Real Estate Investment Trusts (REITs) have been around for a number of years.  However, they have some uniquie risk – reward features that every investor should be aware.  Consequently, we have provided a series of posts, which provide information concerning these types of investments.  Because of the fact that this information is being provided for informational and/or educational purposes only, it is not designed to be complete in all material respects.  Thus, it should not be relied upon as legal or investment advice.  If you have any questions about REITs, you should contacted a qualified professional.

Specifically, REITs have been around for more than fifty years. Congress established REITs in 1960 to allow individual investors to invest in large-scale, income-producing real estate. REITs provide a way for individual investors to earn a share of the income produced through commercial real estate ownership – without actually having to go out and buy commercial real estate.

What is a REIT?

A REIT, generally, is a company that owns – and typically operates – income-producing real estate or real estate-related assets. The income-producing real estate assets owned by a REIT may include office buildings, shopping malls, apartments, hotels, resorts, self-storage facilities, warehouses, and mortgages or loans. Most REITs specialize in a single type of real estate – for example, apartment communities. There are retail REITs, office REITs, residential REITs, healthcare REITs, and industrial REITs, to name a few. What distinguishes REITs from other real estate companies is that a REIT must acquire and develop its real estate properties primarily to operate them as part of its own investment portfolio, as opposed to reselling those properties after they have been developed.