Best Real Estate Investing Apps of May 2024

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Investing in real estate doesn’t have to be difficult. If you want to avoid the legwork of conducting extensive property research, finding tenants, and regularly maintaining the asset(s), you have several easier alternatives to invest in real estate. You can invest in real estate investment trusts (REITs), electronic real estate funds, and non-traded REITs.

Best Real Estate Investing Apps of 2024

Compare the Top Real Estate Investing Apps of 2024

The best real estate investing apps offer low ongoing fees, multiple investment options, user-friendly interfaces, and easily met minimum investment requirements. Real estate crowdfunding platforms make this possible. You can add residential, commercial, and other real estate investments to your portfolio at low costs.

Here is how to invest in real estate with the best real estate investing apps as picked by Business Insider’s editors in 2024.

Best for Non-Accredited Investors: Fundrise

Fundrise

Insider’s Rating

A five pointed star

A five pointed star

A five pointed star

A five pointed star

A five pointed star

4.53/5

Icon of check mark inside a promo stamp
It indicates a confirmed selection.


Perks

Fundrise allows you to invest in commercial real estate projects across the US, Fundrise IPOs, and venture funds.


Account Minimum

$10


Fees

1% (additional $125 for IRAs)

Pros

  • Check mark icon
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    Available to non-accredited investors

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    Low minimum account size requirements

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    Five different account levels to choose from

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    Highly diversified investments

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    Great for passive investing

Cons

  • con icon
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    Investments are illiquid; can’t sell or cash out your investments as easily as you could with liquid assets such as stocks and mutual funds

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    Complex fee schedule

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    Not for short-term investments


Product Details

  • Consider it if: You’re looking for an easy and inexpensive way to start investing in real estate.
  • App store rating: 4.8 iOS/ 4.7 Android
  • Awards: Listed in Forbes Fintech 50 list twice

Fundrise is a real estate investing app with a $10 minimum, offering eREITs, electronic real estate funds, venture capital funds, and Fundrise IPOs. This real estate investing app is best for hands-off investors looking for low fees. Fundrise investments have a minimum term of five years. 

You don’t need to be accredited to invest with Fundrise. As long as you meet the app’s minimum, anyone can open an account. Plus, you can access real estate investing online through desktop and mobile access. 

Fundrise offers individual and joint brokerage accounts, entity accounts, IRA accounts, and trust accounts with three portfolio options. All Fundrise portfolios have auto-investing features, dividend reinvesting, and referral discounts.

You’ll pay only a 0.15% annual advisory fee for a standard Fundrise account. Fundrise Pro charges a $10 monthly fee, and you’ll need an investment minimum of $500 to access Fundrise IPOs. Fundrise real-estate funds also charge an annual 0.85% management fee. 

Fundrise Pro offers a more hands-on investing approach for traders looking to customize their investment plans. This account option allows users to directly invest in specific funds, pick and choose their ideal allocations, and access data from Basis and Jogns Burns Research and Consulting. 

What to look out for: Real estate investments are highly illiquid, meaning you won’t be able to readily convert your investment (s) into cash like you would with a stock. Fundrise realizes this. That’s why it has a minimum investment term requirement of five years.

If you can’t afford to let your money sit for at least five years, Fundrise probably isn’t the best option for you.

Fundrise review

Runner-up for Non-Accredited Investors: DiversyFund

DiversyFund

Insider’s Rating

A five pointed star

A five pointed star

A five pointed star

A five pointed star

A five pointed star

4.29/5

Icon of check mark inside a promo stamp
It indicates a confirmed selection.


Perks

DiversyFund offers private commercial real estate investments to both accredited investors and nonaccredited investors (or people with less than $1 million to invest).


Account Minimum

$500


Fees

2% annual asset management fee and a closing real estate transaction fee

Pros

  • Check mark icon
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    $500 minimum investment 

  • Check mark icon
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    Automated real-estate investment management

  • Check mark icon
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    Available to non-accredited investors

Cons

  • con icon
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    Limited investment selection; only offers one REITs with assets in three states

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    Can’t choose your own investment projects and you must hold for at least five years

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    No IRAs 

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    Can’t withdraw your investments’ earnings until the real estate assets, or properties, are sold


Product Details

  • Consider it if: You prefer robo-advice over DIY real estate investing, and you want to minimize management fees.
  • App store rating: 3.4 iOS/ 3.5 Android

DiversyFund offers a generally low $500, although it is significantly higher than Fundrise. DiversyFund manages your real estate investments for you, and it offers its services to both non-accredited and accredited investors. It charges a yearly 2% annual asset management fee and a closing real estate transaction fee. 

