To use real estate as an alternative investment, clients needn’t be limited to REITs or REIT funds or private partnerships.

Some forms of real estate investing are truly outside of the mainstream. With tax liens or tax deeds, for example, investors pay someone else’s outstanding property tax bill, hoping for interest income and perhaps outright ownership of the real estate. Another tactic is to engage in what’s known as private money lending, advancing funds to home buyers with loans secured by the property.

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