How We Chose The Real Estate Websites
To choose the best seven, we reviewed 18 real estate websites. We uncovered their pros and cons, tested the search and sort capabilities, and dove into app reviews to see what people loved and what they wanted to see improved.
The companies’ reputations influenced our decision for the best as well. We studied and compared sites against each other to see which provided more information, how easy it was to find, and whether we can do it on the run in our mobile app.
Finally, we dug into how the website compiled information. Did it seek source data or did it glean it from another third-party site? And we looked at the money how its earned, and who pays for what services. Based on all of these important factors, we selected the best real estate websites.
Can You Make Money In Real Estate Crowdfunding
The short answer to this question is yes.
In fact, in a 145-year study , researchers analyzed the returns of the major investment types and found that real estate outperformed the stock market, and with less risk.
In recent years, according to Fundrise, the average annualized return for their crowdfunded investments were:
- 2019: 9.47%
- 2014: 12.25%
Best Real Estate Crowdfunding Investment Platforms Of December 2021
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Real estate crowdfunding has transformed the real estate investing landscape. Once reserved for only the most affluent investors, many crowdfunding platforms have significantly lowered the barrier to entry for this type of alternative investment.
Low account minimums, simple fee structures and clean user interfaces make it easier than ever to include real estate in a well-diversified portfolio. Its important to note that some real estate crowdfunding platforms, including three of our picks below, are open only to accredited investors.
What’s the difference between these platforms and REITs?
Real estate investments trusts are companies that own real estate, like hotels, malls, shopping centers or rental properties. Publicly traded REITs can be purchased through a brokerage just like individual stocks or mutual funds.
What’s the difference between these platforms and REITs?
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What Is An Accredited Investor
A lot of the private real estate investments are reserved for accredited investors only. A number of these new crowdfunded real estate investments are too. No, this isnt some exclusive club that you didn’t get the the invite to. This is a federal regulation.
An accredited investor is someone who is allowed to be involved with investments that may not be registered with financial authorities. Governing authorities like the SEC and FINRA heavily regulate public investments that are available to average retail investors.
These agencies aim to protect investors from unforeseen risks. It is impossible for them to regulate every investment out there, so some go unregulated. They expect the individual investors to do their own due diligence. As a result, they want to make sure these investors have the financial capacity to take this risk.
Most of these private real estate deals are completely legitimate, but you need to know what you are looking for. Before these crowdfunded real estate platforms emerged, only these accredited investors were able to invest in these private or closed door real estate offerings.
Are Real Estate Websites Accurate
Accuracy has been and still is the biggest challenge for real estate websites and their mobile apps. Some companies have improved their accuracy by validating the information collected by their algorithms using their own research staff. The websites have improved information refreshes from a few times per day to every 15 minutes, or in real-time in some cases.
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Are Real Estate Crowdfunding Platforms Worth It
Maybe. It depends on your investment goals, your risk tolerance, how long you can afford to have your money tied up in an investment vehicle, and your comfort with new technology.
Accredited investors have more options when it comes to real estate crowdfunding investment opportunities. Still, non-accredited investors who would like to use this type of investment as a way to diversify a growing portfolio may find the potential for higher-than-average returns attractive.
If you want to try real estate crowdfunding and have access to money you can afford to have tied up in an investment for a while, it may be a worthwhile experiment. Be sure to take time to get comfortable with the platform. Understand the terms and fees before signing paperwork or committing funds to the investment. If you are interested in real estate as an investment but arent sure about crowdfunding platforms, you may find that publicly-traded REITs are a better fit.
What Is Real Estate Investing
Real estate investing generally doesnt mean buying a home to live in. While a home purchase may result in appreciation , youre not getting the tax advantages associated with investing or a monthly cash flow. And since youre not getting any rental income, youre sinking your own money into expenses that do not contribute to its appreciation. Think mortgage interest, property tax, insurance, utilities, lawn maintenance etc., In an ideal investment situation you would never have to dig into your own pocket because the rental income would cover all those costs.
Plus, since you always need a place to live, its hard to buy and sell your home at the most adventageous market time, as you would with a true investment. Instead, you usually buy your home when you need the space and can afford it, and sell it when you dont want to live there anymore its rarely possible to time the buying and selling as to when it will make you the greatest return, because your main consideration is if the house is serving your familys needs, not if it is making you the most money.
Besides that caveat, theres plenty of ways to invest in real estate.