DiversyFund offers its own Growth REIT, which invests in multifamily properties with more than 100 units. This means that the robo-advisor owns and manages all of the real estate assets you’ll be investing in.

Its REITs investment strategy aims to generate growth over five years, and the platform’s targeted returns for each property within the REIT range between 10% and 20%.

What to look out for: You cannot withdraw or cash out your investments until your minimum five-year investment term ends. DiversyFund reinvests the dividends and earnings your investment generates until the real estate asset is sold.

If you’re considering DiversyFund, you should also note that the platform only offers REITs as investments. This means you won’t be able to invest your money in any other investment options or account types.

Diversyfund review

Best for single-family properties: Roofstock

Roofstock

Insider’s Rating

A five pointed star

A five pointed star

A five pointed star

A five pointed star

A five pointed star

3.84/5

Icon of check mark inside a promo stamp
It indicates a confirmed selection.


Perks

Roofstock is an online real estate platform that lets you buy or sell rental properties


Account Minimum

$0 ($5,000 for Roofstock One)


Fees

$500 or 0.5% of the contract price for offers on properties

Pros

  • Check mark icon
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    No minimum deposit; access to 70 markets

  • Check mark icon
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    Roofstock matches you with a property manager that helps oversee your investment(s)

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    Company offers the option to buy, sell, or bring your own property to the table

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    Investment options for passive real estate investors

Cons

  • con icon
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    No automated or passive investment options for non-accredited investors

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    Investing in actual properties may be more costly than taking the REIT route

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    No mobile app


Product Details

  • Consider it if: You want to earn regular income from single-family rental investments.
  • App store rating: No mobile apps
  • Awards: Listed on Forbes’ Fintech 50 list for 2022

Roofstock is another unique real estate investing app and is best for active investors. For a $0 ($5,000 for Roofstock One) minimum, you can buy, sell, and manage properties with free financial management software. Moreover, accredited investors can access fractionalized investments in curated portfolios.

Roofstock actually lets you invest in single-family rental properties. Once you purchase a property, you don’t have to worry about being left out to fend for yourself — Roofstock assigns a property manager to each rental. Properties are usually tenant-occupied, and property managers are there to assist you as you earn monthly rental income. 

Although Roofstock doesn’t have an account minimum, you will be charged a $500 or 0.5% contract price (whichever is higher). Depending on the rental, you may also have to pay a down payment on the property and other additional fees. 

What to look out for: The downside is that this could be more expensive than investing in a REIT or other real estate fund, since you’re purchasing and making down payments on properties. Another thing to note is that while Roofstock is launching a Roofsavvy mobile app for iOS users, it doesn’t currently have any mobile apps available.

Roofstock review

Best for commercial real estate: RealtyMogul

RealtyMogul

Insider’s Rating

A five pointed star

A five pointed star

A five pointed star

A five pointed star

A five pointed star

4.38/5

Icon of check mark inside a promo stamp
It indicates a confirmed selection.


Perks

RealtyMogul offers a wide range of real estate investment options


Account Minimum

$5,000


Fees

Varies by investment

Pros

  • Check mark icon
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    Offers real estate investment trusts (REITs), single properties, or 1031 private placement investments

  • Check mark icon
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    You can use a self-directed IRA (SDIRA) to invest in commercial real estate

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    Low fees; RealtyMogul performs due diligence on each investment properties

  • Check mark icon
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    Automatic features that make the investment process easier

Cons

  • con icon
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    Fairly high account minimum

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    Non-accredited investors can’t utilize 1031 exchanges

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    Highly illiquid investments


Product Details

  • Consider it if: You want access to a larger range of real estate investment options.
  • App store rating: 4.38 out of 5

RealtyMogul makes real estate investing accessible to everyone and is best for investing in commercial real estate. You can even invest if you aren’t an accredited investor, but you’ll need a minimum of $5,000 to begin. And as for your investment options, RealtyMogul lets you purchase stake in commercial real estate in two ways: REITs and single properties. 

