Making Money on Real Estate by Holding
Old fashioned and not too sexy, but buying a quality property and then hanging onto it allows you to gain over time. This is asset value growth.
As your property increases in value, so does your wealth. It's just that simple. Given that most homes will appreciate a percentage or two above the inflation rate, real estate is a pretty stable investment, long term. This doesn't mean you can't get "blips" in the growth of your investment -- both positive and negative. However, unlike the stock market (where you can lose your shirt -- I know), it's hard to lose on real estate as long as you haven't bought into a future ghost town!
Your asset doesn't just increase in value; you also gain equity at the same time. It's a double-barreled benefit.
This isn't a quick fix kind of investing; if you buy to hold, you have to buy good enough quality. It doesn't have to be the perfect property, but it should have good repair and good structure on its side.
This is my current strategy. We have a good house. We've decided to stay put until the crazy market subsides. We'll make money on our home over time -- both by paying down the mortgage and letting the asset appreciate.