The most common source of real estate profit is the appreciation – the increase in the value – of the property in question. This is achieved in different ways for different types of real estate. And, most importantly, it is only realized through selling or refinancing. If you are considering refinancing, then use our mortgage calculator to calculate current refinance rates.

Raw Land

The most obvious source of appreciation for undeveloped land is, of course, developing it. As cities expand, land outside the limits becomes more and more valuable because of the potential for it to be purchased by developers. Then developers build houses that raise that value even further. Appreciation in land can also come from discoveries of valuable minerals or materials, provided that the buyer holds the rights. An extreme example of this would be striking oil, but appreciation can also come from gravel deposits, trees and so on.

Residential Property

When looking at residential properties, location is often the biggest factor in appreciation. As the neighborhood around a home evolves, adding transit routes, schools, shopping centers, playgrounds and so on, the value climbs. Of course, this trend can also work in reverse, with home values falling as a neighborhood decays.

Home improvements can also spur appreciation, and this is something a property owner can directly control. Putting in a new bathroom, upgrading to a heated garage and remodeling to an open concept kitchen are just some of the ways a property owner may try to increase the value of a home. Many of these techniques have been refined to high-return fixes by property flippers who specialize in adding value to a home in a short time.

Commercial Property

Commercial property gains value for the same reasons as the previous two types: location, development, and improvements. The best commercial properties are in demand, and that drives the price up on them.

Commercial Property Income

Commercial properties can produce income from the aforementioned sources – with basic rent again being the most common – but can also add one more in the form of option income. Many commercial tenants will pay fees for contractual options like the right of first refusal on the office next door. These are essentially options that tenants pay a premium to hold, whether they exercise them or not. Options income is sometimes used for raw land and even residential property, but they are far from common

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