As for cost, single properties (private placements) are only available to accredited investors. RealtyMogul requires investment minimums ranging between $25,000 and $50,000 for these properties. Both accredited and non-accredited investors can purchase the company’s REITs with as little as $5,000.

RealtyMogul shows an average annual return of 5.49% on investments of at least five years. It also shows that an investment of 15 years has an average annual return of 19.17%. 

The real estate investing app offers automated investment management through its auto-invest feature. But this is only available if you invest in one of the company’s REITs (MogulREIT I or MogulREIT II). In addition, you can use funds from your IRA to invest in REITs. 

What to look out for: You’ll need at least $5,000 to invest in REITs, but other investments — such as individual properties — have minimums ranging from $25,000 to $50,000. While RealtyMogul isn’t the cheapest, it’s also not the most expensive. 

RealtyMogul review

Best for accredited investors: EquityMultiple

EquityMultiple

Insider’s Rating

A five pointed star

A five pointed star

A five pointed star

A five pointed star

A five pointed star

4.6/5

Icon of check mark inside a promo stamp
It indicates a confirmed selection.


Perks

EquityMultiple offers managed assets — including equity, preferred equity, institutional commercial real estate, and senior debt


Account Minimum

$5,000 (minimums can also range between $10,000 and $30,000)


Fees

Varies; typically 0.5% (EquityMultiple also charges annual administrative expense fee of $30-$70)

Pros

  • Check mark icon
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    Low fees

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    Option to invest in institutional commercial real estate, equity, preferred equity, and senior debt

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    Multiple property types

  • Check mark icon
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    Self-directed IRAs available

Cons

  • con icon
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    Only accepts accredited investors


Product Details

  • Consider it if: You’re an accredited investor looking to invest at least $5,000 into commercial real estate.

EquityMultiple is best for accredited investors looking to invest in a wide variety of assets and that have at least $5,000 (minimums can also range between $10,000 and $30,000) to invest. This platform lets you invest in institutional, commercial real estate, equity, preferred equity, and senior debt.

EquityMultiple also gives you the choice between the following three investment approaches:

  • Fund Investing: $20,000 to $30,000 minimum requirement and a target duration of 1.5 to 10 or more years
  • Direct Investing: $10,000 minimum requirements and a target duration of six months to five years
  • Savings Alternative Investing: $5 minimum requirement and a target duration of three to nine months

Each approach utilizes different investment strategies, time horizons, and minimum requirements.

EquityMultiple offers a range of property types, including multifamily, office, industrial, storage, car wash, cannabis facilities, retail, mixed-use, opportunity zones, senior living facilities, student housing, and data centers. 

You can also open and invest with self-directed IRAs.

What to look out for: EquityMultiple only accepts accredited investors, so this isn’t a good option if your net worth is less than $1 million. In addition, investment minimums are on the high side, so be prepared to invest between $5,000 and $30,000 in real estate.

EquityMultiple review

Runner-up for accredited investors: Crowdstreet

CrowdStreet

Insider’s Rating

A five pointed star

A five pointed star

A five pointed star

A five pointed star

A five pointed star

4.08/5

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It indicates a confirmed selection.


Perks

CrowdStreet offers institutional-level investments (those that are usually available to public entities and larger-scale investors) in commercial real estate.


Account Minimum

$25,000 (up to $250,000 for some offerings)


Fees

0% investors; 1-5% fee for sponsors; 0.25% to 2.5% tailored portfolios

Pros

  • Check mark icon
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    Offers a wide range of commercial real estate options for accredited investors: Individual deals, diversified funds and vehicles, and tailored portfolios (See a complete list of its properties here).

