Some of the richest people in the world got that way by investing in real estate. Over time, it remains one of the best methods to amass real wealth. Buying and owning real estate has helped everyday people make a fortune in every part of the country. Just look at the real estate billionaires on the Forbes 400 list. Even though not every billionaire on the list started with nothing or even made their money exclusively in real estate, there are 24 real estate tycoons on this year’s Forbes 400 list that may serve as inspiration for those who thought about investing in real estate.
For instance, Donald Bren ($16.2 billion) built a real estate empire in California and founded the massive Irvine Company, owning more than 126 million square feet of real estate, more than 560 office buildings, and 125 apartment complexes. Bren started out building houses in southern California, then collaborated with other investors to buy a huge tract of land to plan and develop the city of Mission Viejo, California. He went on to develop on his accomplishments, eventually becoming the sole owner of the Irvine Company and earning his place as a real estate billionaire.
Another fascinating case study is Sam Zell ($6 billion), who made his money primarily through his stakes in Equity Lifestyle, an owner and operator of manufactured home communities and RV resorts. He also has large holdings in the apartment REIT Equity Residential. Zell grew up in Illinois and got his start managing an apartment building. He eventually bought out the building’s owner and then went into apartment building development with a partner, investing in places as diverse as Toledo, Ohio, and Reno, Nevada.
And then there’s Jeff Greene ($5.1 billion), who started out working as a busboy in Palm Beach, Florida. After a brief stint in politics, Greene began investing in real estate, mostly condos and apartment buildings. He made his first real money during the housing market crash of 2007 and 2008 when he used unconventional investing strategies that involved trading credit default swaps. The resulting returns put Greene on the Forbes 400 list. His holdings in Florida have even more recently soared in value, adding billions to his net worth in just the last year or two.
The common element among these three real-life investor stories is that each one of them spent decades building on previous successful investments to grow their real estate wealth. While there is no assurance that every real estate investor will become a billionaire or even a millionaire, the stories are common enough that it shows how much potential real estate investing holds.
The first steps in real estate investing can seem like a distant dream. But with a little planning and some hard work, it can become a reality for anyone who wants it badly enough. Most experts recommend starting by buying a residential rental property. They tend to be more affordable than larger real estate investments and offer the potential for both positive cash flows and appreciation. However, being successful in real estate, you also need the right team of people on your side, ready to help you make the most of every investment.
That’s where Real Property Management Steel City can help! We work with rental real estate investors to provide market assessment, quality data, and Cañon City property management services. We can even help you find great off-market deals on your next investment property. Contact us to learn more.
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