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What Is A Reit?

If investing in real estate appeals to you but you are not so well heeled that you can go shopping for investment properties like they were appliances, you may want to give some thought to investing in real estate investment trusts (REIT). As you would with shares of common stocks, you can buy and sell different REITs, and having REITS in your portfolio of investments could be a good way to add some diversification.

There are two basic categories of REITs, although even within each category there are variables to consider. An equity REIT owns a mix of stocks and one or more pieces of property, often specializing in a particular type of real estate, such as shopping centers. As the name suggests, a mortgage REIT owns debt instruments, buying existing mortgages, collecting payments on them, then passing on the money to investors.

The fortunes of the two kinds of REITs rise and fall with the markets in different ways. Equity REITs prosper in a strong real estate market and when the values of stocks are on the rise. Shares in mortgage REITs, combining the features of real estate and bonds, tend to trade with the bond market, so that when interest rates rise, mortgage REIT shares generally fall along with bond values.

The federal tax code requires a REIT to pay investors at least 90% of its taxable income each year. This means that REITs pay little or no corporate income tax, thus improving on the tax treatment of dividends, which can be taxed twice, with both the company and the shareholders owing taxes on them. As with any investment, you should collect and understand all information for any REITs being considered before investing.

This website is not intended to constitute legal advice or the provision of legal services. By posting and/or maintaining the website and its contents, Lucas Law does not intend to solicit business from clients located in states or jurisdictions outside of Illinois wherein Lucas Law or its individual attorney(s) are not licensed or authorized to practice law.

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