July 20, 2024

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I Tried 3 Real Estate Investing Apps: Fundrise, Groundfloor, Roofstock

I Tried 3 Real Estate Investing Apps: Fundrise, Groundfloor, Roofstock

Table of Contents

Our experts answer readers’ investing questions and write unbiased product reviews (here’s how we assess investing products). Paid non-client promotion: In some cases, we receive a commission from our partners. Our opinions are always our own.

  • I want to retire by 50 as a millionaire, so I need to diversify my income.
  • I’m trying three real estate investing apps: Fundrise, Groundfloor, and Roofstock.
  • I found things I liked and didn’t like about each one.

One of my biggest financial goals is to retire before I’m 50 years old as a millionaire. I’m currently 35 and nowhere near having a net worth that’s seven figures deep, but it’s a game plan that I’m actively trying to work on. In order to get closer to making this happen, I know that I need to have multiple, diverse streams of income.

In addition to the current passive income streams that I have, which include selling online courses and owning stocks that pay dividends, I wanted to get into investing in real estate. Since I don’t have enough cash to buy an investment property and earn rental income from it, I decided to get into real estate in a different way.

After doing research and chatting with financially savvy friends, I tested out three of the most popular real estate investing apps. Here’s what I liked and didn’t like about each one.

See Insider’s picks for the best real estate investing platforms »

Fundrise

4.53/5

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Fees

1% (additional $125 for IRAs)


Investment Types

Electronic real estate investment trusts (REITs), electronic real estate funds, venture funds, and Fundrise IPOs

Fundrise

4.53/5

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Fees

1% (additional $125 for IRAs)


Investment Types

Electronic real estate investment trusts (REITs), electronic real estate funds, venture funds, and Fundrise IPOs


Fundrise

Details


Fees

1% (additional $125 for IRAs)

Pros & Cons
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Highlights
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Additional Reading
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1. Fundrise

Fundrise is an investing platform that lets you invest in real estate projects, IPOs, and venture funds. One of the first things that drew me to the platform was that I could get started investing with just $10. Since I’m new to real estate investing, I wanted to test out this stream of income without a big initial investment.

Once I had my Fundrise account, the app had me fill out a survey, and based on my answers it recommended an investment plan for me based on my goals. For example, as a test, I shared that I wanted to invest for less than five years and do this for supplemental income. The platform then shared a plan that would have 70% to 80% of the assets be income-focused and 20% to 30% of the assets be growth-focused. As a rookie investor, I appreciated how this platform provided an initial strategy.

Unlike other apps where you can directly pick and invest in individual properties, Fundrise takes your money and puts it into different projects, from housing developments to office space.

I liked that the platform had low fees — only a 0.85% asset management fee per year — and that it was accessible to any investor, regardless of income or net worth.

It also interested me that the platform lets you invest in a variety of real estate opportunities, from diversified REITs to commercial properties.

However, Fundrise’s platform is really for people who want to be locked into these investments for at least five years. Even though you can cash out sooner, it seemed like there weren’t a lot of money-generating opportunities for those with short-term goals.

Groundfloor Groundfloor

Groundfloor

3.99/5

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Fees

2% to 4.5% interest on loans


Investment Types

Fractional real estate debt

Groundfloor Groundfloor

Groundfloor

3.99/5

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Fees

2% to 4.5% interest on loans


Investment Types

Fractional real estate debt


Groundfloor

Details


Fees

2% to 4.5% interest on loans

Pros & Cons
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Highlights
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Additional Reading
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2. Groundfloor

A different type of real estate investing platform I found was Groundfloor, which specializes in debt-based real estate. I also found this one initially attractive because of the minimum $10 investment needed to fund a loan.

Once you create an account, you can browse more information about different projects, the expected timeframe, and the potential returns.

While this route doesn’t follow the usual equity-investing that real estate investors look for, it does allow you to potentially earn income from debt-investing.

I liked that there weren’t any hidden fees, since borrowers cover those costs, but I did find myself hesitant to invest more money on this platform since debt-investing can be risky. If a borrower goes bankrupt, it can be very difficult, or even impossible, to recover any money invested.

Roofstock Roofstock

Roofstock

4.24/5

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Account Minimum

$0 ($5,000 for Roofstock One)


Fees

$500 or 0.5% of the contract price for offers on properties


Investment Types

Single-family rental properties

Roofstock Roofstock

Roofstock

4.24/5

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Account Minimum

$0 ($5,000 for Roofstock One)


Fees

$500 or 0.5% of the contract price for offers on properties


Investment Types

Single-family rental properties


Roofstock

Details


Account Minimum

$0 ($5,000 for Roofstock One)


Fees

$500 or 0.5% of the contract price for offers on properties

Pros & Cons
Chevron icon It indicates an expandable section or menu, or sometimes previous / next navigation options.

Highlights
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Additional Reading
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3. Roofstock

Since my end goal is to eventually have a real estate property that I rent out for income, I decided to check out a platform that allows you to invest in rental properties.

Roofstock allows you to browse and invest in single-family rental real estate. I initially liked the platform because it was free to sign up and you don’t have to commit to an initial investment or link your bank details upfront. However, Roofstock is focused mostly on buying entire properties, so it’s not as accessible as Fundrise or Groundfloor — it does offer passive investing through Roofstock One, but that’s for accredited investors and requires a minimum investment of $5,000.

While I don’t have the capital to invest in a rental property, I enjoyed that this platform offered pre-vetted properties, lower than usual transaction fees when buying a property, and the opportunity to work with a property manager, in case you buy a property that’s far from where you live. This is a platform that I’d consider using in the future when I have the available funds to get started.