Here are a few common ways you can make a healthy return off property:
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What Is Master Leasing
Master leasing means renting and furnishing an apartment and renting it out on Airbnb.
Another way to make money with Airbnb is to manage properties for owners who wish to rent their properties out via the site. This is not as hands-on as you might think.
Cost: If youre using master leasing, you will need to pay the rent on the apartment. Ideally, youre getting enough bookings to cover the rent and make a profit but if the bookings dont cover the rent, youre on the hook.
Managing properties doesnt cost you anything. Whatever expenses you incur should be factored into what youre charging the owner for your services.
Real Estate Mutual Funds
Real estate funds invest in REITs and real estate operating companies . REOCs are like REITs, but they dont have to pay dividends, so they grow much faster.
Real estate mutual funds or exchange-traded funds are the simplest ways to invest in real estate. You allow a manager or even an index to choose the best real estate investment while you collect dividends.
Even if youre a stocks-only investor, consider using real estate funds to get diversification while keeping the liquidity profile youre used to.
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Best For For Sale By Owner: Fsbocom
Saving home sellers commissions since 1997, FSBO.com is our best website for For Sale By Owner sellers who want to DIY their home sale. FSBO.com has a packaged offering that includes an option to list on the MLS and syndicated real estate websites including Zillow, Trulia, and Realtor, to name a few.
Easy-to-find price plan offers an MLS listing and syndication on real estate websites
Search for professional services in your state to support both buyer and seller
Partners with Foreclosure.com for searchable access to foreclosure inventory
Less property information than traditional broker listing sites
Fewer search and sort criteria
No mobile app
While selling your home without hiring a listing agent could save you from potentially paying 5% to 6% commission fees, there are fees to sell your home on FSBO.com. There are two selling plans offered. The FSBO package for $99.95 includes a 6-month listing on FSBO.com, a video upload, and unlimited photos.
The MLS package for $399.95 includes a listing on the MLS and syndication on several of the best real estate websites like Zillow, Trulia, and Realtor.com. There are other options available depending on the state in which you live.
Best Real Estate Websites For Buyers And Sellers In 2022
Here is the list of the 22 best real estate websites in 2022 for buying, selling, renting, or managing real estate. These websites provide a plethora of unique features, tools, data analytics, and automated software for real estate buyers, sellers, investors, and landlords. Some new and unique real estate websites have been made into the list which you may or may not be aware of.
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Rocket Dollar: Mix Your Ira With Alternative Investments
When you register for a Rocket Dollar account, you can invest in all the platforms above. Rocket Dollar is an IRA platform that allows you to take complete control of your retirement funds and move your money to new and exciting places.
You could invest that money in anything, and you might try StreitWise, GroundFloor, etc. If you want to invest in real estate crowdfunding as part of your retirement strategy, theres no need to open multiple accounts. Transfer your IRA to Rocket Dollar and invest in any of the platforms above.
You can also BYOD to Rocket Dollar and add that investment to your account. If you want more freedom while planning for the future, feel like real estate is the best place to put your money and want to be actively involved in your investments, try Rocket Dollar.
- Majority of investments only open to accredited investors
Which Is Better Zillow Or Redfin
Unlike Realtor, Redfin is a broker and they have their own real estate agents. This differentiates it significantly from Zillow and Realtor. By using their agents, you could save thousands compared to a traditional process, so its definitely an option worth considering for anyone who wants to save as much money in the house-buying process as possible.
However, Redfin falls down when it comes to the ability to browse and look at houses, so Zillow wins on this front again. The choice is up to you.
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How To Become An Accredited Investor
In order to be an accredited investor, you must meet either of these two requirements:
These individuals have the means to burden the risks associated with unregulated private investment offerings. This includes private real estate deals, hedge funds, venture capital deals and other unregulated investments. A number of the real estate investments reviewed in this article require you to be an accredited investor.
Best Property Research: Realtymogul
- Average annual returns: 4.5% to 8%
- Total Investor distributions: $136 million
- Investment options: REITs, individual properties , and 1031 exchanges
- Accredited investors only: No
Since its inception in 2012, more than 219,000 investors have joined RealtyMogul to access its REITs and private market offerings. Known for its exemplary due diligence, the company vets every potential property in person and scrutinizes each deal using propriety methods and models.
The company looks for well-leased properties or those with existing leases, and it works only with real estate partners with proven track records and experience managing assets. It does not invest in non-cash-flowing investments, such as raw land or ground-up construction. Investors can choose from three objectives: passive income, growth, and diversification.
