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Real Estate Investing For Every Budget [From $0 to $250k plus]

Looking for the ultimate guide to investing in real estate for every budget?  This is it.  We have put together an extensive list of real estate investments conveniently categorized along key price points. 

So whether you have less than $1,000 or more than $250,000, we cover it.

Want to skip ahead to your budget category? Just click on the desired link below.

Let’s get into it!

This post may contain affiliate links.  If you click on a link and complete a transaction, I may make a small commission at no extra cost to you.

The information contained in this post is for informational purposes only. It is not a recommendation to buy or invest, and it is not financial, investment, legal, or tax advice. You should seek the advice of a qualified professional before making any investment or other decisions relating to the topics covered by this article.

What Are Real Estate Investments For $1,000 and Under?

Rent Out Your Spare Rooms

Down Payment Assistance Programs


Online Real Estate Crowdfunding (Fundrise, Modiv)



Seller Financing

Buying “Subject To”

Rent Out Your Spare Rooms

If you have a home, you can make extra money by renting out spare rooms or even storage spaces, like attics, extra bedrooms, basements, etc.  

Room renting is simple.  Just list your room on platforms like roomi, roomster,, or any number of other room renting websites.  You can also use Airbnb to rent out your spare rooms.

As for renting out your spare space, you can do that through listing platforms like Neighbor.  

Related Reading:  If you want to learn more, I go into specifics around room renting in this article and explore the storage rental option here.

If you are going to rent out your room, make sure you check with your local government rules (and homeowners association rules, if applicable) to make sure it is allowed.

Use Government Down Payment Assistance Programs

You can buy a home with an FHA loan that requires a 3.5% down payment.  Then you can use a government down payment assistance program like the Chenoa Fund that gives you a loan equal to that 3.5% down payment.

The strategy is to buy it, live in it, and convert it to a rental property later.  Or you can live in it and rent out the spare rooms or storage spaces like we just discussed.  

The programs are pretty cool, especially if you are low income (they will forgive that down payment loan if you make 36 monthly payments on time).  

Even if you are not low-income, they have programs where you may still borrow the down payment and wind up with a zero down payment deal (although you will have to pay it back).  

Related Reading: To learn more about this amazing and little-known strategy, check out my article going into all of the details here.  That article covers this strategy as well as a bunch of other no money down strategies that you can use.

Invest in a REIT

You can indirectly invest in real estate through a REIT.  A REIT stands for a Real Estate Investment Trust.  It is a vehicle that invests in income-generating real estate.  They reward their investors by paying out almost all profits from their investments (at least 90%) in the form of dividends.

Investing in a REIT is simple.  Open up a brokerage account at any of the many brokerage houses out there.  Vanguard and Fidelity are among the largest, although Robinhood and others are gaining popularity too. 

You can then start looking at REITs that look interesting to you.  There is a lot of variety and they are available at many price points.  If you are new to this form of investing you may want to reduce your risk by investing in a REIT ETF or REIT mutual fund.  

In REIT investing, there really is no minimum (or at least a very low one).  You can basically invest as little or as much as you want.  

Invest Through a Real Estate Crowdfunding Platform

Real estate crowdfunding platforms have been gaining in popularity in recent years.  They operate like a REIT because they invest in real estate and pay back investors a part of the profits.  But these investments can range from fix and flips to rental properties to other types of real estate investments.     

So if you want to invest in real estate, but don’t want to deal with the headaches of actually managing the properties, this is a nice option.  


You may not have heard of wholesaling, so let me give a brief definition.

Wholesaling is a strategy where you find a below-market value property and sign a contract with the seller to buy it (with the ability to assign the contract to someone else).  You then sell that contract to someone else (usually an investor) at a higher purchase price and keep the difference.  

It’s not easy to find an undervalued property, but if you can, it’s a pretty good strategy that requires no money to get started. 


If you don’t have money to buy an investment property, you can find a partner who will front the money in return for a share of the profits.  You can ask relatives, friends, coworkers – anyone with money really.  The challenge is going to be finding someone who trusts you enough to put their money at risk.  

Seller Financing

Seller financing is a term you may not have heard before, so here’s a brief description. 

Seller financing is a real estate investment strategy where the seller, rather than the bank finances your purchase of the property.  

If the seller is motivated enough, they may offer to finance the entire purchase price, meaning you have a zero down deal.

