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Online Business vs Real Estate: Which is the Better Investment? 

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Deciding whether to invest in an online business or real estate will largely be based on what your goals are, and what you’re looking to get out of it.


Think of it as investing in real estate for physical assets and investing in an online business for digital assets


You want either of these options to bring you long-term wealth or a passive income.

1. Online Business

Investing in online businesses can be fruitful. 


Some online business ideas include content marketing, blogging, or podcasting


Other options for an online business are creating courses and teaching online, writing, and selling eBooks or selling physical products. 


You could build your own website where you sell your service or product, or have another site host and sell your products. 


If you build your own simple website, you could spend less than $50 in capital

1.1. Capital

One of the great things about starting an online business is that you don’t need heaps of money to get started


If you’re interested in blogging, you can start a blog for free


Some blog platforms offer free themes and templates. 


You can choose to spend a bit of cash on exclusive themes, and even then you wouldn’t be breaking the bank. 


More and more people are deciding to leave their day jobs to pursue blogging full-time, and they’re proving to be successful.


Starting a website can be simple, but if you have the means and you’d rather pay a company or someone to create your site, you have that choice too. 


There’s also the option of buying an existing business (for as little as $100!) on specific marketplaces online.


The business of buying and selling websites has become quite popular. 


Investors buy a website that’s struggling to make a profit, revive it, and make it profitable, then sell it. 


1.2. Time 

When it comes to building an online business, you’ll generally need to put in a lot of time, especially at the beginning. 


If you choose to do something you love, chances are you won’t even feel the time going by! 


Of course, the sooner you want your business to be up and running, the more time you’ll have to put in. 


Thankfully you don’t have to do everything by yourself. 


Some platforms guide you through setting up your entire business and will manage your sales for you. This means you don’t even need a big team of employees.


There will be aspects of your business that you could outsource and aspects you might want to handle yourself. 


So, what are the pros and cons?

1.3. Pros

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Pros
  • There’s little to no capital required to start.
  • You can work on your own schedule most of the time which gives you a lot of flexibility.
  • If you enjoy what you’re doing, you can make a profit without working too hard
  • It can become a passive income stream, so you’ll literally earn money without lifting a finger (after the months of hard work!)

1.4. Cons

Cons
  • Technology can be unreliable: Platforms’ policies can change, affecting your business or technical issues can cause your site to go down.
  • Requires a lot of time, which can slow down the process of earning if you’re not doing it full time.
  • Income isn’t fixed and could vary from month to month. 

1.5. Potential 

Potential

You might be wondering if an online business has the potential to grow enough for you to achieve your financial goals


Let’s see.


Earlier on we looked at investors buying and selling online businesses. 


This is expanding and will continue to grow.


That means that your online business could be sold for a large sum of money someday if you’re willing to sell it. 


Just take a moment to think of how a business with no capital put in, can make thousands to millions of dollars


The greatest thing about this is that your business can be as small as you want, or as big as you want. 


There are also other ways of potential growth besides buying and selling. 


You can expand your business by partnering with other companies for big or small endeavors. 


All in all, an online business can certainly be profitable if you’re willing to put in the effort. 


The factors you will need to consider are your skills, your goals for the long-term, and how much time you’re willing to dedicate

2. Real Estate

Investing in real estate can be one of the most rewarding ways to earn a passive income. 


The most common ways to make money in real estate are to rent out a property for income or buy and sell a property for profit.

2.1. Capital 

Real estate investments need a lot of capital, so it’s going to cost you to start up. 


Most investors will need to take out a loan or borrow money to get started on buying their first property, and this can be tough to do. 


In some cases, depending on the market, you’ll need to invest in more than one property to gain more income.


Besides a down payment, you’ll need to consider other factors. 


Insurance, maintenance, and property taxes are some examples of fees that will come up. 

2.2. Time 

Investing in real estate will take some of your time in the beginning, but once you have bought your property, it won’t require a lot of time. 


You’ll need to spend time choosing a property, acquiring capital, and choosing the right tenants


You might also want to revamp the property before you rent it out, and this will also demand your time, money, and effort. 


When it comes to managing your property, the time you spend will depend on whether or not you’re doing things by yourself. 


Reliable electricians, plumbers, and maintenance staff can assist you with property repairs, so you won’t have to do that yourself.


Once you revamp the property and start renting it out, you can sit back and watch your real estate investment become a passive income stream


Let’s look at the pros and cons of real estate investment.

2.3. Pros 

Pros
  • Income and profitability will become passive relatively quickly.
  • It doesn’t require much of your time once you’ve bought the property and found tenants.
  • Sustainable if you manage the property well.
  • There is the option of buying real estate online.

2.4. Cons

Cons
  • Requires a large sum of capital
  • The economy and commodity prices aren’t fixed so sometimes rent can be lowered or property value can depreciate.
  • In some parts of the world, the weather can destroy your property, incurring more costs than usual.
  • City regulations can play a role, like renovations close to your property may have an impact on your tenants. 

2.5. Potential 

Let’s discuss all the factors involved to see if real estate has the potential wealth you’re looking for


If you have more than one property or are in between long term rentals, you could rent your property on a short term basis via Airbnb. 


You can extend or expand your property and rent to more tenants or lease the property for another use, like office space.


You could also sell easements for your property or land. An easement gives someone, besides the owner, the right to use a property. 


Easements are normally for a specific purpose, like construction work, or recreational activities like a bike trail, and they only last for a certain time period.


It will usually last for as long as the current owner owns the property. Once the property is sold, the easement needs to be renewed by the new owner. 


The real estate marketplace is huge, so there’s also the option of selling your property, which can give you a lot of profit. 


If you have a property in a high-demand area, you could sell the property for much more than its actual worth.  


If you’re a co-owner with someone else, you can buy their share of the property.


Owning property can definitely be profitable, but you will need to consider factors like the current economic market and trends.  

Online business vs real estate 

3. Can you do both? 

Only you can answer this question.


It all depends on your passion, your goals, and your expectations. 


It’s certainly possible. There are entrepreneurs out there that have invested in both an online business and real estate. 


If you have the capital to invest in real estate, it’s worth it for long-term wealth, or for the extra income.


Most properties appreciate in value, which means you can sell your property one day if you don’t want to be in real estate forever. 


Remember that real estate investments can become a passive income stream, so you won’t have much work to do in the long run.


Having an online business will generally need more time and dedication than owning property, but if you truly enjoy your business then that’s no problem.


If your goal is to solely work from home, you might want to consider an online business. 


If your goal is attaining long-term wealth, you could consider real estate investment.


You can also buy and sell property on online marketplaces.


If you’re passionate about both real estate and online businesses, then why not try both? 

4. Conclusion 

Starting an online business seems like a better investment, largely due to the low start-up costs and flexibility. 


Real estate has more risk factors and requires a lot of capital. 


Although an online business might entail consistent effort, it’s overall more enjoyable and can feel more rewarding


The choice between the two ultimately depends on you as an individual


Examine your goals and your passions and decide exactly what you are hoping to gain. 


There are opportunities to grow and learn in both streams. 

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