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    Charges investors no fees (sponsors may charge fees)

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    Caters to real estate sponsors who want to list properties and deals on the CrowdStreet marketplace

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    Offers educational resources and expert insights

Cons

  • con icon
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    Not available to non-accredited investors (those who have a net worth lower than $1 million)

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    Account minimums are on the higher side

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    Not for those in search of shorter investment terms and more liquid investments

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    No mobile app access


Product Details

  • Consider it if: You’re an accredited investor with at least $25,000 to set aside for multiple years.
  • App store rating: No mobile apps
  • Awards: Listed on Forbes’ Best Startup Employers list for 2021

With a $25,000 (up to $250,000 for some offerings) minimum investment requirement, CrowdStreet specifically serves accredited investors. The platform lets you invest in commercial real estate in three ways:

  • Diversified funds and vehicles
  • Individual deals
  • Tailored portfolios. 

With CrowdStreet’s diversified funds and vehicles option, you can select a single real estate investment to add to your portfolio. If you’re more of a DIY-minded investor, you can use the individual deals investment option to directly choose your real estate investment opportunities through the CrowdStreet Marketplace.

And if you’re looking for more guidance with real estate investing, the company’s tailored portfolio investment option builds a customized and professionally managed real estate portfolio for you.

CrowdStreet charges investors no fees to join the platform or access real estate opportunities; it mainly charges real estate sponsors fees. These generally range from 0.50% to 2.5%. 

What to look out for: CrowdStreet is only for accredited investors, and you’ll need at least $25,000 (up to $250,000 for some offerings) to start investing. The company also typically requires you to buy and hold investments for a minimum of three to five years, so CrowdStreet is best for accredited investors who can park their money for multiple years.

Crowdstreet review

Best for real estate and alternative investments: Yieldstreet

Yieldstreet

Insider’s Rating

A five pointed star

A five pointed star

A five pointed star

A five pointed star

A five pointed star

4.04/5

Icon of check mark inside a promo stamp
It indicates a confirmed selection.


Perks

Yieldstreet offers investments in real estate, shipping vessels, legal settlements, art, and financial instruments


Account Minimum

$500


Fees

0% to 2.5%; 1.5% for Prism Fund

Pros

  • Check mark icon
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    Access to alternative investments, including art, real estate, and legal settlements, that allow investors with plenty of assets to further diversify their portfolios

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    Investors receive regular interest payouts over the life of the loan

Cons

  • con icon
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    Higher-risk investments — best for those with a large amount of money to invest; limited investments available

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    Fees may be higher than other types of investment accounts; Yieldstreet IRA accounts cost $299 to $399 per year

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    Investments are highly illiquid


Product Details

  • Consider it if: You’re a high-net-worth investor interested in diversifying your investments across real estate and other alternative assets.
  • App store rating: 4.7 iOS/ 4.6 Android
  • Awards: Listed on CB Insights’ Fintech 250 ranking as a Top Fintech Startup

Yieldstreet offers real estate and other alternative investments to accredited investors with at least Yieldstreet – Account Minimum. You can currently invest in the following alternative asset types with Yieldstreet: real estate, legal finance, marine finance, crypto, commercial and consumer finance, and art finance.

But don’t worry if you aren’t an accredited investor. You can still invest in the Yieldstreet Prism fund. This fund requires a minimum of $500, but it lets you invest in multiple alternative asset types. The company’s short-term notes also have a $500 minimum requirement, and most of its other investments bear a $10,000 minimum (short-term notes are investments that allow investors to earn regular interest payments during the term of the note).

Yieldstreet also has more lenient investment terms than some other real estate apps in this roundup. You can invest for as short a time as six months or up to five years.

What to look out for: If you’re looking to build your retirement savings, IRAs will cost you $299 or $399 per year. Account balances between $0 and $100,000 cost $299 per year, while you’ll pay $399 annually for balances that are $100,001 and above.

Yieldstreet is also primarily available to accredited investors or individuals with at least $1 million net worth. If you’re a non-accredited investor, you can still invest with Yieldstreet, but you’ll only have access to one fund: Yieldstreet’s Prism fund.

Yieldstreet review

Best for short-term real estate investments: Groundfloor

Groundfloor

Insider’s Rating

A five pointed star

A five pointed star

A five pointed star

A five pointed star

A five pointed star

3.99/5

Icon of check mark inside a promo stamp
It indicates a confirmed selection.


