Breaking News
More () »

Real estate investing with just a few hundred dollars, new apps make it possible

You don't need to be a millionaire to invest in real estate. New apps will get you started for a few hundred dollars, but be aware of the risks.

The real estate market has been booming in recent years, but unless you're a millionaire, it may seem hard to get in on the action.

That’s the old way of thinking, nowadays you don’t need millions of dollars to invest in real estate, you can do it for just a few hundred bucks.

"It's basically like crowdfunding," Great Waters Financial advisor Taylor Sundeen says.

"And you don't have to be a landlord you don't have to manage the projects."

They're called REITs.

RELATED: 6 home renovations that return the most at resale

"A REIT stands for Real Estate Investment Trust," Sundeen explains.

They're sort of like stocks, but instead of buying shares in a company on the stock exchange, you're buying shares of property, apartment buildings, strip malls, business complexes, you name it.

"For example, our building right here is held by a REIT," Sundeen says.

REITs come in all shapes and sizes.

Some REITs only have one or two buildings in them, while others have huge portfolios with thousands, so you can really spread out your money.

"You can buy them on the exchange, just like going out and buying any other stock out there. You can buy them through a private source too," Sundeen explains.

RELATED: Garage sale gold: Make more money from your stuff

Or you can use an app, two of the most popular are Realty Mogul and Fundrise.

They each have more than a billion dollars’ worth of property you can invest in and they're both fairly inexpensive.

With Fundrise you can get started for only $500.

With Realty Mogul it’s $5,000 to get started, but with Realty Mogul you have more choices with your money.

Sundeen says both companies have great track records, but have only been around for a few years.

He says that’s a concern, because over the last few years the market has been great.

“They haven’t been through an economic downturn like the one in 2008,” Sundeen says. 

“Only using five, six or seven years of performance can be risky because there’s not a lot of history to look at.”

Just how much risk you're willing to take is up to you.

Sundeen says bottom line, do your research, know where your money is going and what they're charging you for fees.

"Just like any other investment you have to do your homework."

Both Fundrise and Realty Mogul say you can earn around 8% of your investment.

Financial experts say the traditional way of buying buildings and renting them yourself is still the most profitable way to do real estate, but with that you're also taking on more risk and you have to manage the property yourself.