But those sellers are going to be rare.  You will need to find a seller who owns their property outright (i.e., has no mortgage).  If they don’t, you may need to do a “wraparound mortgage” where the existing mortgage is rolled into a larger loan made by the seller.  

But if you do that, a due on sale clause in the bank’s loan agreement with the seller may be triggered, which could make the entire mortgage come due.  This will likely blow up the whole deal.

Also, seller financing deals usually involve shorter-term loans, with a balloon payment at the end.  If you can’t find alternate financing when the balloon payment comes due, you will either need to pay the full amount or default on the loan.    

Buying a Property “Subject To”

Here’s another unconventional investing strategy that most people haven’t heard about.  

Buying a property “subject to” is a real estate investing strategy where you purchase the property “subject to” the existing mortgage.  In this strategy, you take over the payments on the existing mortgage in exchange for ownership of the property.  

This strategy may work as a no money down investing strategy if you can convince the seller to let the property go for the price of the existing mortgage.  But most sellers may not be that desperate.  

You may still be able to get a no money down deal if the seller is willing to offer seller financing for an amount above the existing mortgage.  In this case, the seller gets a higher purchase price, but you will end up with two mortgages to pay.  

As with seller financing, if the property is sold with an existing mortgage in place, it could trigger a due on sale clause.

Bonus Tips:  For even more great ideas to buy real estate with no (or little) down payment, check out my article detailing 15 ways to invest in rental properties with no money down.  I bet that some of them will surprise you!

What Are Real Estate Investments Under $10,000?

Buy Low-Priced Investment Property

Online Real Estate Crowdfunding ($5k Minimums: Realtymogul, Yieldstreet.

Rent Out Your Spare Rooms


Down Payment Assistance Programs



Seller Financing

Buying “Subject To”

Lease Options

In addition to all of the options discussed in the previous section, if you have a budget of under $10,000 you now have access to the following options:

Buy a Low-Priced Investment Property

In this range, you can buy a low-priced investment property.  As with the strategy mentioned above, if you are willing to live in the property, you may be able to take advantage of a 3.5% down payment FHA loan and afford a property that is close to $300,000.  

That’s an eye-popping deal! But the rub is that you must live in the property.

If you don’t want to do that, you can still find properties you can buy for $10,000 down or less.  Since investment properties usually require at least 15% down, you would need to find a property for less than $67,000 or so.    

I did a quick Zillow search of Cleveland Ohio (I just picked a place that seemed promising) for properties under $50,000 and found about 200 agent listings and over 300 other listings.  Some of them were way lower than $67,000.  Now I am not saying all of these will be great investment properties, but some of them may work out to be fine rentals.

If you choose to go this route, you can start renting out the entire unit from day one and stay in your current home.

Real Estate Crowdfunding – More Options

Within this price range, you can access a broader range of real estate crowdfunding platforms.  For example, realtymogul allows you to invest in their offerings with a minimum of $5,000.  Yieldstreet also allows you to start investing with them starting at $5,000.

Lease Options

What is a Lease Option?

A lease option is a real estate investing strategy where the investor secures a long term lease on a property as well as an option to buy the property during the lease term, which is often multiple years.  In exchange for this right, the investor pays to the owner an option fee.

The option fee varies but may run around 1% of the market value of the property.  So you are probably going to need more than $1,000 but less than $10,000.  

If the investor is able to secure a below market lease (which is possible because they are offering the owner a very long term lease), they can turn around and sub-lease the property to a tenant at full market rates and keep the difference as profit each month.  

The investor may also generate a profit if the property increases in value during the option term.  They would exercise the option and buy the property at the originally agreed price.  They can then resell at the current market price and pocket the difference.  

What Are Real Estate Investments Under $50,000?

Standard Investment Property Purchase

Access to Exclusive Online Real Estate Crowdfunding:

Crowdstreet $35k Min. 

EquityMulitple $10k Min.

Low-End Commercial Properties




Buying “Subject To”

Seller Financing

Down Payment Assistance Programs

Rent Out Your Spare Rooms

In addition to the options we covered in previous sections, you get access to the following additional options in this price range.

Standard Real Estate Investing Purchases

You can now comfortably purchase real estate with a standard investment property mortgage (as mentioned, usually requires 15% down) on a regularly priced home.  This gives you many more investment choices.  