Monthly auto-investing in REITs starting at $250 per month
Different fees associated with each investment
Investments not easily sold or traded
Some long hold periods
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Why People Invest In Real Estate
There are three main reasons Canadians invest in real estate.
Low bar to entry. Real estate investing is so popular primarily because it requires such little knowledge. Almost anyone can figure out how to buy and sell a property and rent it out. There are even firms specializing in managing investment properties, which takes away a large portion of the headache. In contrast, investing in the stock market tends to intimidate people. .
The power of leverage. Banks are willing to lend out piles of money for real estate at near-historic low interest rates. Mortgage debt reached nearly $1.44 trillion in 2018, almost eclipsing our GDP. But mortgages, a burden on principal residences, are a boon for income properties. Leverage is an extremely useful, albeit risky, tool in investing. Gains are magnified, and so are losses. They allow investors to use very little of their own cash while getting someone else to pay their debt and build their equity. You can use leverage in any kind of investment, but the banks will lend much smaller amounts at higher rates. This factor alone makes real investing attractive.
Tax benefits. Nothing eats away at returns like taxes. And like most businesses, real estate investing has several tax advantages. Investors can deduct mortgage interest, just like any other sort of investment loan . Investors can also defer income taxes by claiming property depreciation, not to mention write off any expenses for maintaining and running the property.
How To Invest In Real Estate Crowdfunding
Crowdfunding makes real estate investing accessible to individuals with smaller savings.
With returns that can surpass 10 percent annually along with the host of other wealth-building traits I mentioned earlier having real estate in your portfolio is a definite game changer.
Pooling your money together allows you and other investors to come together to purchase expensive properties you would have otherwise been unable to buy on your own.
There are different options when it comes to profiting from real estate crowdfunding.
Some deals involve receiving dividends from rental income , while others involve flipping the property adding value by fixing or renovating it and then reselling the building for a profit.
Benefits Of Reading Real Estate Investing Blogs
The real estate industry is rapidly changing, right along with the markets youre currently in, or thinking about investing in.
One of the dangers of only reading about real estate in the MSM publications like the Wall Street Journal, Forbes, or your local newspaper is that by the time information makes it to press everybody knows about it. As the saying goes, Old news is no news.
The best real estate blogs are like having your own personal fountain of youth for fresh news. To be fair, other people may be reading the same sites, but only a select few, and the other guy likely isnt putting that information to work the same way you will.
Reading real estate blogs lets you take your business to the next level by understanding trends, and making the trend your friend, and staying one step ahead of the competition. Other benefits of reading real estate investing blogs are:
Roofstock Invest In Rental Properties
Roofstock is a real estate investment marketplace that lets you buy turnkey single-family rental properties with just 20% down. Its free to sign up and you can browse their marketplace for properties based on a variety of factors such as list price, location, monthly rent, schools, etc. And if youre familiar with 1031 Exchanges, they will also show you which properties are eligible for that as well.
Heres a snapshot of some of the properties available as of June 11th, 2019:
If youre wondering why theyre on the list, its because you can also buy shares in real estate similar to how you buy shares of deals on other sites. You can invest in custom portfolios so you can invest with some diversification. For example, there was one portfolio that consisted of 6 single-family homes in St. Louis. There was another one that was 7 single-family residences in the Midwest.
If you do invest in a home, you own it and can lean on their property management services , insurance, etc.
Finally, it feels silly to say this, but they have a 30-day money-back guarantee. If you buy a property and are unhappy, they will refund it .
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Best Real Estate Website Auctioncom
Auction.com is the nation’s leading online real estate marketplace offering over 30,000 discounted residential bank-owned and foreclosure home deals. It is also one of the best real estate websites which can help you reach your real estate investment goals by offering the largest selection of residential bank-owned and foreclosure homes. Auction.coms marketplace has streamlined distressed property transactions for buyers and sellers.
With the help of technology and data science, they have created an unrivaled transaction platform that has resulted in $39 billion in sales, 4.4 million registered buyers on Auction.com, 329,000 properties sold to date, 30,000 properties available for sale, 1,000+ employees serving the needs of buyers and sellers, and more than 15,000 auctions per year in all 50 states.
The buyers can bid and purchase properties using their superior technology platform. Buyers can receive convenient access to property information, exclusive inventory, personalized property matches, onsite and online education, and customer support throughout the entire process. The sellers receive the nations largest and most reputable auction programs, an unrivaled marketing reach, and data intelligence and insights to move assets quickly.