Real estate is just one of multiple asset classes in which to invest. You can invest in paper such as currencies, stocks or bonds. Perhaps diversify a bit and place your money in a mutual fund and spread your funds based upon your appetite for risk.

Other assets, real assets, are ones that you canreal estate tips touch with your own hands. Of these, more and more investors are turning to real estate. An asset that you can touch with your own hands but also provides a positive monthly cash flow. Before you get too much further however, here are three things to consider.

Real estate isn’t a liquid investment. If you get buyer’s remorse it costs money to sell the asset and can take weeks to find the right buyer at the right price. In addition, real estate requires at least 20 percent down from your own funds and 25 percent down if you want the absolute best long term rate. Real estate is an asset that will gradually increase in value over time. You can also flip a property if the buy/sell dynamic is favorable, just remember you can’t dispose of real estate like you can sell a stock certificate.

Understand not just the math but the future prospects for appreciation. How is the neighborhood? What are the prospects for future job growth? How are the schools? In other words, know the market from all aspects. Don’t put your money into any investment without talking to your financial planner and your real estate agent.

You can invest in real estate without buying any property. Other real estate investors often need cash to acquire certain properties to rehabilitate them.  Such properties need to be repaired before a typical buyer can obtain conventional financing. This is called “private lending” and you can invest your own funds into a project by providing all or part of the financing needed and the property is your collateral. The rates of return on private lending can reach double digits and by properly vetting a potential project, foreclosing on a property is virtually non-existent.