Passive Investing in Real Estate: Understanding the Differences between REITs and Direct Ownership

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Are you looking to invest in real estate, but don’t want the hassle of being a landlord? Then passive investing could be the perfect option for you. While there are many types of passive real estate investments available, two popular options are Real Estate Investment Trusts (REITs) and direct ownership. But what sets these two apart? In this blog post, we’ll explore the differences between REITs and direct ownership to help you make an informed decision about which strategy is right for your investment goals. So let’s dive in!

What are REITs?

REITs are a type of investment that allows you to passively invest in real estate. REITs are traded on major exchanges and offer investors the ability to diversify their portfolios with a relatively small investment. there are two types of REITs: equity REITs and mortgage REITs. Equity REITs own and operate income-producing real estate, such as office buildings, retail centers, apartments, and warehouses. Mortgage REITs lend money to owners of income-producing real estate or purchase mortgages or mortgage-backed securities.

REITs offer many benefits to investors including high dividend yields, liquidity, diversification, and professional management. However, REITs also have some drawbacks including the potential for high expenses, lack of control over properties, and concentration risk. Before investing in a REIT, be sure to research the company thoroughly and understand the risks involved.

What is Direct Ownership?

There are two main types of real estate investment: REITs and direct ownership. Both have their own advantages and disadvantages, so it’s important to understand the difference before making any decisions.

REITs, or Real Estate Investment Trusts, are a type of investment that allows you to pool your money with other investors and buy shares in a portfolio of properties. This gives you exposure to the real estate market without having to directly own any property yourself.

The main advantage of investing in REITs is that it’s a relatively low-risk way to get started in real estate investing. You’re also not responsible for any maintenance or repairs on the properties, which can be a major advantage if you’re not experienced in those areas.

However, there are some drawbacks to REITs as well. One is that they often don’t perform as well as direct ownership during periods of high inflation, since the value of the properties in the portfolio is tied to the overall market. Additionally, REITs can be less liquid than other investments, which means it may be difficult to sell your shares when you want or need to.

Direct ownership, on the other hand, is exactly what it sounds like: you own a property outright and are responsible for all aspects of its management and upkeep. This includes finding tenants, collecting rent, paying bills, and dealing with repairs and maintenance issues.

The biggest advantage of direct ownership is that it offers the potential for

Advantages and Disadvantages of each investment method

When it comes to investing in real estate, there are two primary methods: purchasing a property outright (direct ownership) or investing in a Real Estate Investment Trust (REIT). Both have their advantages and disadvantages, which should be carefully considered before making an investment.

Direct ownership offers several advantages. First, you have complete control over the property. You can make all the decisions about what to do with it and how to operate it. This can be a good thing if you know what you’re doing and you’re confident in your ability to make money with the property. However, it also means that you’re completely responsible for any losses that may occur.

Another advantage of direct ownership is that you may be able to get a better return on your investment. This is because you’re not sharing the profits with other investors; all of the income from the property goes directly into your pocket. Finally, direct ownership gives you the opportunity to build equity in the property over time through appreciation and/or by making improvements to it.

There are also some disadvantages to owning a property outright. The most obvious one is that it requires a significant amount of money upfront; most people don’t have tens or hundreds of thousands of dollars sitting around that they can use to buy a property. Additionally, direct ownership ties up all of your capital in one asset, which can be risky if the value of the property decreases. And finally, unless you hire professional management, being a landlord can be time

Which investment method is right for you?

There are two popular methods of investing in real estate: buying a property outright (known as direct ownership), or purchasing shares in a Real Estate Investment Trust (REIT). Both have their pros and cons, so it’s important to understand the difference before making a decision.

Direct ownership offers more control over the property, but also comes with more responsibility. You’ll need to find tenants, handle repairs and maintenance, and deal with all the other headaches that come with being a landlord. And unless you’re buying a property with cash, you’ll need to get a mortgage, which adds another layer of complexity.

REITs are much simpler. You can buy or sell shares on the stock market, just like any other company, and you don’t have to worry about any of the day-to-day management. But because you don’t have direct control over the property, you may not make as much money in the long run if it appreciates in value.

So which is right for you? It depends on your goals and your level of commitment. If you want to be hands-off and don’t mind sacrificing potential upside for simplicity, an REIT might be the way to go. But if you’re willing to put in the work and want the potential for higher returns, direct ownership could be the better choice.


Real estate investing can be an incredibly lucrative avenue for passive income, and understanding the differences between REITs and direct ownership is key. While REITs are a great way to get started in real estate investing with minimal capital, they lack some of the potential benefits that come from direct ownership. By taking the time to research both options and choose which one works best for your individual needs, you can set yourself up to maximize returns while minimizing risk associated with these investments.

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