, the percentage annual increase could be substantially higher of course. Residential real estate appreciates more than the annual rate of inflation over time.

#4. Hedge Against Inflation
Many people feel that the commonsense thing to do is to take your money and put it into a savings bond or bank account that yields 2 to 3 percent per year. The main argument for this type of investing is that it is “safer” than real estate or other types of investments. The problem with this strategy is that you do not make any money, due to inflation.

Inflation is the price we pay for goods measured against a standard of ability to purchase those goods. The long term average of inflation has been nearly 3.5 percent since 1913, the year it began being tracked. That means that putting your money into a bank investment or account that yields only 2 to 3 percent, earns you no purchasing power in the future. You are actually losing wealth because inflation is higher than your returns. The gain in interest is wiped out by the rising cost of living. You are not becoming wealthier, you are becoming poorer because the cost of goods is growing faster than the value of your money.
The beauty of real estate is that it is a tangible asset-a good. Meaning it will generally rise either at the rate of inflation or much higher. Historically real estate has risen at 5 percent per year -a full 2 to 3 percent higher than inflation. And that is just appreciation. That does not take into account the cash flow generated, nor the tax advantages such as depreciation, refinance, and tax deductible mortgage interest.

#5. Depreciation
Depreciation is an income tax deduction that allows a taxpayer to recover the cost of wear and tear, deterioration, or obsolescence on an annual basis. For real estate, it is a nonoperational expense that can be used to your advantage come tax time.

#6. Refinance
Another advantage of real estate over other investments is the ability to withdraw cash through a refinance of the property. This, too, is a tax shelter. When you refinance a property you are restructuring your existing mortgage debt based on the added value of the property. Refinancing also allows for investors to pull their initial investment out, while still continuing to have a vested interest in the property, creating a cash-on-cash return of infinite because the capital investment is zero!

#7. Asset Protection
There are a number of ways to legally protect a real estate investment that cannot be utilized by other investments like stocks and bonds. If a stock or bond company has a bad year, and suffers losses, the individual investor is simply out of luck. Real estate is one of the few investments that can be insured and protected from damage caused for whatever reason. By having the proper insurance coverage, you are able to claim losses for the actual value of the asset before the loss, and during the loss.
Another distinct legal advantage of real estate is that it can be placed into a limited liability company, or an LLC. An LLC allows you to protect your personal wealth by individualizing and protecting your assets. In an event of a lawsuit, your personal assets like your house, bank accounts, and investments would be protected because they would not be property of the LLC. Further on this topic, each of our properties are placed into their own individual LLC for additional asset protection. In addition to the legal protections that an LLC provides, there are also distinct tax advantages.

#8. Physical Asset
Real estate is a physical asset, that cannot be traded by a click of a button by an online brokerage. You can physically walk the grounds of the property, and inspect the building. As such, it’s not subject to the volatility of other investments like stocks, where change can happen fast. You are not at the mercy of the company’s public relations department, waiting to hear from them. Meaning, if the company announces poor earnings for a quarter, the stock will drop suddenly with little warning. Your only option is the react, but not before you’ve lost a substantial sum.

Real estate is different. While it still has its ups and downs, for the most part real estate takes a more tortoise like approach: slow and steady wins the race. By paying attention, and knowing what to look for, we can see the trends that lead to changes in the market, well before they happen. Allowing us to formulate an investment plan on how to change operations or to sell. This in turn maximizes our return on investment or cash-on-cash return.

SOURCE: WWW.SAFRI-INVESTMENTS.COM