Perks

Groundfloor offers SEC-qualified (under SEC regulation A+) real estate note investments


Account Minimum

$10


Fees

2.75% to 4% interest on loans

Pros

  • Check mark icon
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    10% annual return on average

  • Check mark icon
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    Available to accredited and non-accredited investors

  • Check mark icon
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    Short-term investing terms

Cons

  • con icon
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    Only offers real-estate investments

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    Low-liquidity on investments


Product Details

  • All fees associated with Groundfloor IRAs are waived through the end of 2023.

Groundfloor is a wealthtech platform best for short-term real estate debt investments through SEC-qualified Limited Recourse Obligations (LROs) and notes. There’s a $10 minimum to get started. It’s available to both accredited and nonaccredited investors.

Investment terms range from 30 days to 18 months. Both accredited and nonaccredited investors can utilize Groundfloor’s self-directed and automatic investing features, as well as a proprietary loan-grading algorithm. The platform has a history of a 10% annual return on your investments. 

Groundfloor offers IRAs (traditional, Roth, SEP, SIMPLE, and rollover) and a mobile investing called Stairs. The mobile app has a base rate of 4% annual interest.

What to look out for: Although Groundfloor doesn’t charge management fees, it does require a $10 and may charge additional service fees on loans. It also costs $1,250 for closing, plus $495 on loan applications. 

Groundfloor review

Are Real Estate Investing Apps Worth It?

That depends on your particular risk tolerance and savings goals. Real estate investments are extremely illiquid, so you won’t be able to convert your money into cash as easily as you could with a stock or exchange-traded investment. Additionally, most real estate investing apps require you to hold your investments for at least five years to earn higher returns. 

Real estate apps are great for investing in real estate without actually having to buy and manage properties yourself. The best real estate investing apps often offer automated account management, so you won’t have to worry about reinvesting dividends or calling big shots. 

How to Invest in Real Estate Online

There are two main ways to invest in real estate online: Real estate investment trusts (REITs) and crowdfunding platforms. 

REITs are companies that own, operate, and finance real estate ventures. Like mutual funds and ETFs, REITs invest in multiple properties so users can earn a share of the income of multiple assets. The best markets for long-term real estate investing can help diversify your investment portfolios and generate cash flow.

There are three main types of REITs:

  • Mortgage REITs: This type of real estate investment trust holds either actual mortgages or mortgage-backed securities. Investors earn income from mortgage payments and interest payments. Since mortgage REITs are leverage, they can often be a riskier option than equity REITs.
  • Equity REITs: This is the most common REITs and it is made up of owned and operated real estate properties. Investors earn revenue from rent payments. 
  • Hybrid REITs: This type of REIT is a blend of mortgage REITs and equity REITs. 

You can also invest in real estate online through crowdfunding when a group of individuals pool funds through an online platform to invest in real estate. Those funds are then used to purchase property or fund the development of the asset.

Most online real estate investing platforms allow traders to customize a portfolio based on financial goals, time horizons, and risk tolerance. You’ll receive debt or equity in monthly or quarterly distributions in return for your money. 

However, not all crowdfunding platforms are universally available, as many require you to be an accredited investor. Still, platforms like Groundfloor and Fundrise also accept nonaccredited investors. 

Keep in mind that crowdfunding is generally not as liquid as other securities. Crowdfunding also requires a longer time horizon, usually at least five years, before becoming profitable. 

How Does a Beginner Invest in Real Estate?

Real estate investments are a great way to diversify your investing portfolio. Here’s how to get into real estate investing for hands-on and hands-off investors.

Real estate investments operate differently than more traditional assets like stocks or bonds. That said, almost anyone can invest in real estate. Some of the most common strategies ways include:

  • Real estate investment trusts (REITs)
  • Real Estate Limited Partnerships (RELP)
  • Crowdfunding platforms
  • Flipping a house
  • Become a landlord
  • Investing in your house

If you want to put more time and energy into buying and painting properties, flipping a house for profit or becoming a landlord may be a suitable option. Passive investors can enjoy the luxury of funding real estate trusts, limited partnerships, or crowdfunding platforms without the hassle of actually buying a property themselves. If you prefer to keep your investments close to home, you can even invest in your house.

Real estate is often a long-term investment requiring long-term commitment, so make sure you’re financially prepared and consider setting up an emergency fund. Consider creating a financial plan to highlight your investing goals. 