You can select properties in better neighborhoods, which leads to better tenant quality, higher rents, and superior appreciation potential.  In my view, this is the sweet spot in terms of how much you need to get started in building a sustainable real estate portfolio.

Real Estate Crowdfunding – Even More Options

At this price range, you also get access to really exclusive crowdfunding options. Crowdstreet has a minimum investment of $35,000 and is only open to accredited investors (generally $200,000 in income for multiple years or $1,000,000 net worth).  

Other crowdfunding players operate in this space as well, including EquityMultiple, which has a $10,000 minimum investment.

In exchange for these rigorous requirements, these crowdfunding platforms purportedly offer institutional quality offerings.

Low-End Commercial Properties

You can also start to look at lower-priced commercial properties, including small multi-family properties (some 5-10 unit apartments may be available for under

I ran a search on Loopnet for all multi-families in the U.S. under $200,000
and found a 5 unit apartment building for $110,000.  It looked run-down, but the point is that these investments do exist at a low price point.  

I would probably pass on commercial properties in this price range, because of their low quality (and you may have trouble getting it financed because most commercial lenders won’t bother with a loan that small), but I include it as an option to give you as complete a list as possible.

What Are Real Estate Investments Under $250,000?

Small Multi-Family Properties


Triple Net Properties

Online Real Estate Crowdfunding

(Access to all investments if accredited investor)

Standard Investment Property Purchase




Buying “Subject To”

Seller Financing

Down Payment Assistance Programs

Rent Out Your Spare Rooms

Small Multi-Family Properties

If you have between $50,000 and $250,000 you can begin purchasing small multifamily properties (I am talking 2-4 units) as a pure investment play.  This means you don’t need to live in one of the units just to take advantage of FHA financing.  

Related Reading:  I think small multi-family investments are the sweet spot of rental properties and I wrote an article explaining why.  Please check it out if interested. 


You can also start to look at apartments (5 or more units).  But for decent ones, you likely need closer to $200,000 or more, since mid-sized or large apartment complexes start at around $1,000,000.  Apartment investing is highly coveted and many consider it the height of rental property investing.  

It certainly has its benefits (massive cash flow and great scalability being two of the big ones).  If you are curious about investing in apartments, I did a full analysis of this investment class.  Please take a look at my article on the topic to learn more.  

Triple Net Properties

You can also begin looking at triple net properties, which offer long-term leases, truly passive income, and a host of other benefits.  If you ever drove past a freestanding McDonald’s or CVS and wondered who owned the property, chances are good it was just a person like you.  They were simply leasing their property to the big franchise through a triple net lease.

The minimum down payment for triple net properties starts pretty high as well – think around $200,000 – $300,000.

Because of their extremely passive nature (the tenants usually cover everything), real estate investors that are later in their investing cycle often trade into these properties.  They want to decompress from owning apartments and shopping centers that are higher maintenance.   

If you want to learn about this really interesting and stable form of investing, check out my article on the topic.  

Real Estate Crowdfunding – Even More Options Still

With this budget, the only thing really holding you back from taking full advantage of all of the offerings in the crowdfunding space is whether you are an accredited investor.  If you meet that threshold, then it’s an open door to this investment space.

What Are Real Estate Investments Over $250,000?

The world is your oyster when you start getting into the highest range of investable capital.  

You simply go upscale now – commercial property is usually the province of investors with this much capital to invest.  Shopping centers, large apartment complexes, office buildings, and big development projects are all within reach for those with the money to invest in them.  

Usually, you will find that many who buy these larger properties are doing so through syndication (that is, they are pooling their own money with money from multiple investors to fund the purchase).  Turns out even the rich need (or at least want) help buying super-expensive properties.

In fact, that’s essentially what the online crowdfunding guys are doing. 

But traditional syndication has been around for a long time.  Experienced real estate investors have been playing in that space for decades.

Anyway, I hope you make it here – it’s certainly a nice place to be!


There you have it! 

A great list of real estate investment options for every budget.  Of course, this article does not provide a comprehensive look at each option nor is it meant to.  

It is intended to give you ideas that you can explore.  

If you do want to explore, we can certainly offer you more detailed information on most of these options.  As I mentioned earlier, we have articles on room renting, Airbnblower priced properties, like condos, regular rental properties, small multi-family properties, apartments, triple net properties, and more.