You’ll also want to research the location of any property you’re investing in. Knowing the area and the property’s history can be a huge advantage. Real estate investments can take a long-time to earn a profit. You’ll likely have to wait at least five years before your efforts pay off. 

FAQs

The best real estate investment apps offer accessible, low-cost trading of residential, commercial, and other properties. The best real estate investment app for you depends on your preferences and qualifications. Carefully review rates, real-estate investing opportunities, and fees before signing up.

A real estate investment trust (REIT) owns and manages income-generating real estate assets. A REIT offers a simpler and more liquid approach to building wealth than traditional real estate investing, which requires you to own assets for years at a time. 

You can invest $500,000 in real estate by purchasing rental properties, becoming a landlord, investing in REIT and real estate crowdfunding sites, or flipping houses. By investing $500,000 in real estate, you can earn passive income streams with income-generating real estate assets.

You can invest in top real-estate investing apps like Fundrise, YieldStreet, and Groundfloor for $5,000 or less. You can start investing in real estate with varying degrees of cash depending on the kind of assets you’re investing in and the platform you’re investing through. In short, yes, $5,000 may be enough to invest in real estate. Remember to research the investments you buy before spending large sums of money. 

Why You Should Trust Us: Our Expert Panel For The Real Estate Investing Apps

Rebecca Zissar/Business insider



 

We interviewed the following investing experts to see what they had to say about the best real estate investing apps. 

What are the advantages/disadvantages of investing in real estate?

Sandra Cho:

“Advantages include:

  • It’s tangible. Some people like real estate because they can see, touch, and feel it.
  • Rent. You can get a tenant and get income.
  • DIY. You can fix it yourself and save money. If you are handy, you can do many things yourself.
  • Depreciation. You can depreciate it as an asset.”

“Disadvantages:

  • Maintenance. A property can be a money pit, with almost constant things to fix and clean and maintain, including a new roof, paint, floors, plumbing, and electricity. These are all do-able; just make sure you budget about 1% of the cost of the house for maintenance.
  • Renter headaches. Renters can have more power than the landlord. They can pay late or not at all, damage the property, and, in general, cause more trouble than they are worth.
  • Fees. Property tax, HOA fees if you own a condo, utilities,”

Tessa Campbell: 

“Investing in real estate provides a series of advantages such as a long-term appreciation, increased asset control, portfolio diversification, a hedge against market volatility, and access to a passive cash flow. Investors may also be able to benefit from tax advantages like tax-free capital gains and deductions in interest.

“But just like with any investment, there’s no guarantee that your real-estate investments will be successful. This can be a significant disadvantage as investing in real estate is generally more expensive than other, more liquid assets like stocks or bonds. Other downsides of investing in real estate are the long-term commitment, extensive fees, high minimums, and overall illiquidity.”

Who should consider investing in real estate?

Sandra Cho:

“People who already have a diversified traditional investment account and have excess funds they would like to invest in an alternative asset class.”

Tessa Campbell:

“You should consider investing in real estate if you have the funds to meet the high minimums and are looking for long-term alternative investment options to gain passive cash flow, hedge against inflation, and diversify your investment portfolio.”

Is there any advice you’d offer someone investing in real estate?

Sandra Cho:

“Your primary residence is also real estate, so bear that in mind so you don’t put all your money in one asset class. Make sure you have stocks, bonds, and cash as well. Having these more liquid investments will be important when the property needs repair, doesn’t rent out immediately, or worse, the renters stop paying; and in the possible (but unlikely) event of a catastrophic event like a pipe burst or natural disaster,”

Tessa Campbell:

“Make sure to do your research before investing in real estate properties. For example, location is a huge aspect of successful real estate investing, as knowing the local community, market, and history of property prices can make a huge difference.”

How to Evaluate a Real-Estate Investing App

Our mission at Personal Finance Insider is to help smart people make the best decisions with their money. We know that “best” is often subjective, so we highlight the clear benefits of a financial product along with any limitations with our rating methodology for investing platforms.

We spent hours comparing and contrasting real estate investing apps’ features and fine print so you don’t have to. We reviewed more than a dozen real estate investing app crowdfunding platforms to determine the best options for low fees, investment types, and account features.